Installation Day One -The First Chair
I am writing this at night in the little cottage at Boreen Point with the sound of roaring wind and rain and waves outside in the dark, and I am wondering how the chairs we installed today are faring. I think it will be a sleepless night. The wind is getting stronger and stronger.
Today was INSTALL DAY. My trusty volunteers, companions and friends, Di and Jim, turned up at 9 am ready to work. We thought today we’d learn how to put the waders on and just have a look and see how it might be done, but in the end it was so difficult we’d never want to do it again so what we installed stayed installed. Tonight with this big storm I am biting my nails and wondering should I turn on the spotlight or not- would it just be a beacon for sailors looking for shelter or would they see my chairs there?
None of us had tested the murky depths of this little inlet. Was it deep or shallow? What was the bottom like? I can tell you now it is muddy bottom. The sort of mud that you sink into, that eats your feet and tries to suction you into place so you’ll never move again. And the inlet is remarkably deep in some places.
Jim had devised a system of anchoring the chairs with metal plates (supplied by Di, left over from another project). We tested how those bases were going to sit and all seemed OK. (Tonight will probably be the biggest test they’ll have – it’s blowing a gale out there.)
The trouble was getting them out to where I wanted them installed. Walking in the water on the muddy bottom of the inlet was impossible, walking round the edges marginally possible, so Jim set off carrying chair one. It might look like a flimsy bunch of brittle sticks (and it is) but that base is seriously heavy, so carrying it with a brittle chair attached and trying to stay upright in the mud was quite a task.
‘Pass me that stick’ or ‘Can you give me the cutters?’ were also not simple requests, but Di managed to meet all demands while I, the artist, supervised from a lordly position on shore.
By some sort of fluke Jim got that first chair into the right place. It looked great.
I owe a great debt of gratitude to Jim and Di for their support and help. Di had even bought new gumboots just for the task, and I certainly couldn’t be doing this without Jim’s help. Thanks guys.