Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Retreating and coupling

This weekend we’re off to a monastic retreat with 40 lunatics, well, dulcimer players = same thing. Kath plays a hammer dulcimer and we belong to the Nonsuch Dulcimer Club and this is their annual weekend bash. As to the retreat, it’s the remote and rather lovely Launde Abbey in Leicestershire which on other weekends offers silence and meditation. Quite why they put up with 40 amateur musicians drinking alcohol and making loud music deep into the night I can’t imagine. It must come as quite a shock to their system.

We turn up mainly to meet old friends and if there is a good tutor that year. It’s a crazy society really. They cater for two totally unrelated instruments which both happen to be called dulcimers. The hammered one which Kath plays and looks a bit like a giant egg slicer which you belt with sticks, and the Appalachian or mountain type which I occasionally mess about on and has frets and strings but is played across your lap . Mine cost me £12 so you can tell it’s a good ‘un. This time, I’ll be learning new tricks with the fab Butch Ross from Chattanooga Tennessee. I like Butch because he breaks all the rules and he once bought me a bottle of very nice bourbon. Mostly though I’ll be sneaking off to comfy sofas in secret corners and playing other instruments with pals while no one is looking.

Launde is not too far from Crick so we’ll be staying overnight on the boat on the way up and on the way back to break the journey. While we’re on the boat I’m going to see if the prop can be moved forward a bit (see my post for 14 October). It ought to be a simple matter of slackening the four bolts like the one I have arrowed below, and sliding the shaft deeper into the coupling.

That is assuming a) that the shaft isn’t already as deep in as it will go, and b) that the bolts play ball and slacken off without major surgery. Years of boaty DiY have taught me to assume nothing.

On Friday morning we also have a man coming round to discuss ideas for a new shower arrangement in Herbie’s bathroom. So quite a busy weekend really and there’s more I could tell you about but that can wait. (He said enigmatically).


Anonymous said...

Now how can you adorn a post about dulcimers with a photo of a bit of engine? :-)

Let's see a picture of your instruments (oooh eer missus!)...

Have a wonderful musical interlude!

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

James said...

Can I suggest that you buy a new set of Nylock nuts to replace the ones you take off. They're M10 I think, or at least they can be done up with a 17mm spanner. They're sort of one shot nuts, once they're undone they apparently won't be as reliable if reused.

Carol Palin said...

Would love to see pictures of your weekend at the Abbey and your musical instruments - hope you have a great time there!

Halfie said...

Is that a bucket under the stern gland?