Wednesday, 29 October 2008


Do you ever get the feeling that some things in your life have to happen in the “in-betweens” -- those times when you don’t happen to have something urgent that has to be finished right then? I often find this to be the case, especially with a family. Doubly so if you are renovating an old house and triply so should you be as foolish as to try to do anything else with your life.

It’s only nine weekends till the end of 2008 and the deadline for completion, which means seven more weekends to work on the house before the council effectively closes shop for Christmas. The new landing for the back step is finished and I weather-sealed it this weekend. The rotten floorboards in the living room and bedroom have all been replaced. The soffit boards were undercoated on the weekend and will have to be top-coated by me then installed by Mr Blithe. I can paint but I avoid anything that involves a nail gun. Apparently my dislike of firearms extends to devices that shoot nails at high speed into things (there goes my carpentry career). Things that involve nail guns and heights are even worse. Bags of insulation await installation and a myriad of small jobs need completing. After soffits, insulation and re-hanging the relocated front door, the next big task is flooring and of course, more painting still to be done. I am embarrassed to tell people that I am still painting (another career path gone).

Between the house and unwell children, my writing and blogging has suffered. I’ve been trying to write one passage for about a week now. This morning finally settling into the swing of it, I was disturbed by a sick Blithe Girl needing sympathy. Other mornings it has been Blithe Boy waking up in the early morning brilliant light and urgently needing someone with whom to play Lego or cars. On a positive note, I do finally have a title for the book and if I can get through this one passage, the ship can arrive in Moreton Bay and life in the colony can start for the Jaeckels.

In other in-between moments, I’ve also been following the path of the Spirit of Mystery as it sails from Cornwall to Melbourne. You may have seen on the news that British sailor Pete Goss and his crew are attempting to recreate an 1854 journey from Newlyn in Cornwall to Melbourne, Australia. Like the original crew, Goss is sailing a 37 foot wooden Cornish lugger and he and his crew will be navigating by the stars.

The history is fascinating. Seven blokes in a pub in an 1850s Cornish fishing village talking about the gold rush in Victoria and deciding that as they owned a fishing boat, they should simply sail to Melbourne (as you do). There’s a blog of the current trip and a tracker to follow their route. Take a look – you too might be fascinated.

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