General thoughts about life in general. This is a very general sort of category.

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We are planing a maiden voyage tomorrow up the Thames and through central London. It has been a week of checking what works and what doesn’t and it has also been the hottest week of the year- Tuesday night was around 30degrees. All seemed to be progressing well until Pat sensibly decided to check the stern gland a few nights ago to see if it was watertight and it turned out not to be… NOT ideal, luckily the bilge pump works.

So I am currently sitting with my feet in a bucket of ice water watching Over the Hedge with Nina waiting for Stuart the local boat welder/general boat fixer to return with new material to pack the propshaft again. As I write Stuart pulls up next to us in a Tug owned by local Marine yard and jumps off carrying a scrappy looking bag with ‘packing’ in it. Not sure how this all works so I looked it up and still not much clearer.

But basically a lot of grease and rags are applied around the stern gland which is essentially a part of the propeller which is what moves the boat once the engine is on. Obviously if this is too watertight it doesn’t work as it needs to have some movement… Equally if it’s not watertight at all then the boat sinks.

I have packed life jackets and had various dreams about me jumping (7 months pregnant) into the river to rescue the 4 year old child. I have also bought croissants for breakfast and juice even though I’m aware of the high sugar content it contains.

Before

I’ve decided I just need to break the silence and start writing so I’m going to be gentle about it and start off writing about any old thing until I get back into the swing of it all and then I can write something more boat related again.  So, we spent some weeks of the winter away in Salvador, Brazil, and came back to mid-winter February NOT carnival and heat and fun.  So that was challenging.  And yes, I can’t complain because lucky old me to get to go away at all.  But damn.  That transition back between two such insanely opposite cultures is hard.  In order to get myself through I wrote a list of attributes of each country.  And it reads like a language exercise:   Brazil: Hot, England: Cold, Brazil: Bright Colourful, England: Dull, Monochrome.  Etc.  Obviously this is very much simplifying the situation, but on the surface it is distinctly bi-polar.  Which is probably why I am a bit too.

So I started acupuncture when I got back as part of being a better less bi-polar person.  It is run by an ex- Advertising Art Director who had some sort of mid-life crisis when she was working on a particularly full-on job and realised she was existing on Marlborough Lights, no sleep and Frazzles alone.  As good as Frazzles are they are Not a sensible Lifestyle Choice , so she had a life re-think and came to acupuncture.  Now a qualified therapist she runs ‘community’ acupuncture sessions in a church hall nearby and anyone can go, pay £20 and have an hour long session in a bed with a other pinned-up people all in a row next to you.  It’s actually very sensible and I am so far loving it. Not only because I like the actual effect it is having (placebo or not) on my stress levels (I’m a terrible hoarder of emotions) but because I love the idea of this ‘let’s all get together and be cured’ business.  ‘Get those needles in us and feel us better!.  And all in a cold fusty church hall.

What happens is that there are staggered start-times and you each come in, tell the acupuncturist all about your ‘isshoos’ or how your week has been and  then she lies you down and in they go.  What I like is that we all sit there listening to each other’s ailments and emotions and that feels just fine.  What we normally keep behind private doors flows about freely and its humbling and reassuring.  No one on this planet gets away with not feeling all these things.  These ‘deeply personal’ things.  Maybe if they weren’t so deeply personal we would all feel less traumatised by them.  Anyway, as a non-religious sort, I like this little slice of conviviality.

on the deck

…since your last post, its almost certain that you had a baby, got married and decided to start a company at the same time.  And then you discovered that your wordpress blog was about completely expired and you needed to spend 5 entire days updating and reinstalling and accidentally deleting it before finally coming to a compromise about what it could look like and how you can incorporate photographs.  Here’s to a new era!

In summary: the big TV made me feel confused and sad about the future of our boat lives (and indeed our non-boat lives). The slightly smaller TV is much better.  For starters it is not in direct competition with the woodburner (the big one was).  And now I feel back to normal again.  The one night spent with the big TV was eye-opening as it made me remember another way of living, which is not as good for me as this one.  AND I SAY BOO TO THAT! (Me haaaaarties)