Saturday, April 10, 2010

Paint the town beige, baby

Despite my tendency to chat to strangers in the street or hurl annoying drunk men's shopping bags out of bus doors in order to get 'em out of our faces I'm not really a very adventurous person.

There. I said it. I can admit it now, you see, because I'm in my forties and my idea of flying by the seat of my pants is if I consider drinking a cup of coffee after 2pm or decide to walk around the house without my dressing gown on.

Or when I suggested to Love Chunks that we ~ahem~ enjoy a bit of horizontal folk dancing at half-time during last night's telecast of St Kilda versus Collingwood because it was not quite 10pm and if we waited until the end of the game we'd both be too tired and we both knew what a busy Saturday we had ahead of us. Plus, he'd be snoring and I'd be silently farting with my arse indelicately hanging out of the side of the bed so that it wouldn't get trapped under the blankets and make its way over to LC's nasal cavity.... yeah, it's a pretty wild life I lead.

So when we went to Lakes Entrance for the Easter weekend, there was a fairly clear expectation from Love Chunks that we'd actually, well, do something on the lakes. In a boat.

No, not nookie you rude reader, but hire a boat and drive around the lakes, disembark a few times and generally enjoy the scenery and perhaps drop a line in. That's fair enough, isn't it?

I wisely left my camera at the beach house on boat day because I was afraid of getting it wet and when I saw our boat - 'Gummy', I was very proud of that decision. Gummy had 'For Daylight Hours Only' stencilled on his* side and was merely a square tinny with two shoebox-sized window guards for the two front seats and a half-hearted tarp masquerading as a canopy on the top. Berthed at the swank Five Knots marina, it was the smallest and ugliest vessel in the entire postal district.

Still, Love Chunks was not deterred. He dutifully listened to the hirer's instructions on the throttle and dodgy steering and his blue eyes twinkled in amusement when ten year old Sapphire scoffed at my insistence on wearing a life jacket.

Off we puttered. Out of the marina the sea was choppier than we thought and on my side - the LEFT side, stop telling me it's PORT or STARBOARD, if left and right is good enough for land, as well as front and back why do we have to have another stupid language for the water - the sea spray blasted straight into my grimacing face.

Ian was sniggering at me, seated and sheltered comfortably behind LC who was driving with a huge, contented smile on his face. "ISN'T THIS GREAT?" Love Chunks mouthed over the deafening roar of the outboard. He seemed to be utterly dry and completely impervious to the stiff breeze.

I, on the other hand, felt like a malevolent crew member had planted themselves directly in my field of vision and were determined to hurl buckets of brine directly into my eyes and hasten the self-pitying shivering by switching on an industrial-strength fan before hurling the next bucket.


Er, thanks for that, dear friend. Over the course of the weekend my chin - Roger Ramjet-sized at the best of times - decided to grow a K2 on the left hand - no, not friggin' PORT - side. All conversations I participated in were between the other person and my pimple as it commanded the attention of everyone it overshadowed.

(In fact, Sapph here is considerately shielding it from view in this family portrait).

After an hour of teeth-chattering, salt-blindness and shrinking further and further into my lifejacket and behind the brim of my hat in a meditative state in which my mantra was 'I'm at home, I'm warm, I'm dry', we finally pulled into shore. Just to have the motor switched off and be out of the breeze was heaven. I found LC's jacket and Bill's beach towel and lay in the sun, curled up like a cat until my fingertips were no longer blue and I'd regained enough feeling in them to unclip the lifejacket.

Sadly, our lunch was super-chilled by our too-bloody-effective esky, so I munched disconsolately on a frosty ham and salad roll with an icy apple slipping from my cold, clawlike and ineffective fingers. There was a tiny bit of revenge for Ian's cheekiness because he had to find a spot to drop off a couple of Andrew Bolts at the pool on a thin sliver of sandy island that was visible from very angle and hosted only one-foot high salt bush as modesty cover.

It was soon time get back onto Gummy but this time I was prepared. Funnily no-one else wanted to sit in my seat, so I found two spare life jackets that I put my legs through and another one that I wrapped around my left arm like a shield against the water and the wind. The roar of the outboard was slightly more bearable because at least my body wasn't miserably shaking to its rhythm this time.

