Tuesday, 27 March 2007

(*) Blanchedalmond Rosebud

A random thought... there seems to be a whole lot more females who are into the 'blogging' thing than guys at the moment, it seems... or perhaps it's just the ladies who respond more to 'Memes' than guys? Am I the odd one out? Let's hope so! heh heh
I think today I can talk more about my Sunday than I could yesterday... I was still feeling rather agitated.

Sailability on Sunday saw us at a slightly different venue, with a few less volunteers than we normally have. So our work was gonna be cut out for us right off the bat. The sky was overcast, the wind cold and rain threatened... we thought not many would turn up. Plus there were only two 'skippers' [myself as one] for the day, compared to our usualy four or five. The first few clients turned up, so we took them out first. No dramas, right?

Well... they were two BIG boys, both with Downs Syndrome. My chap blatantly refused to co-operate with any of my suggestions in steering... once he got on board, he took the tiller and the ropes [which is fine] - and refused to do anything that anyone else suggested! Needless to say, he thought that a crash-course heading straight for the rocks of the dam wall would be a good idea... he got pretty uptight with me for assisting him to steer the boat away from imminent danger, but his stubborn refusal to accept any advice or help saw us run firmly aground in the mud!

I was feeling rather uptight... I know it wasn't his fault. There was a third young guy out there in another boat, and he was sailing on his own. Scotty [who I sailed with at Belmont the other week] needed some one-up practise for his upcoming regatta in a week or two. The guy with me couldn't appreciate why he couldn't just go out on his own by himself. Well... running aground when you have a 35-kg centreboard immobilizing you in a fairly stiff breeze was a fairly good reason!

We got ourselves towed out of trouble harmlessly enough, and off we went again. The client flatly refused any sufggestions or advice as to help the boat sail a bit more efficiently, and anytime my hand moved anywhere near the tiller, he death-gripped it aggressively! He had the sheets [ropes] wrapped around his fist as well. Well - this wasn't going to plan at all!

I was still feeling frustrated and slightly agitated at his behaviour... but I knew he wasn't doing it on purpose. It's just his way... he wanted to be in control, so that meant he did everything on his own. But from my side, he wasn't totally able to make some informed choices as well as he might have hoped.

Yes, we ran around again. At my suggestion we turn right, he went hard left - just to be spiteful, I guess! heh heh. So, stuck in the mud the second time, we once again had to await the Rubber Ducky to pull us out of the mud...

"I want to go in now" he said. Then he said something that really stung. I knew I shouldn't have taken it personally, but it really hurt.

"I hate you..."

He was just speaking out of his own confused frustration at being unable to sail the boat on his own the way he wanted to. But, in my eyes, this first sail out of the day was an absolute fiasco disaster!

We got back to shore and he got out happily enough, but the others knew what was happening and let me take five minutes to 'have a coffee break" and get my self together again.

On top of all this, my experience was fine compared to my collegue, Mr Hoon, out in the other boat with the other 'large lad' with Downs Syndrore as well. His client went absolutely bezerk - and started PUNCHING him! And not just light taps either. Verbally and physically abused, Mr Hoon had to pyhsically restrain the guy for a few seconds until he calmed down, being in a position out on the water - there was nowhere else to go! He was also nearly about to run aground himself, but couldn't do anything about it at that moment. Eventually they got back ashore fine, but Mr Hoon was visibly shaken. Mr Hoon usually holds a 'stiff upper lip' and puts on a cool calm collected face in most situations. But I could tell that he was upset. Plus he admitted he'll have some pretty bruised ribs the next day.

Blimey! What a day!

Anyways, after we both had a short 'coffee break' to gather our wits about us once again [and this was totally a new experience for me... I've never had or heard of clients reacting the way these two guys did! Golly!], we kinda looked around - and there were about twenty people awaiting a sail! Gagh!

Well, we got a third sailor out in a third boat, but the so-and-so was so selfish that he took his own son out for 90 minutes straight while just Mr Hoon and myself had to try and cater for everybody else who wanted a sail. Needless to say, we weren't too impressed with this certain individual. He seems to do this kinda thing almost every single ferking time... arrives, commandeers a boat for a few hours, then pisses off without even offering to help set up or pack up afterwards. Grrrr... talk about abusing a free community service... anyways... there always seems to be one bad apple in every bunch... he's not a 'volunteer' as such... he just has no social skills to know how to accept anyone elses' opinion or advice. This so-and-so always seems to 'know what's best for HIM' - often at the risk of his own or his son's personal safety. Many many times he's been told "No" or "Please wait a few minutes", and lo and behold we turn around and he's going off doing the exact thing he's been politely asked not to. He just does not seem to get the mesaage that there are certain safety rules we MUST adhere to - but in his opinion shown by his actions, they just do not apply to him. grrr... whenever we see him coming, we grit our teeth and smile...

