Some things have eluded me all of my life. Things like a massive lottery win, a seat in a competitive F1 car or even marriage (although that one doesn’t bother me so much!). This week, i finally did something that has eluded me for the last 24 years.
Those mechanically minded amongst you will be familiar with a specialist tool called ‘easy outs’. If you have ever used one, you will know that they never work. Over the last 24 years i have seen them used and used them myself without results. This week, saw the dawn of a new beginning. A sheared bleed plug on a centrifugal pump with a brass head!!! drilled it with a right angled drill, then easy outed with relative ease, i was so amazed – and so was the new engineer (he even photographed it as evidence). Certainly, i am sure the sucess was due to the material in question, the metalurgists amongst you will confirm this (Mr. D.M. Hewson in particular) maybe this is due to the molecular make up of such a soft metal. Either way, it leads me to believe i should buy a lottery ticket, write again to Mercedes McLaren and steer clear of drunken marriage proposals (that includes you too Lexa – although you are far enough away for that to be nice and safe!).
Now with the geeky bit out of the way, lets have some fun. I am hoping to be away from the boat finally by next weekend. I did make a very good offer to the captain about finishing my work during the coming week so that i can finally be discharged. Part of my offer was to return when the boat is ready to go back in the water and assist for as many days as the captain reguires. Curiously, he has still to communicate with me about this offer – it has been 6 days now !! Either way, my contract ends on the 14th of June – certainly after that date there will be no more!
Which leads me nicely into my little discussion about mainland europe. This morning, sitting in a slowly awakening La Ciotat, i remembered how lucky i am to be able to travel freely. Mainland europe has a certain something about it that england will never have again. I sat on the terrace at the cafè drinking my super strong blackie and watched the world go by. No sign of tension or unhappiness. Everyone that walked into the cafè offered me a ‘bonjour’ and none of them knew me. I cant imagine this happening in blighty. Young children, families, old folk all mingling together and talking freely with strangers across generations. I can’t imagine that there is an equivalent here to the UK’s ASBO’s, it just wouldn’t happen.
I have no doubt that england has small enclaves that echo this nice warm feeling but i bet you ten bucks that these are such expensive places to go to that they are reserved for the extremely wealthy – and even then, you don’t always have the weather for ‘al fresco’.
The best part of this mornings experience was that it reminded me of what is still to come. the summer that i have been waiting for, home in portugal. Being in a place where everyone knows everyone, and also speaks to strangers in the streets – it has a huge attraction about it. On top of that, there is the sunshine and the long sandy beaches to factor in too.
So, i may be hopping like a spring lamb for the rest of the weekend, until that is , i have to go back to work on monday. Hopefully on my final five day count down.
Better things are ahead of me though. I am currently trying to buy a car as i have been without one for over a year now. Those Jaguar S types are damn cheap!!! I am currently bidding on a 2003 model, fully loaded with less than 30,000 miles on the clock, and my current bid? 2800 GBP. And there are cheaper ones than that too but i have to have an automatic with cruise, and an added bonus of built in touch screen sat nav would be very useful too. Wouldnt that look funny with a set of Halford roof bars and a long board ??
I think i have enlightened you all enough for now. stand by for further updates this week