We didn’t get much Gwenstuff done last time Rich was back. I had my first run, we camped, we went to a wedding, I fell over and injured my hand and ribs (proper ballsing up my Serenity plans for a couple of weeks – bah!) and Rich needed more respite from it all than he’d expected. He bought stuff we’ll need next time and went back to work early, soon after I left to work at Glastonbury festival. He figured he might as well start the next work cycle early if I wasn’t going to be here, because he is lovely.
The night before I went Rich and I were lying in bed preparing to part for unconsciousness. A noise was noticed, like the speedy tick tick tick of faulty electrics, and we got up to unplug the usual suspects. Still it persisted, like a watch with the second hand sped up for optimum annoyance. I can fall asleep through all manner of racket – winter’s storms, the gentle snore of a handsome man and, as Glastonbury would later prove, the boring conversations of nearby campers. But I find it incredibly difficult to rest in the company of a regular rythm, like the beat of a song’s drum or, particularly, the ticking of a goddam clock.
Rich, who can sleep through all this crap, was understandably irked by my protestations, but nonetheless helped me to hunt the culprit. Anything for a bit of peace. Back in bed we traced the noise to the bubbly tinfoil insulation that serves as our ceiling. It ticked. I complained. I may have thrashed about a bit. Rich googled. And he found this. Seems those ancient batons screwed to our bulkheads, to which we attach all our tongue and groove, are home to insect larvae who wait there for up to twelve years before popping out for some very noisy foreplay. Their horny headbanging is so sinister they’ve even earned themselves harbinger of death status. And through this I was expected to sleep.
As the night went on the tickers multiplied. Beatnik deathwatch beetles clicking their fingers to each others poetry, performing across our ceiling, threatening to drop down into our bed through the gap around the hatch at any moment. That’s what they’d do, I thought – bash their stupid brains against the wood until they dizzied themselves and dropped, disorientated, into my sleeping mouth. The bastards. It took me an age to drop off.
When we woke disaster had not befallen the bedroom and the tickers were still at it. I went to Glastonbury and came back ecstatic and exhausted a week later to a ticktick-less Rich-less boat. I miss him, but it’s okay, and Skype is finally working. It’s all for Gwen, for both of us. We can bear it. I’ve scraped most of Serenity now and finally have paint, energy and a working wrist at my disposal, so I’m hoping for some sun next weekend. At some point in the next week I will oversee (ha!) the removal of our boat from the water and will go to live on the land like other further evolved beings. Then all kinds of crazy shit’s going to happen. See you then.
PS The ticking has stopped – does that mean they’re all shagged out and dead up there now? Yay.