You would not believe the mess of this place. You would not believe that two people could live in the mess that is the mess of this place. It’s been said so often – “we could really do with a tidy-up”, but it’s been instantly dismissed. Who has time to tidy up with everything that’s going on? Clothes and paperwork and cups cover every surface, the floor is strewn with shoes and wrappers, the galley is overrun with vessels and crumbs. In a small space mess is a disaster, but to deal with it seems too enormous – jobs have a hierarchy now, and this one is just beyond our line of sight.

There are six weeks left to go until we leave work and leave the marina, and we’ve entered an insanity which I can only report via a drunken burst. We both work full time for the money we desperately need to save to go away, and struggle through evening jobs and chores until a half-hour of hugs and encouraging natter before bed. We both work all weekend on whatever else needs working on. Nobody is in charge of the washing up or the cooking or the fire or emptying the wee, or even of making sure we have a wash or remember to say “hello” when we get home. This phase, a few weeks in, feels like one of Rich’s most acute obsessions, multiplied by two people on overdrive. It’s the final frenzied push that’s pushed us to something strange and traumatic, gripped with intense force in our shaking but determined fingertips.

I’ve been meaning to write for a while about the impact of leaving this place – and I will, but there isn’t room for that in this. I haven’t had time to reflect on it, or to see our great impending adventure for what it is, because I can only take one day, one hour, at a time. I lie awake at night thinking of small changes I want to make to the lesson plan I’ve been working on, of improvements I could make to the graphics job I’ve added to my workload, practical aspects that will improve the mini-opera (I’ve written that final song, at last), boat jobs we need to do, those we might have to change, what needs to be clean for what occasion in each of our day jobs. We both wake early. We hug and enjoy brief comfort before rejoining the fray.

So, tonight I popped out and got drunk. It’s necessary, sometimes.

What else? As far as the boat goes it’s mostly been small jobs and admin, ticked off yet another sub list which is taped to the galley cupboard door. There’s no big concern, there are just a hundred little ones. This weekend we sanded and primered our dinghies (and Rosy Primrose, who we’re finally repairing), happy in our toil in some rare sunshine, collapsing afterwards back in to our mess. I’d forgotten how tiring physical boat jobs are and returned to my computer work with a new appreciation.


Getting to know Bob a little better


Bob (yer uncle) and Fanny (yer aunt) awaiting primer

We’ve been spending too much on materials to get things finished, so Rich is about to start doing overtime to get back on track with savings, and I’ve taken on all the freelancing I can just about manage.  It’s probably best nobody speaks to us for a month or so. I’ll tell you when it’s nearly over.



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