May be it’s an overstatement to say we were having withdrawal pangs from being away from Jami JJ, but it would be fair to say every time we spoke on the phone as a family – we’d soon mention her.
Saturday couldn’t come fast enough; especially as I mentioned in my last post, J1 has pulled a blinder.
A couple of weeks ago, J1 attended a course run by Jenni Rayment in various sewing machining techniques. While all of these were impressive, the one which blew J1 away was how to do piping. The reason this became even more exciting for us all was the state of the seats in the cockpit. This became a problem of our first outing as while I had some trousers which dried rather quickly, J1 was wearing jeans. Both of us had rather wet rears thanks to the sodden foam; yet at least mine dried in time to get down pub, rather than run the risk of ‘trench bum’.
J1 is a whizz with anything associated with fabric, so before we left Jami JJ last time, we removed the starboard seat and back rest. J1 took these with her when she went to visit her parents last week. In that one trip, she managed to get Father-in-law to cut out new baseboards and called into the shop along from father-in-laws, Sarum DIY, to have new (and firmer) foam cut and find a fabric to cover our new seats with.
When I returned home on the Friday evening, I varnished the baseboards to give them an enhanced durability (given how rotten the previous boards had been) and J1 moved to her favourite part of our house – her sewing machine. Before you knew it we had two new seats and back rests.
With eager anticipation, we charged up to Jami JJ on the Saturday morning and joyously removed the old seats, cleaned down the fibreglass and celibrated with a slap up sandwich around Jami JJ’s table. I can’t explain why, but eating anything aboard her somehow tastes three times better than anywhere else.
Having touched base with the resident boat along our stretch of the Wey and Goldalming Navigations, we discovered there was a Focus Do It All close by and we managed to buy the some brass screws and washers. I already had what I considered a decent tool kit aboard, and my Father-in-law had passed on a hand operated drill J1 used to use when she was a girl. So, I didn’t need anything else – right?
Wrong! I haven’t put in a decent sized brass screw in ages. In retrospect, I made two mistakes. I didn’t make my pilot holes in the baseboard big enough – making putting in the screws far too difficult, especially given the position I had to get into! The second mistake was thinking the screwdriver I had was adequate. It was from a small portable tool kit. What I now realise I needed was a decent ratchet screw driver like the many I had at home; this way I would never have ripped the cross-heads off of the screws.
We were attending a wedding reception in the evening, so our time aboard was limited. But at least we got an idea of what the seats are going to look like once I take the right tools!
But we’re going back in just over a week’s time! I’m due another week of leave; so after visiting a relative up north for a couple of days, Ja, Mi, J1 and J2 are going to be aboard again.
This time, we’ll fit the seats, have the steering repaired and make a couple of other changes we’ll tell you about later.