Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Fiddling on the Roof........

This weekend saw me and Mark do some Epic Feats of Engineering.... and all in the searing heat.....

So, were we hanging James upside down over nb Irene's engineroom from our improvised engine hoist?


Were we getting low-down and dirty in the bilges, re-routing fuel lines, engine electrics and the raw-water cooling system?


Were we carefully shimming the fab new Vetus engine mounts to the correct height?

Were we buffalo......

We were going to do all the above, but got.......... waylaid......

I went for a drink with my colleague Jane from The Hole Making Shop on Friday night. (It had been a bit of a week, and we sorely needed it.....)

Anyway, the conversation turned to what our plans were for Saturday....

"I've got to do me shed," said Jane, more woebegone than her impressive consumption of Aspall's finest should have allowed.

"Oh," says I, "what needs doing?"

(Now at this point, I can see I rose like a trout to the fly.... but there you go. 'Never leaving a damsel in distress' is part of The Code of the Wittses......)

"Well," says Jane....... and embarks on a description of fascia boards held in by 4" screws set ten years ago and well-nye impossible for a Lady of Quality to shift.....she didn't mind doing the rest, you understand, just needed some bloke-heft to get her started.

A quick call to Dodge ensued....

('Dodge', by the way, is Mark's army nickname. It was given him for his uncanny ability to dodge bullets and nasty loud bangs while putting himself in harm's way in the likes of Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and Iraq........)

He was very much up for having a quick bash at the shed then scooting round to Alan's for a day's engine fettling.

So I picked him up at 0800hrs and of we went. I dropped him at Jane's then made an abortive attempt to get the exhaust fixed on The Hairdresser's Car.... (An attempt that ended in frustration and failure as the garage had ordered a part for a 3-door and our's has five..... Yes, I know, it wouldn't have been too hard to actually count them, rather than rely on what the DVLA's computer says, but such is progress........)

On returning to The Castle (Jane's house is rather large: there is a moat at the back. She says it's a field drain, but who's she trying to kid? It's a moat, okay?), Mark informed me that all engine fettling was cancelled forthwith, as there was no way he was going to leave Jane working alone, at height, humping great 45 kilo rolls of roofing felt about.....

I know Mark well enough by now to tell by the set of his jaw that there was no contradicting him. I wouldn't have anyway, as I was quite happy to do some roofing.... make a nice change from BMC 1.5 fitting, and would probably be a bit of a lark...... Jane tried the 'oh you can't possibly' routine, but it didn't work.

So we set to. In the heat...... Blimey, was it hot on that roof. Mark got the job of being up on the roof itself, while I passed tools, fetched, carried and transported the aforementioned rolls of roofing felt up ladders.

What idiot called this stuff 'felt'?

There is absolutely nothing, even remotely, felty about it!

It is forking heavy!

Indeed, I surprised then both with some choice epithets in my native demotic Latvian when hauling the last roll onto the roof......

(Sorry, Auntie Mary......)

Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is as a work in progress:

Yes, I know, less 'shed', more 'aircraft hangar', isn't it?

The bit we did on Saturday is on the right.......

It eventually got too hot to handle the felt, so we knocked off, repaired aboard Pippin, and sailed to The Bridge pub at Clayhithe where Jane treated us both to supper. Jackie had spent the day on Holkham beach with Rhoda and we all met up back at the mooring. (You will note from that last bit who is the brains of this outfit.....)

We popped round again early Sunday morning to do the otherside and finish off. This didn't go quite according to plan as we still needed to take frequent breaks to rehydrate. So I went back on Monday to get the job to a point that Jane, who is supremely capable and no-one's idea of a feeble girlie, could finish it off herself.

Fiddling on the Roof? 'If I Were A Rich Man', I think I would have paid a roofer to do it and taken us all to the beach........



  1. Air craft hanger! TOO RIGHT!

    I love the way you write.

  2. Aw, thank you Bones!

    Unsolicited testimonials from Famous Journalists always gratefully accepted......


  3. You will have to see if you can fine one...!

    1. When she turns up again, I'll be sure to let everyone know.......


  4. Esprite de corps will always see you through....