When I was 16 my elder brother decided to skip out on uni and sail around the world. My father was appalled. Turning your back on tertiary education seemed like a crime to him.
‘Dad,’ I cautioned him, ‘you can’t encourage us to be free thinkers and then object when we make a choice you don’t agree with.’
He conceded that one and to this day, I’ve no idea if he thought me moving to New York several years later to pursue a career in musical theatre was the dumbest thing he’d ever heard. If he did, he kept it well hid.
Meanwhile my brother Ben was living the most incredible life – seeing the world, evading pirates, saving fishermen, meeting the Queen and the rest of the world’s rich and famous…a boring old engineering degree really couldn’t compete.
Yet the call of home was strong and many years later we both eventually returned and Ben’s sailing equipment started to gather dust like my dancing shoes.
Neither of us regret returning, by the way, the lives we led during our 20’s were remarkable – challenging, exciting, thrilling and adventurous, but also often lonely, solo and like something might be missing.
Besides, life has a way of combining and colliding your different journeys in ways you’d least expect. Look at me – sure I own a restaurant and shortly a bar, but because of that restaurant I was given the opportunity to write a book that’s due for release later this year. I’ve always really wanted to write and now, amazingly, it’s happened!
So here we are designing a bar and our designer friend Ashley Couch, decides she wants to suspend the reclaimed wooden shelving from the roof with rope.
‘What we need is someone who knows knots,’ said Tris our builder.
‘Nup,’ said Gregory, ‘I can’t think of anyone who could do that.’ (Our brains are a little fried right now, to be frank).
The two of them stood there pondering these large lengths of rope until suddenly it dawned on Gregory just what is was my brother had previously done.
And so it came to be that Gregory and Ben spent the evenings of our christmas beach holiday in the garage of the rented holiday house, splicing 20 lengths of immense, heavy rope.
(All Ben’s tools were handmade by one of his sailing buddies who also makes the most magnificent sea chests. It’s a beautiful and dying craft I suspect).
According to Wikipedia (and who has ever doubted that learned journal) splicing rope is the forming of a semi-permanent joint between two parts of the same rope by partly untwisting and then interweaving their strands.
Correct. Except we really hope there is nothing semi-permanent about this splice.
Look at those delicate hands. Almost the same size as my husband’s.
The spike (known in the biz as a fid) was used to shove through the rope to create a hole so Ben could thread one strand of the rope through it to create a bind. Typically, Ben said, this would be a one man job, but that rope was tough and Gregory was required as his apprentice.
Here’s a little video of them in action.
That’s right, you heard correctly. Ben does say the word strewth. The Hart family – doing their part to keep the Aussie vernacular alive.
Below, the ‘principal of leverage’ in action. Isn’t it funny how remote and ridiculous most physics concepts seem at high school when you’re perfectly convinced they’ll never be of use ever, ever again.
We were all a little wary about the ceiling being strong enough to support the ropes and the VERY HEAVY wood, but after consulting the professionals and installing steal plates, we are all pretty happy with the results.
That’s 100 kilos of paint right there.
The bits hanging down will be trimmed into order. Kind of like what needs to happen to Gregory’s beard.
We’re getting there folks. Ash is delayed due to the storm in New York which turned out to be a bit of a fizzer actually, the lights are lost in transit, the walls are unpainted, the keg system is uninstalled, but we’re getting there!
Who needs the seven seas and a broadway stage for a bit of an adrenalin rush when you can get it right here in the groovy inner west?
At 125 Enmore Road to be exact.
Looking forward to seeing you there.