Apologies for the lack of blogs lately, my evenings have been taken up by doing paid writing work, painting dinghies and eating museli. Although the extra doh is nice I can tell ya now that its way more fun to write to you guys than it is to glorify the crappy benefits of overpriced MDF (that makes me sound like such a sell out, I’m not honest), just skint and trying to get by. Also had a mild case of the hormones so anything I would have written would sound like a washed up suicide note in a bottle floating through cyber space spreading misery.
Things are on the up now though, I got a nice little job on at work restoring an Isle of Mann Life boat that took part in operation dynamo, the dinkiest Dunkirk Ship I’ve ever seen, I’ve just had my first ever paid article published in Watercraft Magazine (if you haven’t read it yet, head to the news agents, join the cool kids and splash out on your very own copy, dont worry it’s not about MDF) and I’ve booked myself a week off to be frivolous and build myself a kayak. A complete waste of very useful time but lifes too short not to have fun. Plus after the 5 week week we had last week, I could do with a refresh.
I’m really hoping I’m not the only cynical English person that complained all winter of being cold, dreamt of working in the sunshine and then spent every ounce of last week wishing the fucking sun would piss off back to Spain. Good, I didn’t think so 😉
When I was dreaming of working in shorts in the sun and not spending so long in puddles, I was thinking more an easy going 20 with a gentle breeze, not 30 fucking 4. It was like being on holiday but you weren’t allowed to be lazy n drink rum and eat ice creams. Something that’s always appealed to me is going abroad to build boats, but after “that week”, that ideas been written off as insanity.
I spent 5 days desperately trying to string up tarpaulins for a bit of shade, the dam sun devil kept moving though and eventually I decided I’d wasted enough time building artificial trees in an attempt to stay cool and had better get on with some actual work. On more than one occasion I had likened my face to that of a leaking tomato, I can assure its exactly what you’re picturing in your head. Sadly I don’t have a selfie to do it justice as I never want that to be documented online for eternity but boy did my face leak. So much sweat came out of me I’m surprised I even still exist. By Tuesday I gave in and took drastic measures and began showering daily. Wednesday came around slowly and I threw my sweaty thick cut off jeans in the bin with disgust and enjoyed the breeze created by a 5 mile bike ride to the children’s section of Soccer Sports to buy myself a range of light, airy work clothes and a baseball cap. Needless to say know one at the yard appreciated my new fashion choices, one guy said I looked like I should still be in school and my boss asked why I couldn’t occasionally wear girls shorts, evidently these idiots are unaware of the drill bit capacity in the pockets of girls clothes. As the week went on I continued to leak more than a fucking colander, I spent most evenings sat under a tree in the shade coz the boat was like a greenhouse despite the fact it no longer has walls. There I was drinking Mojitos out of cans under trees covered in goose shit desperately trying to forget that there were still 3 more days in the week!
My boss mentioned to me at one point that the heat was no excuse for low productivity or crappy work womanship. I kept the following thoughts to myself but I do however completely disagree. I’ve spent so long just trying to stay mildly dry and upwright, working in the urelenting sun using my t.shirt as a sweat rag whilst the burning blisters on my back went unoticed, tripping over everything, incurring some shocking injuries and working up an impressive 4 layers of sunburn and 3 different sets of tan lines that I think the fact that I’ve accomplished anything other than napping this week is a fucking miracle. For the record though I did fit 2 beam shelves, 13 half housed dovetailed deck beams, 2 bulk heads and a plywood roof but hey ho we must have different definitions of hard work. Oh and one more thing, how on earth are you supposed to sleep! I was stumbling through each day on less than 3 hours shut eye and a wide variety of new bug bites every morning.
So after the week of burningly bright sleepless torture and with my week off just around the corner I decided to treat myself and head into London to the famous Village Butty for a night of music, bonfires and friendly faces. It was well worth the trip and exactly what I needed, there was singing, dancing and all kinds of merriment. I even made some new friends AND they were under 50, I haven’t done that since I was like 20! As much as I’d love to end this blog on a positive and cheery note, you should all know me pretty well by now and realise that if I’m about there has to be some kind of mildly hilarious but slightly terrifying accident waiting in the bushes. I didn’t disappoint. Just as dawn started to break we all headed inside the boat to keep warm, when I say all I really mean everyone aside from me, who after a narly encounter with the top step of the gangway flew the width of the narrow boat in a horizontal flaily superman like manner, headbutted the gunnels and crumpled unflatteringly to the floor. I really wish it had been a wooden boat, so much softer on the skull! I vaguely remember a friendly hippy trying to tape up my forehead with gaffatape until he was politely asked not to be so helpful. So there me and my impressive gash sat waiting for the ambulance. After 4 hours in A&E (an East End emergency room on a Saturday night is an entertaining place to be) they glued me back together and sent me on my way. All in all it was a wonerful end to fucking hard week and I’ll certainly be back but in the mean time I’d like to say a huge thankyou to all the guys on The Village Butty who looked after me (even the hippy with the gaffa tape) and an even bigger thanks to our wonderful NHS who even on the ass end of a night shift in London were beyond helpful, always smiling and even cracked a few jokes about us smelling worse than Glastonbury!
Keep ya eyes peeled for the next blog, it’ll be coming up soon and themed mainly around plywood contortion-ism and the making of my kayak!