Sunday, 6 November 2011
Two Lessons Learned
Anything and everything to do with plumbing is my weakest spot. and it simply leaves me cold. So I did what any normal person would do – I left it alone.
What I really wanted was for my friend Mark to just fix the whole damn thing for me.
‘Mark. I can't do plumbing. And I'll reward you handsomely', I pleaded, thinking of the decorating job I’d just been paid for.
'Sorry Neil - I'm too busy. And besides, it will help you to help yourself'.
That became LESSON ONE - help myself.
So on a blustery and dark mid-week evening, I dragged a long hose along the quay to the boat's filler cap and proceeded to half-fill the water tank.
I tried the foot-pump. Nothing happened. Not even a trickle.
After calling Mark yet again, I realised I was on my own.
‘You will have to take it all apart’, he advised, emphasising the 'you'. The prospect of ME doing THAT filled me with horror.
So, yesterday I told Jane I may be gone a while, and set off to the boat with a heavy heart. I ended up with a multitude of nuts, bolts, washers, rings, springs and bits of plastic all over the cabin table, with still more parts having fallen on the floor. I just stared blankly.
I needed to take a break and wandered across to Pete The Roof's boat down river, and told him of my problem. 'Now what you should have done was to make a drawing as you took the pump apart'. That was to be my LESSON NUMBER TWO. Er, thanks, Pete, I'll remember that.
I returned, trying to keep inwardly calm, and made a cup of tea. To my utmost astonishment, after cleaning up the washers, adding a little lubrication here and there and scratching my head some more, I somehow managed to put things back together.
I reconnected everything and pumped the pump. Like a miracle, water came out the tap, into the sink, down the plug-hole, and out into the river.
It might not sound like a big deal to anyone else, but for me it was a Major Achievement.
And now I can do the washing-up on the boat, so in celebration today I'm off to Tesco's. Never before have I been so excited by the prospect of purchasing a dish-cloth and tea-towel.
Posted by Neil Watson at 08:33