But the day didn't go smoothly from there either. "What else could go wrong?" I thought. But... a huge thick heavy patch of 'sea' weed, about 300 meters wide, 50 meters across and about 100 meters offshore, made sailing decidedly awkward. The thick clump of weed [which was NOT there the week ebfeore... I know, I went from a sail from this very spot last week and it was 95% weed-free! This weed just seemed to come out of nowhere - and so thick too!] made good effective sailing almost impossible, as it would wrap itself around the centreboard and rudder of each boat as soon as they sailed off shore. This made steering almost impossible... a huge chunk of heavy thick grassy-like weed hanging and trailing off the large boards that hang out from underneath your boat to help you sail straight and steer made it nearly impossible.

Normally in another class of boat, it'd be easily fixed... you can just quickly lift the rudder and cetreboard and clear the weed off that way and keep going hapopily. Unfortunately, this class of boat are designed with a massively-heavy lead-weighted centreboard to help keep it upright and prevent it from capsizing [and which work very well, I may add] - but they're impossible to lift when you're on your own out on the water - especially when you have a client with you! heh heh

So, there were boats going in all sorts of directions, some somehow able to miss the weed and sail away happily, and others struggling to simply sail in a straight line!

Out of six or seven sails I myself went out on with different clients, I had ONE weed-free experience! Gagh!

But, upon reflection - none of the clients saw anything particularly going 'wrong' with things, as the boats were going out and coming in again seemingly OK. But to actually sail - it was bloody awful! heh heh

I can laugh about it now, but on Sunday I was a stress cadet!

And yes, thanks to the weed, I managed to run my boat aground in the mud again, on the opposite shore. I simply could not turn around! I was glad to know that I was not the only person experiencing the same hassles... even the highly experienced Mr Hoon was finding massive problems dealing with the weed. Back at Carcoar, where we'd normally sail [if there was any water there], weed just isn't a problem, as there simply isn't any!

The poor Rubber Ducky only had one guy to operate it... normally we should have two, but people simply weren't available on Sunday, unfortunately. Poor Macca spent his day struggling to tow these clumsy weed-addelled boats about in a rubber ducky in a strong breeze... not always with much success! But full credit to Macca - he did a good job in pretty trying circumstances.

How can I describe what it's like to sail a boat when you have like 10 to 20 kgs of weed clinging underneath your hull? It's like driving a car and hitting a brick wall in 2nd gear... you can literally feel the boat shudder to a standstill. And trying to actually steer and move forward with the weed attached... would be the equivalent of driving without a steering wheel on ice! Ya, it was a challenge, to say the least!

At the end of the day, we managed to get everyone out for a sail, some more than once too [which is always great!] The weed remained a problem... no matter how we took off from shore, no matter in which direction, none of us could seem to miss this massive floating patch of clinging grassy weed! Gagh! Even the poor Rubber Ducky's motor was struggling, as weed kept clogging up the propeller!

By the end of the day, once we had packed everything away, we managed a last cuppa, and altho we were all feeling emotionally exhausted and rather weary, we still managed to laugh about it.

And yes, the two boys from our first sail of the day did apologise profusely afterwards. It wasn't their fault, you know. But it still wasn't the best way to start the day! heh heh

Something for Kate - The Official Fiction

A new blog for you to explore:

A new Meme for me to explore!

Random 10 - Week 98

10 songs that sum up your weekend...or were on your weekend playlist...and one picture that relates back. (oh, and if you feel like it, tell us why you picked the songs you did)

Oooh... good meme! Thanx!

  • "Rain" by The Beatles [1966] - Ringo's awesome drumming style and sound... who else would do a hi-hat fill? Yay! I've always enjoyed the feel of this obscure Beatles track - the B-side to "Paperback Writer"

  • "A Quick One" by The Who [1968] - Keith Moon's rolling rumbling fills [thanx to for the inspiration this weekend]. I was in Year 9 at High School when I first saw an ad for the film "The Kids Are Alright" on 'Countdown'. I'd never even heard of The Who before then. I wagged a day off school, took myself into Sydney city to the movies, was totally blown away by the film [a documentry], and have been an avid Who fan ever since!
    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

  • The Yardbirds "BBC Sessions" CD [1997] [Ya, I usually listen to whole albums than just individual songs...]. Thanx to 'Ajax' for this CD too... there are some interesting alternative versions of some of their classic songs. Where would have 'guitar rock bands' been without The Yardbirds?

