Today I had a project. Graeme and Robyn’s new TV wasn’t working, and their old TV which was now in our room wasn’t working either. And I knew I could fix it. I was convinced that the jumble of cables in the electrical box in the utility room held the answer. It took me a couple of hours, but after quite a bit of trial and error I determined that it was a TV-splitter issue. While at home this would have been an easy fix, here I needed to find a place where I could buy a new splitter and assorted cables and fittings. So after lunch, Sue and I headed into town for that. And the first place we went to turned out to be closed — building for lease! So much for ‘googling’ for an electrical supply store. It took a few more stops before we finally found a shop that had what I was looking for. Back to the apartment. Graeme and Robyn were both gone, so we had the door open between our place and theirs and Sue would holler “It’s working” or “It’s off now” while I tried various configurations in the utility room. I quite enjoyed myself — it felt like I was at home, “fixing something”. And when I finally had THEIR living room TV and OUR TV working fine, I embarked on one more project. There was a TV jack in the Dickies’ bedroom — why not make use of it and hook up the old TV from our apartment? But first I needed to find the correct cable and hook it up to the 3-way splitter I’d bought and installed downstairs. That required yet one more trip into town to pick up some more cabling and connectors.
Project complete, Sue and I were about an hour into watching “Arrival”, yet another Oscar pick for Best Picture, on our ‘new’ TV when Graeme knocked on our door. He’d just come home from work and wanted an update on the TV situation. He was very pleased. I asked him how HIS day at work had gone — he’s been working very hard, and from time-to-time he’s given us little updates on his project. Today he asked us if we’d be interested in visiting his workplace. It had been raining for much of the afternoon, so we got in our car and drove the short drive down to Dickey Boats.
Dickey Boats is a custom-boat company started by Graeme’s son Jason. They build beautiful big aluminium cruising boats. (You can check out what they do on their website.) Graeme has been working hard on the interior of a 65-foot boat built for cruising around the world. The boat needs to be ready to go to the paint booth next Thursday, so he’s been under a lot of pressure to get it done.
Above: My photos of boats ‘in progress’ in the factory. Below: Brochure photos of completed boats.
The Dickey Boat company is run by Graeme’s son Jason and his wife Tristan. They have about 60 employees. The boats they make sell for something in the million dollar price range. There were 8 or 9 boats in various states of completion in the factory. Graeme actually retired from his work in a furniture business about 8 years ago, but has been ‘helping out’ his son for the past couple of years as the boat business expanded. It’s grown so fast, so quickly, and they’ve had trouble finding enough qualified employees. They need welders, carpenters, mechanics, draftsmen, upholsterers, etc. Graeme and Robyn have often mentioned to us that their son Jason is working much too hard, too many hours, and they’re a bit worried about that.
When we got back from the factory tour, Robyn was home too. We ‘celebrated’ my success with the TV hookups with a happy hour in their dining room. Then Sue and I went back to our apartment and watched the last hour of the movie we’d started earlier. Let’s just say that neither of us would vote for “Arrival” as Best Picture! Boring! So boring it was no problem falling asleep by ten o’clock.