Saturday, February 12, 2005

fences and sails

all hail to Ellen, Queen of the Seas, champion of champions. staggering achievement. I'm in total awe of that level of skill and stamina and general superhuman heroine-ness. sems like a really nice woman, too. incredible.
I was thinking about her this afternoon as I was trying to rig up a temporary support for a fence that today's gales were in danger of flicking over. again. (my annual bête noire - whatever possessed me to erect a fifty-foot run of 6' high panelled fencing in a wind-tunnel?) struggling to secure what I actually thought was a rather nifty, almost nautical fix involving wooden splints and garden-wire tensioners, I got to comforting myself - ripped back, scraped knuckles, ruined knees - with the consideration that it could be a lot worse: I could be struggling to repair a broken mast alone as I dangled from it forty feet up whilst being tossed around in a Force 8 storm at minus 10 with nothing but the South Atlantic Ocean all around me for several thousand miles.
but of course it's not the same: no-one's watching me do this and, more's the point, no-one cares. I'd imagine it does actually make a helluva lot of difference, and would mitigate one's suffering considerably to know that not only do you have your whole team looking out for you by live comsat relay, but that there's tens of thousands of people logging on to your every move, watching your webcam updates, and skipping their own sleep in order to satisfy themselves that your marathon repair-job will have been completed safely and succesfully. not that I wish to detract from Ellen's achievement one bit. I'm just green with envy at the way that sort of suffering gets to enhance rather than diminish one's self-esteem.

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