Saturday, November 10, 2018

To Lose A Precious Friend...

2018 hasn't been the best of years for me. It happens, everybody has to go through heartache in life it seems to be a requirement.

Relationship breakdowns are never easy regardless of the reasons...I am one of the unfortunate people who take a while to get over things, but then that's just me.

The shock of very nearly losing Jan one of my closest friends scared me witless, happily she is recovering, slowly.

To now lose another close friend has saddened me beyond words..

My lovely genuine Kind Wizard has died, I can't quite get my head around just how quickly he has been taken from us due to that dreaded disease, cancer.

He shielded me from it for such a long time, as was his way. He didn't want his close friends knowing just how bad it really was to save us the heartache I guess. What a kind thing to do, but then that was him all over.

He was the kindest most genuine person you could ever wish to meet and I am honoured to have known him, my only regret was I hadn't met him earlier in life. Jerry was the kind of friend everybody should have but not everybody is as lucky as me and I never took that fact for granted.

There are very few people who know me inside out and what makes me tick, in fact, I don't think anybody knew me as well as he did, because he took the time to get to the bottom of this loose cannonball, who very rarely knows her arse from her elbow a lot of the time, he seemed to get how my crazy mind worked. He just knew when I needed his support when going through tough times and he would be there unconditionally as I know he was for his family and other close friends. What made this even more special for me was he didn't make friends easily, a fact he told me himself. I have no idea why but we became firm friends over the years and it was comfortable, it was a safe place for me, I knew he would never judge regardless what situation I got myself into, and believe me we went through a lot of those situations.

Every time I lost my way for whatever reason he would be there. His emails were a constant source of reassurance a constant reminder that I was nuts but not a bad person just a crazy mixed up one, he got that, he got me. He could send an email that consisted of one sentence which would tell me all I needed to know, another person would have to write a page to get the same message across but he just had that special gift. He told it as it was, straight to the point no frills and I loved him for that.

We had a special bond and it was lovely. He hated it when I was sad and he would be here like a shot to sort my head out and he did on so many occasions I will truly,truly miss him for that.

We shared a wicked sense of humour too, we laughed at the daftest things. I would wind him up mercifully for being an Ebay Junkie, he was a sod for ordering the most diverse things off there, so random it would boggle my mind and made me giggle on many occasions, it got that way that nothing he ordered would surprise me in the end! Just like his one sentence emails that would arrive at the oddest of times and would make me laugh out loud and wonder what planet he was on that particular day!! We both had that in common I am quite often on another planet, hard for people to grasp but Jerry did.

He was the most eccentric person I knew and it was great, he fascinated me the way his mind worked, he would delve into history and try and make sense of it all. We had lots of conversations about that, a lot of which I didn't understand but he would explain in a way to make it easier to get where he was coming from, he was passionate about the things he looked into.

The closeness he had with his family was a pleasure to behold and I was very honoured to be included for meals with them, always great company and I was always made to feel they really wanted me there. Such a lovely bunch of people so easy to get on with and very genuine which can be a rarity in this world.

As sad as I am at losing this lovely friend their sadness must be off the scale, Jerry was such a huge part in their lives and I know wholeheartedly how much they will miss him. They will have so many lovely memories of him enough to last many lifetimes but he will be missed every day. I hope in time,  the memories will make them smile rather than cry, I hope that for me too. I know for a fact Jerry would only ever want us all to be ok and happy.

So, to precious memories of Jerry that will always bring a smile to my face.
The very first time we met, a first date so to speak. He invited me to join him and his family for their regular Sunday lunch get together. Who does that?? On a first date!! Jerry did and it was such a lovely day. He told me afterwards that he was impressed I was happy to just jump in feet first and meet them all. It was well worth jumping in feet first, it was an absolute pleasure to meet them all!

The way his glasses were always perched on the end of his nose, I could never fathom how he did that without them slipping off!
His long white hair that got him the Wizard name!
His long black leather coat that he loved and actually suited too!
His legendary emails, all of which I still have and I will read often to remind me of the daft conversations we had and often in-depth ones too.

The way he magically saved all my photos off my old laptop that just died, I thought all my precious photos had gone forever but he saved them all!

