Saturday, October 30, 2010

the sky leans on me

This is a poem by Sylvia Plath, and if I had copyrights to it this is what I would post. But since I don't, disrgard the poem below.
It reminds me of Yorkshire, the wild big sky that, in its turn reminds me of some bits of Victoria Australia, which in turn remind me that I'm alive.
Look up Sylvia Plath and maybe buy a book of her poetry so I don't have to feel bad about infringing her rights.

'Wuthering Heights' by Sylvia Plath-

The horizons ring me like faggots,
Tilted and disparate, and always unstable.
Touched by a match, they might warm me,
And their fine lines singe
The air to orange
Before the distances they pin evaporate,
Weighting the pale sky with a soldier color.
But they only dissolve and dissolve
Like a series of promises, as I step forward.

There is no life higher than the grasstops
Or the hearts of sheep, and the wind
Pours by like destiny, bending
Everything in one direction.
I can feel it trying
To funnel my heat away.
If I pay the roots of the heather
Too close attention, they will invite me
To whiten my bones among them.

The sheep know where they are,
Browsing in their dirty wool-clouds,
Gray as the weather.
The black slots of their pupils take me in.
It is like being mailed into space,
A thin, silly message.
They stand about in grandmotherly disguise,
All wig curls and yellow teeth
And hard, marbly baas.

I come to wheel ruts, and water
Limpid as the solitudes
That flee through my fingers.
Hollow doorsteps go from grass to grass;
Lintel and sill have unhinged themselves.
Of people and the air only
Remembers a few odd syllables.
It rehearses them moaningly:
Black stone, black stone.

The sky leans on me, me, the one upright
Among all horizontals.
The grass is beating its head distractedly.
It is too delicate
For a life in such company;
Darkness terrifies it.
Now, in valleys narrow
And black as purses, the house lights
Gleam like small change.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Navigator work

The centreboard top has been laminated, with the top layer being made from teak, in a moment of weakness when I couldn't resist the stupid urge to feature some nice timber...probably a result of the priming of some lovely ply, and having to say a sad good-bye to the grain, the colour and the evidence of organic growth. This because our Australian sun is so rich in UV and so quick to degrade real lumber. So the varnished teak is a sort of rebellion against the sun, but I know it is a rebellion that I'll need to fight every season from now on. So much for a working boat sort of finish.
Seat tops are primed and I will probably install the side decks over the next few days.

I'm quite excited about the next book. It will be called 'Something about Navigator', and has written itself so quickly that my build can't keep up with it.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

An old friend moving on

This dear old Klotz violin came in the other day for a valuation. I have serviced it for years and have grown quite fond of it, but the fine lady who had owned it since the 1940's recently died and the family need to find it a new home.
The scroll (above) is particularly sweet, as is some of the repair work- including some repairs to the belly carried out in Melbourne in 1878...the instrument was over one hundred years old even then.
There are little features and signatures in a Klotz instrument that ring little bells in my head, because I was taught to make in the same tradition by a maker who was taught by a maker who was one of this violin's maker's descendants! ( I had to read that twice too)
I wonder whose story will be embedded in this little fiddle next?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

navigator cockpit seats

The weather allowed me to complete a wet on wet double application of epoxy on the seat bases- actually is should be called wet on tacky. Amazing that. I normally try to avoid tacky.

The rear panel of the seat base has been kept as a removable panel while I dither about the size and style of the well for the removable electric pod.

This seems like a terse and overly economical post. But I've started writing another book, and I always felt that I have a sort of 'word allowance' in my head, and I've exceeded that several times over this week.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

navigator progress

I hope you like to watch paint dry. The boat is at that point where a builder can turn up day after day, without a lot of changes to report. Coatings, sandings, primings and all...

The cockpit seat panels are both glued in now, and the doublers are glued in on the starboard side. I need to do some thinking about the installation of a modified Minn Kota electric outboard that will be made into a removable pod to live under the rear seat.

I know what I want to do, and pretty much how I'll do it, but I have to summon the courage to cut the shaft off a perfectly good motor, and cut a hole in the perfectly water-tight bottom panel of the boat.
It's all about the size and placement of openings, methods of fixing and worst of all: re-wiring the motor to make the speed control more efficient than the resistor system on it now.

Then I need to pick my moment to turn the hull and attend to the outer side of the planking.