Friday, 21 August 2015


I went down to the lightship this week, delivering the rope and a couple of huge pieces of herringbone patterned coir carpet for Simon’s living room. I am told I should not call it a salon because that is defined as “A salon is a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation”.  Well I am sure that is what it will be when Simon gets a bit further in the restoration.  A saloon is “A public room for ship’s passengers” – not quite appropriate – and the term wardroom is a little militaristic. So ‘living room’ will do for now.

    As an aside, the M6 is in a mess around Birmingham and it took 40 minutes to go three miles. It’s well worth paying the charge on the M6 toll road.  The M25 is awful – over an hour to do two miles – and the M1 has about 30 miles of 50mph restriction. What do we pay our road tax for?

    Back to the story.  The other reason I went down there was to deliver and try out my air compressor and de-scaler nail gun. It is hard, noisy work, but easier and quicker that the traditional chip, chip, chip with a hammer. The resulting surface is not bare metal (unless you really go at it hard and long), but all loose scale, paint and dirt is removed (Photo 1101).   

 Areas A and B and the ledge above B have been cleaned; C and D have not. Of course the debris has then to be removed, unless we want the bilges full of rust, paint and dust!

    Taking a break from the noise and dirt, I was pleased to see the above deck areas looking so good. The new wall-paper in the living room looks very smart and the decking also.  The starboard deck is a bit cluttered with useful bits and pieces, but the port side looks very ship-shape (Photo 1102).    

That ‘rubberoid’ playground matting is pleasant to walk on and protects the waterproofing underneath. At the stern Simon has finished his decking and he is not going to stain and varnish it because he likes the weather-beaten effect he got with just a sealant (Photo 1103)

    I took time out to relax on a recliner and admire the view across the estuary, now that the hangers-on have gone  (Photo 1104) and it is easy to see why Simon prefers living afloat to living in a London flat.  

 Last year he briefly sported a ‘full set’, which made him look very nautical and I did a portrait of him with a background of his upper deck and the estuary. If I say so myself, I think it turned out quite well  (Photo 1105).  

 He has been clean-shaven ever since, but that is another matter!