First and foremost, ” Happy Birthday Mummy!”  Today my Mummy is 95 and a finer person I have never met.


God put on a full moon in recognition.


I celebrate her birthday by struggling with my centerboard.


It will not come down.


Moth and rust doth corrupt.

I belatedly read the boat’s instruction manual with due care, to find a sentence that mentions a center board retaining pin.  This holds the plate in the raised position.


This is it. It is found in the most obscure cranny of the boat and even during very thorough cleaning, I never came across it.

I am very excited by this discovery and fantasize about sliding the pin out like a well oiled, er something, er can’t find the word, and the plate drops. Of course it refuses to comply.

No slide out retaining pin = no centerboard. No centerboard = no sailing boat. Strong juju.

I think I will have to drill it out unless the esteemed Neil Thompson Boats can suggest a solution.

Anyway, I spend the rest of the day scraping and sanding off anti fouling paint from the bottom of the boat. My brother Ian has likened this activity to ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’  He is right. I am filthy, aching and covered in a layer of blue dust. I wash off the worst at the boatyard and head home.

I notice huge crowds outside the bull fighting arena in Ishikawa and pop in.




His mind is elsewhere


Yay, a winner. Notice tiny boy on back of mad bull.


Do you like sponge cake?

I finally get home and shower. I am covered in blue dust despite efforts to clean up at the boat yard.



As a child, with my Mummy, one of my clearest memories is the burning pain of getting soap in my eyes. It seemed to happen every time I washed or took a bath and so I now naturally shy away from such activities.  As I shower off the blue dust, I realize that I have not had soap in the eyes pain for years. Have they removed the pain stuff from soap and shampoo?

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1 Response to Bluebeard

  1. calderi says:

    Hmm – loads of WD40 (plasticine cup?) and something like a car jack, working in reverse as it were? A screw mechanism.

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