I think that for someone lacking a y-chromosome, I have quite a male brain. This manifests itself not only in a greater ability to process rusty rivets than fluffy kittens, but also an insatiable need to categorise, catalogue and collect. I understand train spotters.
When we were kids, my sister used to go in for those sticker albums - she had one based on the Disney film The Rescuers. I was quite fascinated by this, although of course being three and a half years older I was above such childish things. I had never got into those things where you have to buy stuff, mainly because of a terror I had - dreadful in one so young - of being ripped off (which I lay entirely at the door of Richard Stilgoe), and also because just being able to go out and buy the things - even though you also had to swap them of course - seemed somehow like cheating. So I just carried on cataloguing my mug collection and setting up a prototype ID database for my dolls and teddies.
The concept however has never left me and I have now found an outlet. For years now I have been watching old boats and now I consciously register when I see one I've not seen before. It won't be long before I have to start making special trips to track down those boats that I know to exist but which have so far eluded me. I have become a boat spotter.
To keep the task manageable and within the limits of my fiercest obsession, I shall in the first instance limit myself to spotting large Grand Union motor boats. If we take this to mean the 'Town Class' of large Woolwiches and Northwiches, a quite cope-able with 86 were built, most if not all of which are still in existence in some form.
So, I have set up a separate blog on which to catalogue my spottings and stick my stickers. I have created a post for each boat, and I will stick in a picture of each as I collect it. The unbreakable rule is that it must have been seen and photographed by me. I already have quite a collection, of course, scattered around in various envelopes and hard drives and CDs - it will be interesting to discover, as I trawl methodically through them (!) just how many I've already spotted. When I spot a new one or post a new batch I'll post about it here too.
So far I've trawled through all the photos on this computer - that is those taken since April last year. So there is already something there to look at. Then I shall work my way through the CDs of photos from 2007 and 2008, then the prints from earlier that will need scanning...
I wish that I knew then what I know now.
5 hours ago