  • "Drinking Muddy Water" by The Yardbirds - sounds like my sailing on Sunday! heh heh

  • "Baby Scratch My Back" by The Yardbirds - umm... I miss...

  • "I Saw Her Standing There" by The Beatles - a car mix CD of all their 1963-64 rock'n'roll stuff; good to rig boats by in cooler weather!

  • "Long Tall Sally" by The Beatles off the BBC CDs - a great live version with some of the same attitude as the one-take official version from 1964. They really could play!

  • "I Feel Fine" by The Beatles - one of their great classic songs and sounds; always somewhere on my playlist most weeks. heh heh

  • Bob Dylan's 1975 "Blood on the Tracks" album - something a bit different from one of the old avitars of Rock.

  • "Idiot Wind" by Bob Dylan - how I felt after a client went beresk on the water out sailing on Sunday... [sigh]

brilliant use of a ready-made art source! (Thanx to for the link)

"Let's Talk About S-E-X"

1. What is the longest amount of time that you've ever been celibate? Umm, right at the present time... it's been at least four years since... although i miss some personal intimacy some nights [and I wouldn't be human if I didn't, huh? heh heh], I'm happily single.

2. What amount of money would it take for you to NEVER have sex again? None. Life - take it as it comes, good and bad.

3. What is the youngest age that you can accept your own child having sex? Oh wow... morally I'd have to say 16, but in reality they may experiment from about 14... there's not a lot I can do about it. Boys will be boys... but at least they know to be 'responsible'.

4. Where is the most memorable place that you've ever had sex? Under the stars, conceiving my second son! Collaroy Plateau, Sydney, 1996! heh heh

5. If you could only have one - would you choose sex with different people or companionship with one person for life? One person for life, absolutely. Nothing is more satisfying than making love with your best friend. [sigh]

"Clothes Maketh the (Wo)Man"

1. What is the most useful article of clothing that you own? A steadily tattered yellow t-shirt I got when I was first seperated and living in Tweed Heads. It's loose, comfy - and definitely a home-only article! It's got lots of small holes all across the front. But it's kinda a bit like a "Linus Blanket" totem for me perhaps, subconsciously?

2. What is the most useless article of clothing that you own? Hmmm... a blue, red and white nylon-ish scarf! Why don't I just throw this piece of carp out...[reaches across to wardrobe and does same!] Done!

3. What is your favorite clothing accessory? Ummm... my small analoge watch, again found quite by accident buried in the sand at Rainbow Bay, Coolangatta five years ago.

4. What color dominates your wardrobe? Blue. Although Orange is my favourite colour, blue matches my eyes and goes with practically anything.

5. How many pairs of jeans do you own? Three - all of which fit comfortably, thank you very much! heh heh

Monday, March 26, 2007

1. What kind of automobile do you drive? A 2003 Mitshubishi Lancer

2. What kind of automobile do you WISH you drove? I'm very happy and satisfied with my car now. Tis the first 'new' car I've ever owned. It even came with its New Car Warrantee still intact! Golly!

3. When is the last time you bought a vehicle (new or used)? My current car I bought second-hand almost a year ago. Great practical car [for me] at a great price.

4. What is your color of choice as far as vehicles go? White! My current car is dark blue and shows up every speck of dirt and dust! Gagh!

5. Do you regularly have your oil changed? Absolutely, every three to four months. As a new car I'm gonna try and keep it up-to-scratch.

6. How long do you generally keep a vehicle before thinking about buying a new one? Hmmm... in the past it's been about 5 years plus.

7. What kind of automobile will you buy next? I have not even begun to consider thinking about that yet! heh heh

Subscribe Subscribe to this Blog


  1. Its always nice to find another Beatles fan playing our memes!

    Thanks for joining the fun at Music Memoirs :)

    The Meme Mistress

  2. doesn't sound like a whole lotta fun with your clients but it does sound full filling.

  3. I listened to the Beatles growing up. Thanks for stopping by my MM. Have a great week.

  4. I've been looking hard at the Mitsubishi SUV lately. It has the interior room and sitting room sufficient for my rather large wife to comfortably drive while still being on the more frugal side of the fuel efficiency curve. Oh well, it's always nice to dream.

    BTW, thanks for stopping by the Snooze. You asked where I'd gotten off to. Actually, we went to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts to visit my brother-in-law and his family. Sadly, said BIL is dying from Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA), a wasting disease with no known etiology or treatment. He'll be moving soon to a nursing home in a southern locale known for voodoo and beignets. We wanted to visit now while he's still "with it" enough to know who we are.