boat on trailer in front of carrickfergus castle

We’re gonna need a bigger boat…

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Not strictly true. As anyone who has ever owned a boat has told me, you always want a bigger one…
…thats until you start thinking of running costs and everything else associated with it.
Its that time of the year and the last couple of weeks have been spent recovering from the end of financial year rush, filing the paper receipts away to plod through them later in the year when filing the tax return and getting the garden in shape… did I say getting the garden in shape?

What I meant to say was that due to the severe winter cold, a bit of heavy rain earlier this year, part of the wall in the garden surrounding the studio has collapsed. Not quite as dramatic as it sounds but I wanted to get something done before it turned into a drama and a crisis. When I got the studio built a couple of years ago a fair bit of the garden had to be excavated to put the foundations in and a lot of the soil was just dumped onto what passed for a garden. It was tidied up with an eye to doing something with it in the future. A couple of years later and its decided to plot its own course.
I am not a gardener. I have a photographers garden. Its quite simple, if the sun is shining and its gardening weather, Im away from the garden taking pictures. When its cloudy and rainy I look out at my ‘garden’ and think that I really should have built a walkway out to the studio through the garden so I dont get wet.
The upshot is that about 25 tonnes of earth need moved to rebuild the wall, extend the patio over to the studio and make it look nice (and reduce the amount that needs mowing). To do this a mini digger and mini dump truck is required.

mini digger and excavator
Mini dumper and digger

To get the mini dump truck up and down the driveway and under the carport I needed to get my Alfa up and running again and there was also the small matter of the boat under the carport where it has rested for the winter. To get the boat away for a week or two I had to put it in the marina. Friends did offer to put it on their drive but if you have ever had builders in you know that a three day job can take 3 weeks through no fault of theirs. So rather than strain friendships into the marina it had to go.

Carrickfergus Marina
Carrickfergus Marina
Which meant it had to be launched in the harbour and sailed round to the marina, which meant the engines needed a service, the boat had to be anti foul painted, blah blah blah. Oh and I had to launch on a day that it wasnt blowing a force 9 and when the high tide coincided with non towing through peak traffic hours.
Add that in to previous workload, getting the new radharcimages site up and running and going through this blog changing all the photos and links to the new site and the small matter of being laid up with flu for a week (yes real flu, not man flu). Ive received the flu jab the last 3 years and in the last 3 years Ive got flu…. hmm…

Irish Boat Jumble
Irish Boat Jumble
The start of the boating season also coincided with the Irish Boat Jumble which is essentially a car boot sale for the sailing/boating crowd. Thats sort of where the similarity ends. You dont get many car boot sales where the vendors will accept credit cards! I had a couple of things to get to finish off the boat including an extra set of speakers (bought at a car boot sale for £2) and a front fender for the bow so that when I bounce it off the marina jetty, sorry bring it into its berth, I wont take any more of the paint off. I didnt get the fender at the boat jumble because they were looking more for a 2nd hand one than it would cost me to buy new! Recession? Obviously not.

speedboat on trailer at carrickfergus castl
Boat on trailer at Carrickfergus Castle

It turned out to be a beautiful day down at Carrickfergus harbour to launch the boat and everything went according to plan. Even managed to take it out for a quick spin on the lough with some friends and it definitely feels better for both engines oil changed and a repainting of the anti foul on the hull. Its berthed in the marina for the next two months, after that who knows, travel plans may interrupt.
Certainly looking forward to lots of sunny days out in the lough trying to catch fish, but then again Ive always been an optimist!

Partially filled skip
partially filled skip
At time of writing the mini dumper is making its noisy way up and down the drive taking away the last of the huge mountain of earth that has been removed. The concrete retaining wall foundations are laid and there should be a couple more working days left in sorting the garden out. Despite not being a gardener I am looking forward to seeing it done, getting the bbq up and running again and mornings sitting out on the patio with a coffee checking my emails on my tablet computer. I might be able to fit two of those days into our summer so I’ll keep you posted.
Its a strange time at the minute, with Easter being so late on in April, the small matter of a royal wedding and the May Day bank holiday the corporate bookings are very thin on the ground due to a lot of people taking a week or so off only using up a couple of days leave.
So maybe I’ll get the chance to enjoy the garden after all…

more irish related stock photos here
more travel and transport stock photography here
more ireland stock pics here
more general daily life stock photography images here
more conceptual stock photographs here

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