Well, I'm just getting some forms filled in and ready to send of for this summer of festival fun and frolics.
The first is for Braunston. It costs nothing to enter, we get to meet up with congenial old-boat owners (important hyphen, there). There's a beer tent, there's music (admittedly too loud); bean burgers and parades. There are masses of gorgeous boats to look at. Entry to the public is the price of a day's parking so it's a great time and place to meet up with non-historic-boat-owning friends. What's more, the sun always shines.
Then there is the IWA National at Cassiobury Park. It costs £65 for a boat and two people. It will be largely packed with modern boats, including I dare say, quite a few shiny ones. It is in a field a long way from the canal. It will rain and the field will be exceedingly muddy (but not, of course 'as bad as Wakefield'). This is the entertainment timetable. I have already entered a deep depression at the prospect of 'Sheridan the Robotic Sheepdog ... touring the site on his electric tricycle welcoming children and grownups alike.'
We last went to the National in 2007, with Warrior. It was OK (very muddy, although 'not as bad as Wakefield') but I decided then that it was something you only needed to do once. However, we have volunteered to deliver the HNBC shop. A quick run down and up the GU seemed like a good idea at the time. Jim has volunteered to help with the Festival and has been appointed a Harbourmaster on account of his scaffolding skills (which tells you something). I shall be helping with the HNBC shop, which should hopefully keep me safe from Sheridan the Robotic Sheepdog who, to be honest, sounds deeply scary.