Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Is Mechanical Dexterity Hereditary?

An interesting question. Ponder this, I sometimes wonder how much I inherited my Father’s ability with making things- he’s certainly always encouraged my interest in and devotions to tinkering with anything vaguely machine based.
I reckon certain Dads just have a certain way about them.
Anyhow, Natasha is one of Robin’s two daughters, and she recently took part in a ‘go to work with your dad’ event through school. Robin said he was proud and slightly taken aback by her keenness to go along with him, you can imagine her exchanges with mates at school ‘er- so you’re going to work with your dad then? What’s he do then? My pa’s an IT consultant…’ I’m told that she relished seeing Wendy Ann and I wish I’d not had to work myself that day else I would have made sure I was there to meet her and show her around. Here’s the pictures of her in action (thanks Robin), you can tell she really enjoyed the experience- it’s radiating from that beaming smile she’s throwing us whilst sat in that there crane, which is patently Not part of ms Ann. The Daddys working week comprises of much more than little us.
So there it is, maybe (hehe) I’ve proved that steel really does get into your blood, and that we pass it on.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Then this happened.

So we celebrated by applying more token paint that very day, this time outside the bridge. And I found e-bay most useful in dealing with the cold conditions. Yep. I bought a gas powered, hot torpedo. Yahoo! And we ate real food! I think I died and went to heaven, yum.

Being Hauled Off the Rocks.

O Calloo Callay, O Frabtious day, we are saved, Somehow our prayers are answered. I personally blame the parents.
It had all got to be a bit much, and Wendy was in danger of sinking before she’d even seen the water. I’d already phoned my bank, I’d also phoned several other lenders all of whom said a polite ‘erm- no way, thanks very much’. The sums just wouldn’t add up so we thought ourselves buggered, doomed to struggle on with a very expensive programme of repairs with absolutely no remaining means of actually getting them done ie. Paying For Them. Not pretty. We were both staring down barrels of the future that held work grinding to a complete and utter halt, and us paying stupid fortunes just to have our vessel- and indeed us, sit there going nowhere.
B and I finally admitted that we had found ourselves completely, ridiculously out of our depth one recent Saturday on board. It was bitingly, bitterly cold, we were exhausted and huddling round an electric fan heater trying in vain to warm each other up when we looked into each others eyes and burst into tears of resignation. At that moment we both dropped the habit of constantly attempting to chivvy each other along, or find even the illusion of strength with which to buoy things up, and simultaneously understood we had nothing left. After nearly two years of daily battling to make our dream become reality we knew it was about to destroy us instead. We’d come so far. So we counted our coppers and decided to go and get warm, in the pub (where else? there’s naff all else within limping distance.) We nursed our one drink carefully and as we slowly defrosted our mood eventually lifted to a sense of ‘Ah. Sod it, we can’t go back. God only knows how but we’ll have to carry on, there’s no sense blubbing about it eh?’ That old chivvying along instinct was back.
We got ourselves an extremely early night, snug under three duvets and slept like red rocks. On Sunday morning we did our best to carry on regardless with the wheelhouse, and weren’t doing too badly at all really, honest, when the phone rang. Becky took the first call that’s completely changed our outlook on things, and we transformed grim determination into numb elation in a few flat minutes.
How to put this… I still can’t quite believe it, and am reeling gently from just what this means, Both families have in their ways long declared their belief in what we’re up to.. And now each has done something unprecedented. We are by no means out of the woods, and will pay every penny back but we are humbled. Bigtime. Obviously there’s an awful lot more to this than just cold money. For me the fact that my own mum has brought her cards to the table is hugely significant, when I was younger I had (shall we say) something of a misspent youth and she was right to always avoid giving me money or financial help. The fact that she has chosen to do so now, at this time is very, very meaningful. And Becky’s parents, well. My hat comes straight off. The Knowledge that they think so much of our capabilities and potential is simply staggering.
So Wendy Ann 2 IS going to float again, we will afford it, but she’s going to have to do it as fast as possible for obvious don’t-want-to-flush-money-down-the-toilet reasons. Suddenly for the first time we have to view the works overall and sensibly plan just how we are going to attack the rest of the entire hull and in what order. Considering it’s taken us nearly 18 months out of water to (almost) complete the structural stuff over the first third, and we are now planning (yes, that’s a great word) to get that boat welded, painted, ballasted and back in the hoist again by July; there’s clearly going to have to be a big change of pace. This is quite scary, but in a really good way. Becky and I are now surprised to find ourselves having those project management kind of conversations that we always dreamed we’d be having. It’s brilliant. Now all we have to do is build the bloody boat. By yesterday. Christ.
Oh and by the way, I took another job, charging around a building site three days a week. I’m enjoying it, but my muscles really hate me.