This weekend I left Brenda at home and attended Phil Speight's boat painting course held in the bonded warehouse at Stourbridge. Over the course of two days, Phil took us through all of the steps needed to turn a bare sheet of steel into a decorated and signwritten boat panel whilst regailing us with numerous stories of historical interest and a couple of bad 'shaggy dog' style jokes. My interest in being there was to try and learn better ways of keeping Jannock's paintwork looking good whereas a lot of my fellow students were really into the idea of giving their boats complete DIY paint jobs. Phil is such a master craftsman that he made every stage look so easy - adding insult to injury by continually stressing that he had not done anything difficult yet. On Saturday evening, instead of driving back to Thame, I had booked a cut-price room in the local Travelodge and so I met up with Terry Streeter and we went for a curry preceded and followed by a few pint of Bathams bitter partaken at the Vine. On Sunday the course moved on to panel decoration and sign writing and Phil stopped trying to convince us it was easy. All in all a great weekend during which I have gathered lots of interesting tips to achieve my goal of preserving the paint finish on my boat. All I've got to do now is find time to practice it.