The plan was to glue the scarf joints yesterday but it was too windy. The thought of taking a ply sheet from where it’s stacked, in a small covered terrace, and transferring it to the workbench, brought to mind images of disaster.
I know what it can be like carrying a windsurfing sail to the beach, get the wind underneath it and you’re off like a dandelion seed, or worse show the leech to the prevailing breeze and the sail, suddenly transformed into a black belt judo expert, can flip over and pin you to the ground. It once happened to me while crossing a road; I had to negotiate a lamppost, a skip and a narrow gap between parked cars to access a zebra crossing. Turning this way and that in the strong wind a gust caught the leech. The sail flipped forcing me out on to the road and then wrestled me to my knees, I grinned at the po-faced occupants of a patiently waiting 4x4 then struggled to my feet but, like an excited child, the sail hauled me off into the cars parked on the other side of the road. I just had time to bark my shins before the rig, with the wind underneath it, tried to wrench me skyward. But before I got airborne the gust diminished depositing me back in front of the 4x4, which had started to pull forward. The driver, alarmed that a rubber-clad weirdo was trying to bullfight his car with a windsurfing rig, gave a blast on his horn, which, in true Spanish fashion, was taken up enthusiastically by the queue of cars behind. Taking advantage of the lull in the wind I made a sheepish retreat to a cacophony of blaring claxons.
My windsurfing has improved a lot since then and so have my sail carrying skills and while I can apply those skills to transporting ply sheets I didn’t want to risk being whisked off to the other end of the garden where Chief Vitalstatistix was hobnobbing with a glut of Barcelona bigwigs. And I certainly didn’t want to damage those fragile tapers.
I think it’s in one of the Coen brothers’ films that a character says there’s no image more undignified than a man chasing his hat—I reckon that a man chasing a cartwheeling sheet of ply probably tops that.
And today more wind. This is the Mestral that I wrote about a few posts back, bright, clean and energetic it sweeps across Northeast Spain never failing to instil me with a certain larkiness that I associate, even all these years later, with the last day of term. I could have gone windsurfing but apart from being short of time I’ve been investing quite heavily in my midriff over the past couple of months and I doubt I would fit into my wetsuit.
I was more than happy to get on with oars, which have been stacked in a corner turning yellow for quite some time now. Planed and sanded down to their final shape they’re actually quite slim and elegant; I just hope they’re not too light for the important role of powering me out through the waves to calmer waters where I can hoist the sails.