Five long hours later and Love Chunks reluctantly puttered us back to the marina. "What did you think of that, Sapph?" he asked our daughter, his eyes shining in joy.

Her eyes mirrored his own. "I loved it Dad, I really loved it."

He turned to me, head buried in the backseat of the car struggling to find my polar fleece to put on top of his jacket. "What did you think, Kath?"

I was stuck. Do I spoil his day and say that I'd rather be stripped naked and whipped with kelp by angry sailor or lie? Let him know that he had a wife with about as much interest in boats as he had in ABBA and knitting?

"You drove really well, love."

* I don't care that boats are usually named after women. This one looked like a busted sandshoe with an attitude problem.


Margie and Edna said...

Wise choice. Discretion is the better part of valor, you know. ;) Love the picture of your daughter shielding your chin!

--Beth (aka "Edna")

ThirdCat said...

you're are a better partner than I am.

Hate being cold. Hate being wet. Being cold and wet? Would make me grumpy and selfish and I would take it out on the mister.

nuttynotons said...

well I have to say that when you look back in afew years time you will laugh at your little adventure, I am sure you exaggerate about the size of your Zit after all Saph covered it with her hand!

Vanessawith3 said...

My eyes flicked to the photo before I had read about the zit and my first thought was "What a lovely pose for Sapphire - lovely family shot". Brilliant idea anyway to hide the zit. What is it with being 40+ and dealing with zits and wrinkles????

JahTeh said...

Take another block of Lindt and lie through your teeth. At least you got there, the ex and I used to be fighting before we left our street.

Baino said...

Andrew Bolts! Hahaha . . .nah cold days on the water are no fun! I love the way you manage to improvise such sartorial elegance! Shame you didn't take your camera!

Deep Kick Girl said...

You are so diplomatic. I would have just said it as I found it (and would probably have kept saying it). I do love the odd day out on a boat though - but generally stay away from dinghies.

You are also a very considerate wife... squeezing in that bit of special husband and wife loving at half time, only a footy fanatic would understand the true significance.

Kath Lockett said...

...interesting that only the venerable Deep Kick Girl appreciated my half-time offer!

Pandora Behr said...

I wish I had your diplomacy Kath - still sounds like a lovely day out. What a great thing to have such an adventurous daughter - I could see myself whining all the way there and back.

lc said...

I appreciated it.

And am grateful that you didn't suggest that the 1st or 3rd quarter would suffice...

River said...

Zits, Kath? Maybe you should lay off the chocolates?
As for going out in a small boat, you're far braver than I, that's for sure. I prefer something Ferry sized, with life rings and plenty of other passengers to jump in and save me should I fall overboard.

Rowe said...

What a beautiful ending, Kath. I"d have been biting my tongue real hard not to say what I really thought about a cold boat trip - 5 hours later. You did well to endure the suffering and then tell hubs he's a good driver. Love the family photo, too. Thanks also for paragraph three, what a hoot!

Lidian said...

That is a terrific picture of you all!

I am awful on boats; we went on a whale watch in a tiny boat off the coast of Nova Scotia 6 years ago and the tour guide said cheerfully that ONE person always got sick on every trip.

So out we went and everyone was fascinated, listening to tour guide lecture, and, um, watching whales. Everyone except one person.

Guess who...

We'd actually booked a second whale watch a week later, on a bigger boat, in the St Lawrence River this time. I sat inside not moving for 4 hours, while my dear family ate loads of snacks and raced around the boat, seeing all kinds of great things. But at least I wasn't sick. So, a triumph of sorts.

Kath Lockett said...

I'm not sure if it's divine intervention or not, but instead of going away, THE ZIT (yes, it deserves capitals) has got bigger.

...and Love Chunks keeps telling me that boating really IS fun when there's no water splashing and no wind. Which, in my limited understanding, is NEVER, isn't it?

Benjamin Solah said...

Oh the Andrew Bolt line made my freaking day.