... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

What a difference a week makes

Well, we came home yesterday, having been up with Chertsey for nine days - so a bit of a long week, and oh, how it seemed longer. Not in a bad way; not that time dragged - quite the reverse. I always find that it's the days when you do nothing that seem to be gone in a blink, while the more you cram in , the longer the day seems to stretch to accommodate it. As I sat waiting to leave, I was genuinely taken aback to realise that when we'd arrived the previous Saturday, the diesel tanks hadn't even been cleaned out; in fact, only one of then had been emptied. Yet looking back that seemed so much more than a week ago. And now the tanks are cleaned and scraped out, dried and hoovered, the outsides stripped, rubbed and painted with five coats, their inspection hatches refitted, and even a filler cap made for one of them (by utilising the screw fitting from the external filler which I had removed). The proper filler caps are beautiful to behold, brass with a lovely shallow groove across the top which accommodate the locking strap and presumably also acts as a key way. But I haven't got one of them. Still need to get something made for the other tank. But they're ready to go back in now (once I've got some more paint down on the engine room baseplate).

And a week ago, the only new paint in the engine hole was the red oxide below floor level - now it looks almost finished, although most of it will be getting a second topcoat. Not to mention the work that's been done in the hold, on the cabinsides, and more that I've probably forgotten already, and still we found time (and people) to drink enough beer to fill a large cardboard carton with the empties.

We'd kind of reached a natural break in the work, and it seemed sensible to give my cold-stricken lungs a chance to recover away from the dusty atmosphere. When we got back last night I reckon I was as tired as I've ever been in my life. But mentally I feel completely revitalised and able to concentrate on intellectual work with a quite unaccustomed vigour, as a result of having done something completely different for a week, being in the open air and the marvellous sunshine and doing actual physical stuff. So now it's nose back to the writing grindstone for a week or so, try to get the current project finished on this wave of energy, and then I'll be dying to go and get my hands (and arms and legs) dirty again.

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