Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Caveat Emptor

To hell with the back story. This is here and now. I am still well behind in catching up on events so far and intend to keep entries more or less in chronological order, but I think those that read this are entitled to a taste of where Wendy Ann and us are at right now. Then I can return to the other stuff.
An awful lot has changed since digging with the noisy boys, even so progress sometimes feels interminably slow, and I’ve realised that if I thought the work was hard then- I was wrong. This project is getting tougher.
Coupled with the heavy industrial nature working on Wendy Ann, the spiralling expense and sleepless nights filled with anxiety, the discussions, arguments and all round strain with which B and I are constantly testing our relationship make for an interesting time of things. I reckon the bubble of rose tinted optimism has well and truly burst some time ago. I would now say to anyone contemplating buying an old boat for the first time ‘Be really, really fucking careful because you might think you know what you’re in for but you do not’. Having written this I must stress that I’m still here, I still have a deep love and huge respect for my missus, and by and large I am still definitely enjoying the challenge of gonzo shipbuilding, so it’s not all bad. It’s just so exhausting, and scary. My life is completely unrecognisable from just a couple of years back and in some ways this is no bad thing, however occasionally I find myself standing there, energy resources burnt thinking ‘what the fuck am I doing here?’ It’s teaching me so much about strength both physical and emotional, about faith, vision, and when to go to the pub.
This little outburst is probably brought on by the fact that at the moment I am enduring the process of needlegunning the paint, tar and scale from ms Ann’s engine room bilges. Heavy duty needleguns are devices which seem designed to destroy men as much as rust. Never mind the threat of permanent nerve damage brought about by excessive vibration, or the absurdly aggressive level of decibels that the thing generates- after chucking one about for two days your mind and body knows about it in a seriously fundamental way. After eight hours of it the largest part of the battle is within yourself and just trying to hold on to the thing let alone point it into that awkward spot of scale in the corner becomes an impossible battle. I hate it or rather hate being beaten by it, so drinking warm Stella that on the train back to stinky London I suddenly found my spirit again and wanted to turn around go back and let me at it. Grrrr. Now I still can’t wait to be there again, punishing myself- because each square inch done is one bloody less to do.


Blogger Tim Zim said...

Hi s&b

Good post.

Here's something to pay attention to: http://www.sahw.co.uk/main-section/workplace-topics/vibration.cfm

Trust me on this, I know!

Try the calculator - your hire company would have given you all the info.


12:55 pm  
Blogger bowiechick said...

I know I didn't write your post but I swear to god it sure sounds like the same words and thoughts that go out of our mouths too.

I so relate to you both!!

Its mucky dirty crap. It feels thankless and an exhaustion you've never felt. And somewhere in all that you have a JOB to work at too..

Keep going! Yer doin great!

And Tim is right about the vibration thing. My father was a faller (lumberjack) and back then they only wore hard hats and not ear protection. So he is so hard of hearing and whenever he goes in swimming his hands go completely white and get cold. All those years of running a chainsaw.

Take care of yourself.

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Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

cheers! the funny thing is I'm comparatively clean in that picture.. look out for more filthy knackered workers pics coming soon. And yes I do occasionally have a rest from needle fun.

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