GroomNews Summer 2000 | GroomNews Archives

Life Ashore...
It's more than a year now since we moved ashore, after living afloat for over 13 years. It's been difficult adjusting to the sounds of earthworms burrowing where we'd been used to the sounds of leeches shuffling, but we've managed it and now consider some of the local earthworms to be good friends. There's one in particular - (Enough! They want news, not waffle! - Ed.)

What's Different
It won't surprise you to learn that one of the biggest differences between life afloat and life ashore is the space available - and we've managed to fill most of it already (though we've yet to start on the loft; maybe someone who's used to life ashore can enlighten us: why do people fill their lofts with things they know they'll never need, then dig them out 20 years later and say things like, "Why did we keep that, then?"). A lot of the space has been filled with books, enough to stock a modest theological library, with a small section set aside for science fiction and fantasy.

Another thing we've noticed is that if you simply open the door and throw out your used teabags, the neighbours give you funny looks; but this hasn't been too much of a problem because most of the time we drink coffee, and we've learnt to throw the teabags out the back door...

GroomNews Summer 2000 Rays of Sunshine ALMOST
survived the experience of going into Uxbridge dry dock and now has a beautiful, shiny black bottom. Special mention must be made of Andrew "Beefy" Bullwer, who came down from Hinckley to help - thanks, Beef: a valiant and much appreciated effort! Uxbridge Boat Centre also did us proud by building a new (and much improved) back deck for us when we discovered that the existing deck was rusting away from below.

Pot of Paint Whilst in dry dock we commissioned a surveyor's report, which proved highly satisfactory: most of the hull is still at its original thickness (6mm) after nearly 11 years, with the worst rust pits penetrating to less than 2mm.
After a week in dry dock we headed north and moored just beyond Watford in a pleasantly remote spot, where we spent a few days repainting the roof, the cratch and various other areas above the waterline. She's not quite as smart as new, but we're getting there and hope to complete the repaint over the summer...

Visitors Welcome
Now that we do have plenty of space, there's always room for visitors. Friends passing this way are always welcome to call in, though please call ahead if you can! We're only a ten minute walk from the nearest tube station.

Pile of Books The Book Trade
in Ruislip seems to have picked up somewhat since we last wrote, and Phil has received some very positive feedback from Head Office on his management of the shop. There's still room for improvement, however. If you're in the area, please do visit the shop, take a look around - and maybe even buy a book!!

Fresh Bread!
Don't you just love the smell of freshly baked bread? So do we, so Phil bought Sue a breadmaking machine for her birthday, and we've hardly touched the shop stuff since! Highly recommended!

St. Lawrence Church St. Lawrence's - and Beyond!
Beyond, because Sue is being given more and more opportunities for work outside the parish, as well as within it. Amongst other things, she's now tutoring for London Bible College's distance learning department, looking after the course on Genesis. She's also been invited to write a brief article for the Concise Encyclopaedia of Linguistics and Religion, and is on the Bishop's Area Liturgy Group - and by the time you read this, das Meisterwerk should be undergoing its final revisions!

Sister Mary Cuthbert (aka Alison, Sue's sister) has been with the Sisters of Our Lady of the Isles (SOLI) for over two years, so in September we're going to visit her for a couple of weeks so that Phil can find out about the attractions of living on a remote Scottish island (Sue's been up there before). There are puffins, seals and other life forms that are unknown in the suburbs of London. It sounds almost as good as life afloat, but with internet access too (yes, even nuns surf the net). We're both looking forward to escaping from the city for a while.

With our love and prayers, Phil & Sue

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