Things have slowed somewhat, both on the work and the historical research. The work because the kitchen installation had to be halted as the installer had a family illness. So it looks good, but nothing works yet!
The matching picture window on the other side is also awaiting installation.
In spite of £8,000 being spent on welding up holes in the deck, there are still small holes letting rain through. A friendly roofer has suggested spreading bitumen as if it were a roof, which I suppose it is! It would not only solve the leak problem, but would be compatible with the next stage of 'decking', which Simon hopes to use the stuff that all-weather tennis courts are covered in. The present level of the iron deck is below the drainage tubes which were level with the now missing decking planks.
Meanwhile the historic bit goes slowly. The National Archives takes 10 days to provide an estimate on how much they will charge for photocopying, then you can order (which I did 2 days ago for the first document I discovered) but there is then a 14 day delivery time. I now have 10 days to wait for the estimate on what is potentially the more interesting document (the one with plans attached), plus the 14 days of course. My impatience is much tempered by the realisation that we are indeed very fortunate to have such a wonderful facility!
Meanwhile, at the suggestion of a chap who I believe lives in S America, I have made contact with the Archivist of the Commissioners of Irish Lights. I am hoping that he may have access to more information about the early days of this ship .........