I had my acceptance speech all written, suitably modest of course, thanking everyone who made it possible from Leslie Morton down... My designer frock and my Jimmy Choos all laid out (this isn't ringing true is it... You know as well as I do that I wouldn't know a Jimmy Choo if you hit me over the head with one), champagne on ice... Because we had been nominated for a Herbie award. Can you imagine the joy and surprise when I looked at Neil's blog lastvweek and saw that our epic parade at Braunston had been nominated in the category of 'Best day out on someone else's boat', along with two very different, but exciting, trips on the Thames. Now the cynical might of course wonder whether Neil and Kath actually had any more than three outings in total on other people's boats in 2011, but I prefer to believe that the final three were whittled down from a highly competitive longlist.
The Chertsey trip certainly offered a contrast to the ups and downs, speed and stunning scenery of the Thames. A not very good runner could have completed a marathon in the time it took us to move from Braunston Marina to Braunston Turn and back. The only excitement was wondering whether we would get back before the beer ran out in the beer tent. Oh, and the engine stalling just as we were turning into the marina, by which time we were all catatonic, including, clearly, the engine.
So I never really expected to hear Chertsey's name announced when Neil tore open the envelope. All I can say is, what an honour it was to be nominated for so prestigious award.