Black goo and bile

Two significant things to report:

1. We did the bloody rubbing strake! After the first one we decided it was simply a matter of soon doing the second one on the next couple of dry, still days. Spring “It’s a lovely winter we’re having this spring” 2013 had other ideas. Three months later we finally got those days.

One of Rich's tamer balancing acts from today.

One of Rich’s tamer balancing acts from today.

It almost didn’t happen today due to a godawful barney Richard and I managed to have last night. I find that working on the boat tends to ease both our damaged souls so I insisted we strake and sure enough, within half an hour we were a team once more. Cruelty is not in our nature – you know that once you’re on to insulting each others’ genitals that any genuine offence is over.

We’d already positioned half the strake the other day, so today we did the other part (and their attachment at the join that broke and scuppered our plans last time) and the putting it on. This took us a day and a half last time. Seems we’ve got a bit faster! Hooray, but also, thank fuck we don’t have to do it again. Rich’s left arm got steadily more painful, and my right developed a condition I can only imagine is called “ratcheters bicep”, which ached. Fortunately I also extended my duties to enjoying some black goo fun myself this time.





I also used the sledge hammer a lot, because fuck it, I like playing Thor.

I like how even in the most urgent scenario Rich and I will always be distracted by the distant future. Today we made strange plans for the boat we could buy after we return from our adventures on Gwen (will be sell her? could we ever?) in which we want two workshops linked by a greenhouse. I spent most of the day trying to decide what colour we’re going to have the hull and the stanchion ropes. And the south of Spain, the west of Africa and the Caribbean got mentioned as often as they always do. I try not to get my hopes up. We don’t have a bed yet. Which reminds me…

2. I’m moving on in just over a week.

Or rather, I’m not any more. But my stuff is.

Preparation has stepped up quite significantly in the last few weeks. I’ve done a few days’ jobs here and there, painting, tongue and grooving, even enjoying some worktime in the shed where Rich works and joining in his hallowed coffee breaks. But Rich has gone superpowered. He has managed to make the bed base and the wardrobe outsides, line the cupboards under the current bed and repair a lot of the leaks that could jeapordise the bedroom spectacular. He is splendid like that.

He does this in his spare time after work and at weekends. This makes him tired, which makes him either vacant or sensitive. Vacant is quite sweet (although I banned him from working the day before a wedding we went to last week – a girl needs a date who can string a sentence together), sensitive is copable unless I too am experiencing concerns.

Guess what though. I am filled with concerns. In the next week I am moving house, not just moving house but moving in with my boyfriend (one day I will explain just how commitmentphobic I am), not just moving in with my boyfriend but moving from my own two-roomed space to a very very small shared space. Not only that but there is no bed yet, no completed cupboards, no space for my computer. All these things will apparently come, but not necessarily by the time I come to move in. At present the bed looks like this:



Now add to this potent mixture of fears: I’ve been ill this week and packing isn’t going well. I have to have an hour’s lesson prepared for a couple of days later. I have to be ready to go for a 5 day trip to London the same day. And most terrifying of all for someone who is about to move into a floating workshop: I start my new office job the day after that. Yes, it’s silly to be scared. Yes, I am scared.

Yesterday, as I sat with a quick pint listening to an exhausted Rich tell me the various things that had gone wrong, the panic set in. As he began to grumble, I began to mope and worry, and the seeds of the fight were sown. It started gently, it exploded, it separated, it rolled heatedly between telephone and social media. By this morning it was half-ended in bitter apology, by lunchtime it was dead. Out of its charred remains came one relief – I’ll move my stuff over, but my dear friend Diddles is to put me up ’til the end of the month. This way Rich can reduce the pace a little, and I can have a nice first week of work with a shower, a toilet, a bed! and get used to the scary new boat life once I’ve at least settled in there.

Having said that, I’m vowing to myself to just throw myself in after that. Bravery, jumping in with both feet – these are the things I aspire to in life. There is a huge difference between being brave and being fearless. Nobody is fearless. And even the brave occasionally have to sleep over with their friends for a week or two.

Weird woman in a pencil skirt who stares at the boat all day

Weird woman in a pencil skirt who stares at the boat all day


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