["I am told to don an apron after signing up for volunteer kitchen duty"]
On October 22, during a very popular tour of HMS Belfast, I was delighted to lend a hand in the very busy, efficient kitchen. The cook's assistant and I got along very well and he was as surprised as me when we discovered the recipe for HMS Belfast Hash (served in large quantities every Wednesday to crew and tourists) is almost identical to my own Harrison Hash.
["Well, good hash is good hash, eh," we say in unison. Jolly good laugh!]
With hot hash at the ready, Robbie Simmonds tried for first in line. He was, in fact, a very close second.
["Back up a bit, Robbie. I'll save some for you."]
All in a day's work aboard HMS Belfast, formerly a WW2 Royal Navy light cruiser.
Five weeks ago yesterday I visited HMS Belfast (a ship that saw action during D-Day Normandy and is now anchored in the Thames), walked across London Bridge and circled the Tower of London. My journal says that after I returned to my apartment I "organized myself for trip to Edinburgh," e.g., I "did laundry, packed (95%)" before walking to "THE SHIP 4 fish and chips, 5 Pounds w Fullers Ale."
The walk alone was worth the money.
["A fantastic ship housed indoors beside the River Thames"]
["The Shard as seen from The Ship"]
["How goes the mail?" I ask the ship's postman. "Dry up," he says sharply"]
["Need a hand with lunch?" I ask. "Apron's right behind ye," says the cook's assistant]
["Note the brass icon for 'public washroom! 'Twas a life-saver"]
["Blue Group climbs a wall to escape traffic. "Good luck," I say.]
Last four words in that day's journal entry: London Pride and ESB.
Translation - I enjoyed two lovely pints at The Ship and was likely home and fast asleep before 10 PM.
I applied Cabernet stain to the already dark western cedar but not straight from the can. Thinned w thinner. It stinks up the house until I put a lid on it. By the time Nick gets his tackle box the only smell in the air will be aromatic cedar.
Up next - a lid for one inside section, hand carvings, hardware.
Poor Nick has been waiting for this box for about - feels like - ten years. The box is made from rustic western cedar and trimmed with the rugged, well-worn outer layer from one particular board. Look close and you'll spot a few historic fungi I refused to remove with sandpaper or chemical. They tell part of the story as Nick waits, waits, waits some more.
["Compartments and lid now sport a nice coat of wood conditioner"]
In the future the compartments will hold - so I have been told - Nick's journal and treasured fishing gear. So, more work to be done that will fit with that theme.
More to follow, e.g., stain, varnish, hand-carved dodads, a fishing lure. But you'll have to wait awhile!
If a third coat is needed then today is the day. Nice and windy. I'll paint in a lower room and leave the back door open.
Of the three mailboxes I am currently assembling, two have received a 'two shades of green' paint job. The third may get stain and varnish or primary colours, but at the moment, the finish is still up in the air. (I may just have to toss a coin).
["This week's progress - hmmmm"]
That being said, my progress report is in the mail.
Shortly after Hallowe'en, about an hour after polishing off the last of the mini-chocolate bars, I posted the first photo of Pumpkinman and predicted 'the only one caught by any surprise (about 'what is going to happen to sad old Mr. Pumpkinman over the next two weeks') might be the man of the hour, now that his hour is up'.
That being said, I also was surprised, especially at the guy's durability. He hung in there until the bitter end (i.e., today's last photograph), suffered many indignities along the way, yet maintained a somewhat ambivalent demeanour (albeit with a surprised look upon his face - not entirely his fault, of course), even after being dumped - unceremoniously - beside a tired pot of asters in my backyard garden yesterday.
If Sad Pumpkinman chose 'last words' I think they'd be, "There is such a thing as a free lunch if you're a squirrel."