Monday, April 06, 2009

Things Ain’t What They Used to Be.

After weeks of going barking mad- also known as trying (and failing) to rest and enjoy the solitude and scenery- I’ve decided I just can’t take it anymore. It must be about time to get going properly again.
After a couple of unbelievably frustrating attempts at working inside the vessel, (never mind cat swinging, things were either too cramped with my tools, materials and domestics all jumbled into one space post launch, or else everything became extremely dusty immediately upon switching on any kind of large woodworking power tool whatsoever.) I came to realise that I had to regain some of the things I’m missing about our old home at Saxon Wharf, starting with having the space to work efficiently. My idea is to employ a kind of best-of-both-worlds approach if you like, blending the lovely views and idyllic peace of Littlehampton’s west bank with the frenetic pace, noise and creative stay up all night chaos of our old shipyard/workshop. I know, it’s a potentially odd mixture, but Wendy is a strange and unusual vessel, and one of her owners is definitely going to become a lot odder if he doesn’t make some real progress soon.

With this decided, but with no-one around to lend me a hand, I woke up on Saturday morning to discover it was bloody raining. This was not a good omen for my planned frustration busting exercise, so I just sort of stood there damply staring at the rain and feeling broken by circumstance again. Not good.
Two cups of decent coffee, one enormous poo, and a reluctantly devised back up ‘work inside after all’ plan later- it became apparent that either my prayers or my offering (in a bucket, naturally) had appeased the weather gods for it had miraculously ceased to precipitate! Or maybe it just stopped raining. Whatever. What happened next was this….

Yas. I grabbed the nearest vaguely sharp handsaw and three boxes of 80mm screws, and built the bastard son of our dearly departed Wendy house, this time smaller, and on deck. And I only made a tiny dent in the wood we’ve got stored on board.
That’s better, It’s going to be the new fit out workshop once its clad and covered, somewhere the big tools can live and that the big work can be done in- which will free up some important living space inside some of the vessel. It’s ugly, but I’m done with admiring the look of Wendy’s exterior and have a real need to crack on with sorting things out inside. Anyway- I’m trying my best to persuade myself that there’s some sort of Chinese Junk aesthetic at play here? Ok then, just junk. I don’t care- it’s not permanent, but I’m building it with the intention of it lasting as long as it needs to, I do NOT want to be tripping over stuff whilst I try to find things in six months time.

Then I fed the swans. I’m aware that my own experience of the boating life has not been exactly elysian thus far, but in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary gained over the last few years I’m willing to give it a go. And the sunsets are nice too, with all the gulls wheeling around and local fishermen phutting up and down the river while the neighbourhood hooligans throw bicycles off the wharf on the other side. Yep-it’s the Great British Seaside alright.
Next weekend… it’d be nice to have some company for spring tides, light progress, and with a bit of luck weather wise a barbeque of some description. Oh, and remember to behave and feed the swans like a good boat owner.


Blogger Sweetpea in France said...

Oooooh my! I looked and thought,"What is it?" Maybe someone or something (like you say, a Chinese junk) had moored alongside you ... and then I read your text... and I laughed so much...
So!! that got me out of my 'feeling sorry for myself blues' ... How, I think, you are to be envied in many, many bizarre ways. Despite the odds, evens and challenges you have an achievement to be proud of because you're not glued to a TV, you're not sucked up by a townie lifestyle, you're DOING and MAKING your own world with a little help from all your dearest and closest friends. That in itself is brilliantly amazing. All around the world you have support. Those nearer to you come and help on deck. You have a brilliant style in writing because you say it like it is (ysilis). Just carry on surprising others and making a few remarks that might embarass some but not others!!! LOVE YOU. Madre in France Tuesday 7th April 2009 17.17pm

4:17 pm  
Blogger bowiechick said...

Aww, truly you've just got some growin' pains goin' on.

7:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have just discovered this blog whilst looking at boating blogs and I have to say that this is a really immense project, if this had been some sort of `save this historic piece of british maritime history` etc. etc. thing it would have taken one large commitee, a huge lottery grant and overrun by several years and several hundred thousand pounds, whenever I have taken on huge projects (but not this huge!) I have found at the end of it a sort of lack of motivation `cos the pressure comes off, work your way through it! Really nice writing, really well done, wish you all the best.

8:13 pm  
Blogger bowiechick said...

Hey, when you guys cleaned up the portholes in coke and vinegar, how long did you leave them for? A month or two? More than that? Did you use equal parts?

I am testing your theory...

6:48 pm  
Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

Hi Tana,

left 'em in for 6 weeks, with the occasional nervous stir and turn over- equal parts cheap coke and strong vinegar yass. when I finally took them out all the paint and tarry stuff on them had gone bubbly and soft so I pressure washed them (that was after I freed up the O rings - easily, and removed the broken glass). After that a quick zap with a wire brush on a grinderette and they were done.

All Hail the kitchen chemistry experiments... let me know how it works for thee.

8:39 pm  

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