Last week saw us truly working together for a couple of days, shoulder to shoulder in the incredibly slow process of scraping the deck. It’s been a two-person job up to now – because the concrete deck sucks away heat as soon as you’ve put the heat gun down, one person has to blast the paint at the same time as the other scrapes. There are layers beneath – a topcoat presumably slopped on by Eliot over a rubbery coat that can’t be wire brushed (it smears rather than graciously pissing off) and beneath that a red epoxy coat which can stay if it likes, all in varying thicknesses and states of chipping or refusing to budge. It took us 20 minutes of continuous digging to scrape each square foot, with the designated heat gunner (usually me) freezing in six layers of hoodie while the scraper (usually Rich) sweated his or her nuts off from sheer effort. Swap jobs, swap tops, moan a bit, repeat.
Whether this job is entirely necessary was debated more and more the further we didn’t get with it, but our day off on Saturday saw us shelter from the rain at Merv’s and receive the kind offer of a loan of his blowtorch. Rich has had a go while I’ve been at my new job this week and it’s looking very promising, getting the paint peeling faster and even making solo scraping a possibility.
Yes, I’ve got a new job. I’m working at The Canteen at Maker Heights, the most gorgeous little cafe up the hill near where the festivals and debauched music nights of Maker have made us so happy over the years. It takes me 45 minutes of a morning to stomp up there (almost entirely uphill) to enjoy, out of breath, the breath-taking views of Whitsand, Millbrook, Cawsand and Mordor before serving coffees and delicious fodder made from local produce by their very friendly chef. I can be myself there, can turn up in an ankle-length sailor’s coat like a giant banana on a rainy day, talk merry bollocks while I peel potatoes or clear tables, wear colourful garb and think colourful thoughts. The friendly, stress-free work, about which I need never worry once I’ve left for the day, contrasts starkly with my last office job. So, however, do the non-stop and physical natures of the work. I have been painfully tired waiting for my body to grow a bit of extra stamina for this, and I suspect it’s not the job alone which is causing me to flag. Perhaps winter, or newly fitted contraceptive implant, blues are exacerbating the poopedness, but I feel oddly, unnaturally without energy, not running and feeling exhausted all the time. I will prevail, after a quick nap.
It occurs to me that one day we’ll be leaving this incredible peninsula and I haven’t really written much about it, though I’ll doubtless want to write about everywhere else we go. It’s beautiful. I’ll try to find some photos.
Richard won’t stop looking at toilets on the internet. I’ve been tweeting about it as a way to vent, an outlet… fuck, is there any way to say this that doesn’t sound like it’s coming back to toilets? Yep, those evening Googles of his have gone from nerdgasmic to faecal and it’s all my fault. Somewhere on the Big List Of Things To Do Before We Leave The Shed I put “talk about the toilet”. Rich was in the process of skipping this stage and planning to fit the sea loo (on account of us currently having an unused seacock hole in the aft cabin hull left over from diesel testing) when I called him out and demanded the toilet talk. We chatted for an hour or so and decided eventually to go back to plan F or G, the one where we have a chemical loo for now and look for a composting toilet when we can afford one. Sea loos sound nightmarish to me, a catalogue of disasters waiting to happen, and I hate the idea of pooing straight in to lovely Cawsand Bay where there are swimmers. Priggish though wanting to empty the loo at appropriate places and times might make me, I’ve been harping on about this long enough and we’ve read enough sea loo horror stories that I’ve got my way. The spare through-hull fitting can be used as the engine water inlet if we add a filter at the concrete end. So, cue Rich spending night after night interrupting my reading or internet gobshitery with “you want to see this compost bog video” or “this is the best article about toilets I have ever read”. I sigh, nod, pretend smile and pray for the next big thing to grab his obsessive attention to hurry up. I realise more and more that I am not the only faddy one in this relationship.
Not much more in news. Rich has done some water-based epoxying on the keel, temporarily rehung the rudder and started making the cockpit seating. I primered the toe rails, designed some things for friends, and, I don’t know really, lolloped about in a state of braindead chubbifying lethargic frustration. “I love you, you poor worn out old fucker” says Rich. He knows how to make it all alright.