I paid Chertsey's licence yesterday. It's been due in December ever since we bought Bakewell, and someone at CRT did some very clever calculations to bring the licensing dates of the two boats into alignment. January 1st is a handy time to have a new licence start should I ever feel the need to buy a Gold licence, which always run from January 1st. Although having - fabulously - done (ok, some of) the Thames last year, that won't be for a while yet. The downside, of course, is laying one's hands on nine hundred quid in the run up to the festive season, when there are so many competing demands on one's bank account (of which more, perhaps, later).
That's not what I'm writing to complain about though. (Of course I'm complaining about something!). No, I had to set up my online account with CRT in order to be able to pay on a Saturday (i.e. before I forgot, with the associated risk of losing the prompt payment discount). This looked like a simple and user-friendly process, but this was an illusion that took me round in ever decreasing circles for a while, before I finally got to the point of setting a password. CRT demands that your password contain upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and at least one 'special character'. Therefore none of my existing ones would do, meaning that I now have another (long, complicated) one to remember - or, of course, write down. An impressive level of security just to stop anyone else paying my licence for me.
The fun didn't end there. I needed to complete a new licensing form because of having changed moorings. It asked for my date of birth. This wasn't marked with the red 'mandatory field' asterisk, but the form still wouldn't let me proceed until I'd completed it. I lied, of course (I'm not being that free with my identifying information on the internet). Which means there's yet another thing to remember. Why do they want to know anyway?