Bearing down

Before, looking a bit needy. The boat, not me.
Before, looking a bit needy. The boat, not me.

I went down to the boat again today to make a start on the renovations. I’m also trying to take my mind off the small and potentially fatal issue of how I’m going to get the boat around to Aldeburgh Yacht Club, which doesn’t sound too threatening in and of itself, but it means going out of the mouth of the Deben and into Orford Haven.

The entrance to the River Deben is protected by a shifting shingle bar that often has less than one metre over it at LW springs. The bar is dangerous in heavy seas and especially in strong onshore winds.

That’s the going out bit. About four miles north at Hollesley you have much the same thing, but in reverse.

The bar at the entrance to the river is formed by a shifting bank of shingle. Depths are subject to frequent change. Up to date local information should always be obtained before making an entrance. Broken water on the bar often looks frightening but is to be expected. Entrance should never be attempted in bad weather, especially during onshore winds.

This stuff can actually kill you. Either way, the boat isn’t going to make itself look nice so I thought I’d better make a start and get sanding down. I can’t find where my extension lead is, so I had to do it by hand. It didn’t take as long as I thought it would. I went around the whole boat with a scraper first, to get rid of any obviously flaking paint or varnish. There wasn’t much.

I got a phone call from a job agency about Tuesday, confirming. They were going to send me some background information too.

Then I made a start on the decks. Knee pads helped a lot, new protective gloves too. I got another phone call, from someone who made me smile and my heart lift. After we’d talked and got in that silly muddle about ringing off, each saying goodbye about three times like teenagers, although we really, truly aren’t, after I’d made the promise I always make to myself when that person rings me, if this job works out, I got back to sanding the afterdeck again.

After. About an hour and a half after.
After. About an hour and a half after.

I worked on this for about two hours, although with thinking breaks and phone calls and a trip to the shops for work gloves I was there for about three and a bit hours all told. The wind was coming up and it looked like rain with lights going on in the car-park by the station when I left. It was cold. I didn’t realise how cold I was until I walked past my car, not thinking. Careful.

I got fish and chips as it’s Friday and went home to eat them. Opening my email the agency has sent background information about the job I’m being interviewed for on Tuesday. I ache from sanding and bending and kneeling; I’m not used to this. The company has also sent a test. Literally. They sent it at 17:23 on a Friday. They want it by 23:00 Sunday, which seems remarkably precise, so they can have it for first thing Monday and review it for the interview. Part of me says they’re joking. I don’t even work for them yet and they want me to start on something through the weekend when they’ve known about this for two days. I can’t do it tomorrow because I’m helping someone demonstrate how to smoke fish, and although that sounds a bit optional I said I’d do it, so it isn’t. That’s important to me. Sunday. I’ll have to do it on Sunday and not go and work on the boat. I’m also supposed to be going to London on Sunday because I have to go and follow a tour guide around all of Monday, starting 0830 in Wembley.

I like jobs where you can see what you've actually done. The left half of the picture for example. Starboard side if you insist.
I like jobs where you can see what you’ve actually done. The left half of the picture for example. Starboard side if you insist.

But it’ll get done. Things do. And I want this job so I can keep the promise I made when I rang off on the phone. And anyway, the boat is getting done. The paint is all ordered and on its way and if the varnish isn’t because I want to use Tonkinoise instead, although¬†what that is will have to be left until another day because I’m tired now, then all of that can be done when it’s actually in the water. And I can decide whether to get absolutely all the old varnish off or just re-varnish over the top of it later as well.

Assuming I survive the trip round to Aldeburgh. If I don’t then it won’t matter anyway but that’s going to be fine. The fish will get smoked. The test will get done. The sound edits for a demo I was supposed to finish today will get done soon, possibly on Sunday on the train. That would work. The interview….I will just have to do my best. ¬†Today’s results made the job worth doing. Tomorrows – well, tomorrow is another day. Today is all you ever have. My day has been a happy one. I made somebody else smile too. I could hear it in her voice.


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