My Grubby Self in a Floating Nutshell




As a first post and a hello to the world, I thought I’d give ya a little insight into my boat based bubble.

Unlike my younger more sociable self that used to spend most evenings in the pub, learning from the old, winding up the girls n chatting up the guys. I now work so dam hard my thumbs ache by lunch time, my back no longer bends by afternoon tea and my brain cuts out by 7pm.

I love every second of it.

I have the attention span of a nat which means I am a danger on the road with anything that has more than 2 wheels powered by my own feet. As a consequence I start the day, rain or shine, with a 4 mile bike ride to work. It can be nice. It can be wet and I DO get angry with all you people in ya steel box with ya 4 wheels that forget I’m trying to get somewhere too.

When I started my job I was asked what my speciality was and aside from “trying not to fuck it up” I had nothing impressive to say. However after a year n a half of fast paced intense learning from my body building boss who never stops pushing, I can officially say I have a speciality. I’m a dirty little planker.  Everyone else loves the fine joinery and the intricate design work. I love getting down n dirty, ripping holes in hulls and re-planking. To me it’s the most important bit. It makes me feel like I’ve done some good. I stopped the boat from sinking…you lot made a shelf. I like to think I win.

So I spend my days hunched over in a pile of dead shell fish persuading old straight trees they want a new life as a curvy full bottomed boat. I can wield a claw hammer like the best of em and I can make a stick and a screw driver do things you can’t imagine. This year I was fortunate enough to meet three hopeless fisherman that were steadily destroying a beautiful boat. I bought it for peanuts and it’s now my home. The previous year was spent on a tiny sailing boat. No shower. No toilet. No cooker. No running water. No standing headroom but lots of leaks ( trying to sell her if anyone is interested ) I spent a year on her so that I could take the job but now I’ve upgraded to my beautiful Dutch Cruiser my life has become much easier. She needs a lot of work and I will write about that another time. She is lacking a lot of luxuries but thanks to a lovely hidden treasure of a boatyard I can now wash in a gym amongst  body builders and shit in a portaloo amongst scaffolders  (if you read this, please stop stealing my bog roll!). It may not sound like luxury but it’s mine. I can stand up. I have a proper bed and a cooker and she doesn’t leak like a whores fanny.

I work hard and I live hard but I’m happy. The nights can be long and lonely especially this time of year but God invented Netflix for a reason. I’m past caring what people think of me, I rock up at fancy pubs in Surrey in my scruffs, with a face like a chimney sweep. Eat dinner alone and get noticed by people as the girl from TV, buts it’s warmer at the pub than it  is on my boat and someone who can cook gives me food, most of all I don’t have to wash up.

Anyway that’s everything in a very small nut shell but you’ve got the back story. Enjoy the rocky road of life and I’ll catch ya all on the flip side.

11 Replies to “My Grubby Self in a Floating Nutshell”

  1. Brilliant blog…. keep it up… I love it.

  2. Funny and raw. Gritty and almost romantic in a fucked up rustic pipe dream escape the rat race way.

  3. Very funny and very spot on! The educational institutions are not in the business of educating anyone. Good for you that you recognize your limitations and are working to solve them. Also good for you to have your own boat. Whatever “problems ” others may see, you smile because they are YOUR problems.
    When you own it, it changes everything. Please keep posting.

  4. Cool. Really Cool. Coming from a community of boat builders, large and small, I know that if you have a problem there are those of us out there willing to help. Just ask.

  5. OMG, you have stolen the heart of an old fart across the sea. Would love to share a pint with your grubby little self. Keep up the great work! I will be checking back.

  6. Brilliant, you write well..therefore you must be a good boatbuilder too!

  7. Actions, results and passion speak a lot louder than any fancy certificates.
    Loved reading your blog and looking forward to more.

  8. Jon-Lee Paul Butler says: Reply

    Showering in a gym with body builders and shitting amongst scaffolders, you could be living the dream of anothers fantasy? I have to ask, the saying, ‘thick as two planks’ must be created by a carpenter (hopefully the C word is not swearing in your line of expertise?)…..I never did quite understand the meaning?

  9. WOW!!! Go girl. I love your love for life.

  10. Jimmy walker says: Reply

    Hi Abbey, random question, what made you choose wordoress for blogging? Was it difficult to set up? Blog is great, impressive life and writing. But far too hard for most of us.

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