I guess this blog, and I, lost our way. But not for long.
What you don’t need is another post starting “everything has changed”… you deserve better than that, dear reader, better than a girl who can’t make her mind up who goes out with the boy who can’t make his mind up about the boat that hasn’t a mind to make. But once again, all change. Let’s get this over with and then get this blog and this girl back to what they’re really about – Gwen.
Last week my job got me so stressed I thought I was about to hit an anxiety patch, and I braced myself for a breakdown and fought fires with all I could summon from my remaining pool of calm. On Friday I returned from Mordor to the Shire and breathed again. Oh, how the fricking beauty and sea air could soothe the most worn soul. I headed straight for Gwen and Richard, my favourite friends, and they had wonders in store.
In the two weeks since I was last home (during which I had a marvellous Gaga/G-A-Y trip to London with much dancing and drinking and dishevelment) Richard had achieved miracles. The stark grey concrete aft cabin had been transformed in to a new room, a multipurpose everything that we have planned together for months and which he has built in days. The floor (the same bamboo/plastic board affair that we have in the saloon) was laid, the two spare bunks built, the chart table ready and the chair beneath it roughed out, and the surface which is to be our workshop lay smooth and curved around the stern. Nothing finished or painted (that’s for me to do), and no walls to speak of yet, but still, an incredible achievement. Rich was clearly pleased.
As we sat smoking in this chamber of delight beneath the hole to which the cabin top will one day return, I regaled his poor self with the day’s frustrations. The day off’s frustrations, in fact, in which I’d still ended up spending two hours sorting out a mess that might have caused me even more grief upon my return to the office. This just isn’t me. I don’t feel myself in an office in which I wear grey and beige because I have no other notion of “smart”, from which I run away at the weekend throwing on every colourful thing I can find to cleanse myself of its formality. I felt it even less so when my duties became less and less creative, and further from myself than ever before when these new duties started to mount up and the blaming eyes of other departments turned on mine, on me. I am, after all, just a low grade part time hard worker – this was not my shit to bear. I work so I can live on Gwen, and now I don’t even do that, and I’m not having much luck finding anything else.
Rich told me again that I should come back and live on Gwen and quit my job. He’s said it before, but I wanted to make some money so that I could contribute to Gwen, not go back and rely on him. This time I really understood – he wasn’t saying it out of a heroic need to pull his woman from the flames of her own irritation (which is a noble idea, but not one with which I would feel comfortable – I clean up my own mess, thank you) – he really thought I could be of better use to Gwen on Gwen, working for her. We talked it through. We worked out how much my time is worth, here and there. We made a decision. We dressed up in fancy dress and went out to celebrate.
The relief of release from my job was the least of the toasts to be drunk – I would be returning to Rich, to Gwen, and starting a new career as full time boat renovator. I’d have to get a bar job or something to pay for food and drink, but other than that rent and facilities would be paid by the money Rich put aside to pay for a few months’ dedicated boat work, and I’d be costing him no extra. All intoxicants and dancing moves we could throw ourselves into took the full welly of this exuberant freedom – we have each other and Gwen, and what the hell else do we need except the big blue sea?
I spent half the weekend painting tongue and groove and plywood with aluminium primer, jumping away from the task in hand to hold a bit of wood or zap in a screw from time to time, making Rich’s work easier too. I got it all done and felt a great sense of exhaustion and achievement and I knew that I could do this all winter. I don’t have to be that bit-part player in Gwen. I don’t have to wish I was contributing but never make enough money to do so. I don’t have to plan and talk but hardly ever do. I can go back to being really useful, but this time I can do it all the time. And I feel like as soon as my month’s notice is up on this room and this job, my adventure will really begin. Finally, when Gwen is further from the water than in our whole time together, I get to become the power tool wielding boat bitch I’ve dreamed of being and share properly in her creation.
And this very unprofessional, highly illogical, financially suicidal move should also steer this blog back on to the course I plotted for her too. Chin chin.