Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Vic's Big Walk - The Book

Unable to walk much at the moment because of injury, I have taken the opportunity to paint the shutters on the house. They now look magnificent. I'm glad about that because it was a big job. First they have to be removed. This involves a man, who will be 71 years old in a few weeks, climbing through the window from the inside, sitting on the window sill with feet beneath the shutter to take the weight, lifting it at arms length, heaving it back through the window to Gay. Well, that didn't work, they were stuck, so I had to get friend Colin to come and remove them for me. Colin used to be a steeplejack and, using a ladder, had all the shutters removed within about 20 minutes.

Next step was to strip the shutters back to bare wood because I wanted to remove not only the old varnish but the dark stain which the builders, who renovated our house, applied to the shutters without asking if we wanted it. Then three coats of good varnish. 18 shutters in all.

The shutters were then refitted by the "sitting in the window" method. I was ably assisted in this by Gay and my youngest daughter Nicola, who was visiting from Iddly with wee Alessandro. I don't think I will be doing the shutters this way again - I must be much less supple than last time I did it - the main difficulty being getting back inside the window again. And next time the need comes round, I will be 74.

My other main task at the moment - which can be illustrated by the same picture if you imagine it as evocative of a writer in the garret - is getting the book about my walk ready for publication. I hope to have the e-version of this available for Kindle, Sony E-reader, Barnes and Noble Nook, and iPad, in time for the anniversary of Vic's Big Walk - in other words, my birthday on 23rd July.

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