“So what colour do you want me to paint it?” the marine mechanic asked us.
“Green,” John said.
“No,” replied our marine mechanic. “I’ll give you a red one.”
So we have a red transmission. John Darling and I have not watched enough episodes of ‘Downton Abbey’ – we have no idea how to direct staff. All boaters, however, know that marine mechanics fall into an entirely different category altogether.
One memorable evening our marine mechanic drunk-texted me. The poor man must have been wasted or desperate or both. Frankly, I haven’t been alluring in 20 years. Should I, I thought, play the ‘former Sunday-school teacher and presently happily married card?’ Clearly not! Marine mechanics in July are as scarce as mooring slips and many times more expensive. So I played along as charmingly as possible without actually giving away anything more than muffins and the afternoon he insisted I join him and my husband for lunch, I brought along my foot-and-a-half long knitting needles and climbed into the truck waving them conspicuously. He kept his hands to himself, bless his heart.
I have often been aware of the use of props in discouraging unwanted attention. Many years ago I went to a drive-in with a swain I wanted to slow down, and I kept my seat belt on, but I digress.
The upshot is that we have a beautiful new red transmission that works like a hot darn. Mark is a genius. I invited some bad-girl girlfriends to come for coffee on an afternoon we expected him, but they all chickened out on me. He really is a charmer.
So, thinking we’d blown enough money on our boat to have a successful summer, we set out for Montague Harbour, only to spend our first evening sitting in the dark in our main saloon with four flat house batteries. “Will the engine start in the morning?” we thought. We had a fifth battery – the starting battery. The minute it fired up the engine, we hauled anchor and got out of Dodge as fast as we could.
Then John Darling fixed the problem. He found a cable so rotten it boggles the mind to even think of it, and spent a day replacing it, and now we have a working boat, but I’m too exhausted to go anywhere.
So we’ve been dinghy-rowing and berry-picking, and I’ve been canning enough jam to sink the vessel. The sun pours down like honey, and family will come to visit.
Life is good.
May the blessings of Heaven be with you always.