I did once wade thru the mud to get a close up look at one of his boats, Waihape.
Wow, that's a nice boat!
And the very best of luck with your restoration of Tigerlilly, Steven. I'm guessing a restoration might only be the equivalent of building three houses!
The boat is booked in with the house moving company, end of this month.
Wow, what an achievement, Steven! I believe the rule of thumb is that one large boat = the labour of building five houses. I take my hat off to you, sir!
South Sea Vagabonds is my favourite non-fiction book (narrowly beating out Raban’s Coasting and Orwell’s Paris & London). I first read it to Bob when he was three years old, and we have revisited it a couple of times since. A very worthy book to have inspired your life.
Did you ever meet Wray? I’d be interested to know what he was like in person.
Hunk on a bike. Case closed!
He'll be highly delighted by this description! I shall pass it on!
Any chance the retiring of his heavy duty tools could be linked to a return to writing, and work on volume two of his memoirs might be underway?
Your logic is clear evidence of a great brain at work, ChrisW!
Yes, you are entirely correct – I have the manuscript of his second book in my possession and am currently working on the cover (see above). I like the bottom photograph best, but I think the top works better on the front of a book.
I have now made five self-replies in a row, which makes me look convincingly like a looney (if any further evidence was needed).
Check out the “Expert” video…
Bloody hell, that was funny! Although there were elements of that company that somehow seemed vaguely familiar to me. And what a shame they didn't have an Excellence Manager to oversea the expert and ensure that his work had the appropriate level of excellence.
David: Buddy! I have a couple of real old curly coathangers that would fit perfectly in your house. I’ve decided they wouldn’t suit my house. Is black OK??
You've already given, Ross!
But... ahem... should you wish to give again (in the form of unwanted coathangers) then all donations would be extremely gratefully accepted.
As a fellow perfectionist I have to say, stunning work on the house, David
Please come and visit any time, Jolisa!
And if you stayed overnight then we could put a plaque in your bedroom, and milk money out of Cornell’s endowment for future maintenance. Surely they’d want a new central heating system in the Gracewood Wing, where one of their loveliest literary alumnae once slept?
Deborah, Lilith, bmk, RJW, and Chris W – what very kind people you are! It takes the edge of the fact that Keith Ng has just posted a searing piece of writing that makes my grumpy builder’s grumbling look a bit limp. Our Keith is always a must-read – but did he really have to post something so staggeringly good on the same day as mine?
I am actually enjoying this journey into the “forbidden zone” and playing with ideas that no-one would allow me to explore.
That's lovely to hear, Steve. And I must say the spiral staircase is a masterpiece! Not to mention the model you hired to insert their photogenic feet at the bottom of the shot! And a genius move to start by building yourself a brewery...
I am curious to know why you want to actually finish the house.
Yes, well, I accept that there will be ongoing minor work, but I'd just like to get the big jobs properly finished so that I can fit other activities into my life. It'd be nice if my fingers stopped hurting long enough to play my banjo again, for example.
Have I remembered correctly that you've cleverly built some big boats? It's similar to that feeling you get when you'd like to stop building (for a bit) and start sailing.
Thanks for all the kind comments, everyone!
Yes, I do plan to slow down fairly soon. I just need to reinstall the coal* range (for heat, cooking, and hot-water emergency back-up) plus get an emergency water tank hooked up before I can relax (I’ve already installed an emergency generator to power the house).
Then, of course, it’s pretty critical to finish painting the house, do the essential fences, plant the rest of the hedges and several hundred trees, etc.
Should be finished any moment now.
*Footnote: I’ll be burning wood, of course.