Back to the normal world
The Normal World is out there.
We have spent the past two weeks passing along a tunnel, I thought as I poked my head out into the cockpit this morning to be met by sunny blue skies, for a short period anyway. Rob is now back on board and we are climbing quickly back to our normal lives, Whangarei Bound as we are.
Alicia climbed bravely up Zoonie’s ladder this morning for the last of her two visits supervising me, in my role as Gladys Emanuel from Open All Hours, feeding Rob intravenously with his antibiotics. That done Rob decided the game plan for the day would start with a gentle walk around the Hatea Loop, stopping on the quay for a restful coffee.
We wondered, quite seriously, if our fortunes have changed for the better because a sparrow had just pooped on my hair.
When Rob was taken poorly I developed tunnel vision which focused just on him. Once safely under medical care in hospital I remember getting back to the marina after dark and tripping over a kerb, falling flat on my face on the gravel yard ground and finding the incident amusing as I scrambled up brushing my hands together and sorting myself out for fear someone would see me. Adrenalin kept me going for the first 24 hours and then I settled into the easy routine of visiting Rob twice a day with the added variety and challenge of getting Vicky through her WOF before he came home.
Her problem was headlights. Obtaining replacements that came up to standard was the challenge. Soon we had some but one did not match the light output of the other. With a little imagination the garage tried putting a more powerful bulb in the dimmer side and that worked. They also located the cause of a major coolant leak.
The liquid was reaching the water heater in the dash board and then bypassing it and pouring under the carpet on the passenger side and pooling in a pink shiny lake on the rear footwell. The garage bypassed the water heater, joining the two open ends of the pipe under the bonnet, so now we have no heater (well we never did as white vapour would pour into the car if we turned the heater on) but hey we don’t need one either. The pink lake has still got to be cleaned up though.
Everyone and their dog were on the loop walk today and we met the lady we had sat in front of at the Lions v Barbarians match all those weeks ago. She’s on to the national rugby results now with just as much passion.
Remember the duckling with the gammy, upside down leg that I mentioned back when we first arrived here? Well he’s got himself a mate and we were tickled pink to see him thriving against all odds. It probably helps that they mate in the water!
Kind natured Bruce finished cleaning and sanding Zoonie’s hull on Friday so this week, in between the wet weather fronts, he will be able to prime the waterline, having sanded the old boot topping, and then apply the coppercoat. We cannot wait to get a proper rounded covering of this excellent anti-fouling onto her hull and finally call that long drawn out job ‘done’. Then a week later we can launch her and deal with any leaks that may or may not appear.
I will give Rob his last anti-biotics on the 18th August and then he will have a daily blood test every other day for three sessions. Then a few days later, at the end of August, he will have another TOE. Finger crossed the bacteria cottage gardens will have gone, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Thank goodness for our reciprocal health agreement to pay for the treatment he had in hospital and our travel insurance who have taken over other costs and our travel arrangements back to the UK. They are in direct contact with Rob’s doctors at Whangarei Hospital.
Rob’s first day back was a busy one. After a short walk in town to the Turkish Restaurant where we supped real strong Turkish coffee, licked our honeylips while chewing the flaky baklava pastry and reminisced on our long weekend in Istanbul, we returned to the marina to transfer the boxes of Coppercoat into Bruce’s car to make room in the back of ours for the four batteries that we took to the scrap yard for a profit of $100.
Mo agreed to help with the batteries for the standard boatyard currency of Steinlager Classic. He hoiked them onto the side-deck by hand and then employed the generous laws of gravity to help them to the ground 10 feet below.
Now Mo is a strong but not a big person and we shared a fear that gravity might take over as the battery disappeared over Zoonie’s topside, so I was given the dubiously enjoyable task of holding tight onto his leather belt and leaning backward against Zoonie’s coachroof to counter balance the combined weight of Mo and said battery. This we did four times and by the time we had finished I was getting quite used to holding onto the pants (U.S. meaning) of a man who was not my hubby!
It’s a funny thing about independence that before Rob was ill there were many day to day tasks of shore living (driving, ordering and paying for things, carrying money) that Rob had taken over from me after we got together on this trip. Suddenly, with his hospitalisation, it became necessary for me to take them all back on board and it gave me much delight to realise I could still not only do them all but also enjoy doing them all. I still hold the car key! For how much longer do you reckon?