He downloaded every episode of Game Of Thrones and sent them to me on usb sticks. I will forever blame him for my obsession with that series. I loved it!

The time we all went out on the boat Jerry, Carole Tina and I. we had a lovely meal at the Ship Inn but stayed far too long and had to sail back in the pitch dark! Jerry came to the rescue by standing on the front deck with a 99p torch from Home Bargains. He saved the day and saved Tickety Boo's bow getting scraped along the bridge walls we had to go under in the darkness! I can still see him standing there holding this tiny torch!! A hero!

The day Jerry decided he liked the idea of living on a boat so bought one! It was a yacht. I thought he was mad, and he was for buying it!!I remember going to see it and just turning to him and saying, ''yep you're mad'' he just gave me a smirk and we laughed. He pretty soon came to his senses and decided on a Narrowboat he named it Choo Choo because he said it reminded him of a railway carriage!! He needed help sailing it to his home mooring I was more than happy to help. We set off and all was going swimmingly until we reached the bottom of the Wigan flight only to find we had something mammoth wrapped around the prop. It turned out it was a tyre, the worst thing ever to have wrapped. It took another boater hours to cut it away by which time we just had to leave the boat there. I think Matt, Jerrys Son took it the rest of the way.
Jerry never ever let me live that down, he would remind me of it at every opportunity much to his amusement! He would say I went out of my way to go over that damn tyre!

Ironically it turned out that Choo Choo was originally Bally Bunion that belonged to another friend of mine. We hadn't realised at the time as somebody else had bought it and then Jerry bought it off them by which time it had changed colour and layout. It was only when Jerry was going through photos of mine that he recognised a photo I had of Bally Bunion, such a huge coincidence!!

I will always remember the first time we met. It was a date through a dating site. We hit it off immediately and did lots of laughing and chatting, something we carried on doing over the years. There was never anything romantic about us but the love was there through friendship and it was a genuine love a comfortable feeling between two people who knew they could be 100% themselves and talk about anything, more importantly, we both knew we were just there and always would be.
I never ever imagined there would be a day that he wouldn't be..

I also remember you inviting me to your house!! I was gobsmacked. I vividly remember saying to you it was like stepping into an ebay warehouse which you thought was really then got your narrowboat which was just a smaller ebay warehouse by all accounts!

It's funny that Jerry was the first person I turned to when my relationship broke down, probably because I knew his support would be a great help and it was. His reassurance that everything would be ok was a huge comfort and he continued to give that support even while he was ill. I feel saddened that I didn't know until recently just how ill he was. He did eventually tell me which I am so glad about because he wanted me to know when the time was ready. The swiftness of him passing so soon after he told me has been a complete shock. I am so happy his lovely little family were with him, they assured me it was peaceful so you couldn't really wish for more than that.

 The only thing I do wish for with all my heart is that you were still here, but one thing I do know for a fact is that there are not many people who leave this world who have had such a huge impact on peoples lives like you did! When I say you were special that doesn't even begin to cover it. You were on a par with my Grandad Jack which is the best compliment I can give you, he too was very special. You were one in a million. The people who were in your life were truly honoured to have known you I certainly was!

One of the last times we met you came to visit we spent the whole day together. You knew I was in such a bad place. We sat on the back deck in the sunshine and I talked you listened. We then drove into Southport and had a lovely meal together we chatted laughed and put the world to rights. I remember that day saying something to you that made you really laugh, you know a real belly laugh and it was lovely. When you left you gave me the biggest tightest hug ever. You will never know how much your support meant that day...then again maybe you did, you knew me well. I will cherish the memory of that hug, one of many. Little did I know it would be the last so I am happy it sticks in my mind as much as it does.

You took a photo of me once it was the funniest photo ever, you teased me that you would make it public, we laughed a lot about that, but kindly you never did! It was the day we went to see your impulse buy yacht, you took a photo just as the wind caught my hair and I pulled a face. You loved it I didn't!!

My pledge to your memory is to do my best to be the happy person you wanted me to be.
The strength you gave me when I was at my worst is a strength I will carry with me in your memory.
Thank you.

