Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Sail Away.

There’s a chap in Holland who’s just knocked himself up a personal Noah’s Ark. It seems he’s a Creationist. One of those who takes the Bible for Gospel, literally, unlike most of us who tend to take it with a grain and not even a pillar of salt.
But not only has he constructed it as an article of faith but also as an article of personal survival, since he has had a vision that Holland will be the scene of the next flood.
I suppose the incidence of little Dutch boys prepared to stick their thumbs into holes in dykes has diminished in recent years, although the popularity of computer games should have produced a crop of giant thumbs by now.
Anyway, determined to go ahead, he set to work, only to have his wife intercede. “Johan,” says she (in Dutch, I presume), “ If you’re determined to build the thing, let’s get it right.” And she proceeded to draw up the plans for him.
Not wishing to see all the household income washed away, she prudently cut it down to half size but even so, hers was a formidable undertaking. For the good book, although good in many ways, comes up a bit short in the marine architectural department. “Skimpy” is the word that might be applied to God’s instructions here:

“Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it.”

Even Brunel would have struggled with such a specification, I feel.
But the most amazing thing to me is that his wife not only participated but apparently encouraged him in the feat. He is clearly a very lucky Dutchman since I have, for the past couple of years, been trying to build a canoe. The domestic opposition I have received toward this relatively minor project has been long and fierce. And it’s not just a matter of finance. Even the most cash strapped author can afford a couple of sheets of plywood.
And so the plans lie unused on top of the piano.
From time to time I take them out and dream of paddling my way down the River Layon, past the vineyards on either bank that produce some of the regions best wines.
But, unlike lucky Johan, I’m resigned to it being all a dream.
Unless, of course, I dream of a flood. In which case I suppose I’ll have to build two.



Blogger Biby Cletus said...

Nice post, its a really cool blog that you have here, keep up the good work, will be back.

Warm Regards

Biby Cletus - Blog

8:10 am  

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