Of a lazy non-eventful evening, while I sit on the sofa and draw and play and chat to my friends via the mighty interwebs, and increasingly while I read or try to sleep in bed, Richard often sits playing Gwenthings on his tablet. Whether this is to think about ordering stuff he can’t yet afford or to draw the boat in his dodgy Android CAD program, it is generally accompanied by a running commentary and invitations to share or solve the problems that present themselves, and unless I’m trying to watch a movie or listen to the radio I usually oblige. Often I haven’t a clue, of course, and am just a sounding board, or a sort of state-the-obvious machine (don’t go over what you think you should pay on ebay, we don’t need that for a year so it’s not important, go for the option that clearly sounds better). Sometimes I am able to offer an opinion or a insightful suggestion, sometimes I am able to “mmm” and “yeah” and “no, of course not” just enough to keep him talking but not enough to let on that I’m not really listening, and sometimes it’s all over my head. Which is tonight, so I’m talking to you instead.
What I do understand of the situation is that Rich is trying to make a decision to do with our rigging. Today was strangely sunny (Ha! NO STORM today. I am so bored of storms and sick of not sleeping well. They’re back tomorrow, I hear) so we laid out and measured all the standing rigging (repeat after me: stays go backward and forward, shrouds go sideways) and some of the boat so that he can figure out which bit goes where and how high up. Now he’s sat behind me on the sofa, sighing and muttering, trawling through the old photos of Gwen I showed you a while back trying to see how she was set up before.
All this is to decide how far to lower the rigging, which is (or would be, if it was in use) supposedly top heavy and remember – dangerously tender, which may or may not be true. And between the suggestions of two people he respects and admires. One is Nick the living legend seadog who designed and sailed around the world three and a half times on his current boat – also player of strange stringed instruments, observer of birds and probably one of the most enjoyably nice human beings you could ever meet. The other is Chris, who Rich has worked for a few times and who I sometimes tease him for emulating with his beard and splendid jumpers, a quiet but smiley nautical genius who has made every boat fix or adaptation or build you could imagine in his travels and work. Chris says bring the mast down short and lose a couple of sails, Nick says “it’ll be alright”. Rich just needs to decide before we chop the mast to height. This has gone on a while. It will go on a lot longer. I am used to this sort of thing. Fear not, I will endure this tutting.
He’s been back two weeks and as well as knotting us a pair of slings and fashioning a pair of moccasins from an old leather apron (honestly – this man is real, I haven’t just made him up) has managed to put down some of the new plastic/bamboo flooring. I like it. I like to think it complements my paintwork. I like to imagine it all clear and presentable, but as you can see from this image our general level of messiness means that that is unlikely to come about until the swells of the sea and forces of the wind necessitate a decor that is firmly fixed down. In this time I have done very little for Gwen, being part of the supporting cast, concentrating instead on hurting myself pointlessly at the gym and making doodles of myself thinking about escaping on her one day.