It’s late April 2021 and i should be working on the build shelter for my boatbuilding project – putting the roof on in fact, which isn’t a go because there’s a brisk and blustery easterly rushing up the valley and banging things around out in the yard. The roofing sheets are 12′ by 3′ corrugated plastic but awkward and floppy to handle on a good day, let alone when they are trying to behave like windsurfer sails ; yesterday i was trying to get one into position when a big gust came through and the roofing sheet whipped over , caught me in the face and split my lip…..time to stop and do something else awhile i think. One thing i must do today is spend a bit of time at the keyboard and get a Monday blog post done, for the first time in a year i’m down to zero posts scheduled because iv’e been outside in the garden or workshop so much….which is a good thing generally speaking.
This weather is almost the same as what i had this time 2 years ago when i made my cross-channel dash from Fowey to Brittany in the little Liberty except that there was much less of it forecast but in fact much more of it later on in that same passage…..that and strong spring tides made for the most uncomfortable small boat passage possible and i arrived in L.Aber-Wrach cold, sick and very beat-up by being knocked around in the boat. Then, last year at this time i was standing disconsolately outside the boatyard looking through the locked gate at my little Liberty just the other side of the fence and all ready to launch but for the ‘lockdown’. Looking back i have to wonder what good that actually did as i would have been on my own on the water and it’s now well proven that there’s almost no risk of transmission (Covid) in the outdoors. I find it almost unforgivable that the local authorities decided that it was within their power to close the entire river to boat traffic too…..what the f*** was that about and what exactly did it achieve Mr Queens Harbourmaster…..?
The ‘new normal’.
While i hate the term, which, like many other of the new terms parroted by the many, like ‘social distancing rules blah rules blah….i have also been finding a personal new way of life which has little if anything to do with the pandemic or more specifically with the over reaction to the Covid pandemic. Just in case you’re wondering i’m neither a Covid denier or a conspiracy theorist either – too many years working in intensive care watching people die on the end of a ventilator from unknown respiratory diseases is a surefire way of knowing that the disease is real but that also so is the degree of over-reaction and the over emphasis on one disease when all of the others are still killing more people every day with little apparent interest or reaction from the Coviderati.
My own ‘new normal’ then , lets not call it that so – my new pattern of life has emerged this spring in that iv’e gone from retired and moderately not social to completely asocial although not totally antisocial yet !….i urgently need a haircut as my mop has gone ‘full Boris’ and is irritating me so i need to make at least one trip into town to get sheared. Anyway, my new pattern of life this spring is based around having a decent sized vegetable garden to manage , a boatbuilding shelter to build and then an actual boat to build and the whole thing, all of it…has been so completely engaging that iv’e hardly spent any time at the keyboard tap-tapping the hours away.
This coming week should see the build shelter complete and signed off, iv’e then got one more pre-build job which is to block the public view into the shelter and yard from the road which runs past our place…we have a long road edge (100 plus feet) which is very public and i just want to screen the view slightly so that it’s less obvious what i’m doing under the ‘car-port’ , and that’s mainly a security concern because this area keeps getting spates of dodgy white vans cruising by and scoping out stuff to steal from gardens and driveways ; my ‘new normal’ also involves being very visible and observant about the local going’s on !
That’s then about it for April’s work, my intention was to get the shelter complete and i’m just about there with that, after that it’s on to marking out and making the patterns for the frames for the boat. Very fortuitously the shelter roofing panels, which are clear corrugated plastic, came in bright orange corrugated plastic covers and that i think will be excellent material for making the laying-out patterns with ; my plan being to make the patterns for all of the frame parts just to work out how best to use the plywood sheets when i do the actual marking out which will be a lot more careful and precise.