I cycled to Beccles to get some Tonkinoise, a special varnish I like to use on exposed wood on boats because of what it doesn’t do. Chiefly, it doesn’t bubble up if water gets under it and the UV rays from the sun don’t flake it off. Why everyone doesn’t use it I don’t know, but they don’t and I do. I cycled because I needed the exercise, but as often happens around here, the roads don’t go quite where you think they might. The main road does, but I want to cycle on the A12 the way I want to be fourteen again; I don’t.
Without going into too much detail it was without doubt the most rubbish Saturday night I’ve had in at least a year, which was fitting as it was the anniversary of something that doesn’t matter. Still upset on Sunday I messaged a friend who’d just posted the most smokingly sultry picture I have ever seen of her on Facebook. I thought she showed great restraint when she simply typed that her husband could see her screen. Fittingly, after what seemed like weeks of sun, Sunday was a cold, cheerless day.
But the sun was back this morning, along with some surprise visitors and after they’d gone I and I’d done some stuff to try to earn a living I went to almost finish off the boat and put the varnish on. I’d bought a litre, no more, not least as that was over £40 on its own. It was just about enough to do everything I wanted to do and a bit spare. The rails, the toe-rail, the cockpit, the seats, the deck even is now drying out. The deck drank the Tonkinoise up as if it hadn’t been oiled since the boat was built in 1992; I think it probably hadn’t. I had to thin the liquid out with white spirit to get it to flow before the deck timbers just drank it up in one go. And then I fell off the ladder.
Predictably, I was at deck level, so it was about eight feet to the ground. One unexpected benefit of these past five or so weeks of stretching and climbing and reaching is that I’m much stronger than I was before, so when I grabbed for the rail I’d just painted my arms held and I didn’t fall far. I slammed into the side of the boat instead, as well as the wooden ladder. I scraped a lot of skin off my right ribs and my left arm but I didn’t end-up on paralysed at the bottom of a ladder between two boats in an empty yard. Didn’t even swear. There isn’t really much point.
To cap the day off I’ve just walked into a cold shower thinking it was going to be hot and as I live on my own there isn’t anyone to make me a cup of tea and tell me it’ll be alright. Actually, that’s not true. As a Facebook message said, my friends love me, despite the fact that I ache everywhere above the waist from the fall. But sometimes, when you put some effort into something, it looks good in the end.