               You crazy, lovely funny Kind wizard. I will miss you always.

    Heaven help them if there is an Ebay up there!! xxx

Jerry x

Sunday, November 04, 2018

All Painted Out....And Pooped!

Well, I finally had to put the paint rollers and brushes down till next spring!
I have painted, sanded and painted some more since August.
I have now run out of suitable painting weather and energy! If I am honest I am happy the weather change has forced me to stop, enough is enough! Green hands and nails plus dusty hair and a dirty face isn't really a good look! Tickety Boo is looking so much better but not completely finished. She looks loved and cared for again so even though I am disappointed I didn't finish her to the standard I wanted,  I am proud of just how much I did get done in between working. Next Spring will be just a few more top coats and I will be happy. The painting I enjoyed the prep not so much but worth it in the end. I have made a promise to myself never, ever to let her get in such a bad state again. Now that I have put all the blood sweat and tears in I will be damned if I will let the upkeep slide again, if I keep on top of it she will never look neglected again. It made me really sad to see her looking scruffy and abandoned! I haven't fought all these years to keep my boat to see her go to rack and ruin!

I am now back on my own mooring and to say I am happy to be back is an understatement! While it is great to have a designated area for prep and painting on the Marina, it was a bit lonely and isolated there, so lovely to be back! I love seeing Tickety all freshly painted with her now cream doors to match her roof, it makes all the hard work of the last couple of months worthwhile...I think!

The Start of the job, a bit of freaking out when I realised the amount of work I had ahead of me!

                   The rust patches ground down to the metal and treated before undercoat.                                                                                                        


The first side undercoated and feeling a bit more relaxed about the whole thing, still slightly overwhelmed. You only realise how big your boat is when you start to paint!!
The roof sanded undercoated and filled ready for another undercoat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now, this bit I enjoyed, the first glimpse of the colour going you the incentive to carry on! I was nervous about the colour as I had it mixed and it wasn't cheap so I was relieved I loved the colour!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tickety Boo's bow looking tatty and weathered.                     

              A bit alarming when the first coat goes on as it's patchy!
                             A second coat makes all the difference you can really see the depth of the colour now in the photo below a nice feeling, especially when you are relieved you like the colour!
                        Couldn't wait to see the back of the stained doors. 
                         They looked hideous yellow, but all ready for
                          cream top coat, no going back now!

At this stage wasn't sure if I had done the right thing painting the doors?

       Now to the back deck! I come on and off the boat at the stern so was heartily sick of seeing how tatty it all looked. You can see how damaged the back rail was, all the joints split and the pegs holding it together all rotten.

 Mark being the miracle worker he is, took away the back rail and brought it back looking brand spanking new. I couldn't believe it was the same rail, it has never looked this good all the time I have had the boat! Truly grateful for his hard work.Thanks, Scooby x

                          As Mark had done such a great job on the rail it was only fair that I should revamp the stern patio furniture....
                                         and the back deck boards.
      The back deck looking all spic and span! 


                Scruffy old back door.


The back door now cream too. I am pleased with the decision to paint the doors it makes a nice change. It brightens up the green and compliments the roof.

Nice clean cream roof with mushrooms painted green.

So Tickety Boo at the stage I had to stop painting. She looks clean and neat so I am very happy with my progress! A few more top coats next spring and her graphics applied I will have the smart boat I dreamed of, then the fun can begin enjoying taking her out again!

These two have watched my every move while doing the boat like they were supervising to make sure I was doing a good job of our home! They have been so good.

                Just a few finishing touches...the seahorse is a gift my Son Dean bought me when he was around 12 it has been on the inside of the stern door in my bedroom so I decided it would be nice to paint it green and have it on my new cream door on the outside. A new brass handle to pull the door shut and all done....for now!

               I think he finishes off the back door nicely.

I can now relax in my cosy boat for Winter. I like the decor indoors but have plans for a complete change next year....I don't think Kit and Pixie mind what colour the decor is they are quite at home on board and they have made the boat even more of a home for me! Apart from the back rail and some grinding on the stern steps that Mark did, I am proud to say I did all the work myself, my aching bones and none existent nails are testimony to that!!

                 Watch this space.....