Paring down our lives so they will fit on the 24 foot boat with-a-bowsprit, has been harder than I thought. There isn’t a lot of storage space and some of it is designated for essentials, like:life-jackets, sails, chemical toilet fluids, batteries and spare diesel. I didn’t think we had a lot of stuff, because our house, like our boat, is small. But it’s been instructive just to try and decide which clothes to take. An added complication is the time of year. Right now, the weather is naturally variable, April showers, then beautiful sunshine. Warm days but the nights can be very cold. Later on, it will almost certainly be hotter and sunnier than the UK. So we need warm base layers, especially for time motoring ans even more so for sailing. Ditto waterproofs, but also cool and loose clothing for hotter days and something a bit more respectable for when we visit coffee shops, markets, bars and canal encircled beautifully clean, don’t-you-wish-we-could-do-it-this-well-in-the-UK? towns and villages. So I’ve been looking at my wardrobe with new and more critical eyes. I have to fit almost all my clothing into one small-ish holdall. So each item must fulfill more than one function. I suspect that if we get an exceptionally cold day, I’ll end up wearing the lot, all at once. If we get soaked, there’s a ‘hot cupboard’ to dry everything out.
I’ve got a Kindle so I can have an unlimited supply of books which take up negligible space, knitting will be Fair Isle projects – as a Fair Isle novice, I’m not starting with sweaters. Headbands and wrist bands are quite enough and I’ve pared down my art materials to one notebook (well, two really) and one box of pastel crayons. Music comes from a mobile phone and a Blue-tooth speaker, the laptop which receives TV, plays DVDs and connects to the internet for weather forecasts is also the Chart Plotter. Air quality comes from tea lights and jos sticks (very small), and there’s a tiny tin of sweeties for those moments when we’ll need an instantly accessible morale boost.