Yesterday, after doing a writing class I met up with M and our long time awesome friends, Mr, Mrs and Master H and WENT OUT FOR DINNER. The capital letters are totally warranted. I think the last time we did such a thing with them was the night I broke the news that I was pregnant with the person who became Zoe. It was lovely and easy and great Japanesey. It was also expensive – but seeing as we go out to dinner approximately never , we weren’t that bothered.

Here is a picture of the lustrous Lenny – a dog in need of a warm cape:

Lenny. Defrosting.

And here is a blanket, recently completed by Mrs H. Call me impressed! We got to sleep under it πŸ™‚

Anne Marie's Beautiful Blanket

It was lovely being Small-free and staying up until the wee hours chatting over cheese (for me) and biscuits (for them). M has a lurgy but was on a high because he has finally installed and run our Webasto. For the uninitiated, that is a diesel heater – it will make being self sufficient much more comfortable. I’m hoping that as the little diesel tank that runs it is OUTSIDE the boat, with a line running inside to the actual heater, there will be no diesel smell.

The word COMPLEXIFICATED doesn’t even get near the nerdiness that installing a Webasto entails. I have watched M become a Webasto scholar – just as he has also become a 12volt electricity guru, plumber and boatbuilder. I am going to feel far more comfortable going to sea with him having built this entire thing than I would if we had been able to go and buy the same boat on eBay. I am in charge of setting up the navigation system and having it all WiFi with everything talking to everything else – the GPS, the depth sounders, the AIS, a router and probably a mulitplexer. Before you start thinking I am also a nerd guru, let me say that I remain at the point where you start researching something, only to keep learning how much you don’t know.

Anyway – it was great to discuss boatland with the Family H and hear their news about where their jobs, school and studies are at. Without such friends, I would be a lesser being. This morning we invented a fantastic breakfast – better than a cafe job! Eggs, bacon, avocado and feta, with cups of tea and coffee. There was The Case of the Cold Greyhound – a mystery that was solved by the application of a well placed blanket.

My initial connection to Mr H, wayyyy before the now thirteen year old trumpet playing Master H was born, was our mutual love of crime fiction. A love that had him launch and run the awesome Crime Factory magazine for a few years, and for me to do the website for it. That ended just before this blog began, in around 2002 or so. Anyway, it is good to chat to him about books – he always throws a few of his rejects in my direction, and I love keeping a pile of unread books in the caravan so I am never short of something to dive into over a cup of tea.