Every day now I'm reading about the travels of Starcross, Herbie and Captain Ahab, not to mention continuous cruisers Valerie, and I'm getting a very itchy tiller hand. Last year, with all the time in the world to boat, we barely moved from the mooring - an example of living-next-door-to-St-Paul's syndrome perhaps; this year, busier at work than ever, every precious day of leave must be used to the maximum. Easter having been, if not a washout, then a blow- and freeze-out, the serious boating begins on - oooh - Friday week, as we set off for Langley Mill. How I entertain them in the office, saying sorry, I shall be on holiday then, but I'll be popping back half way through to teach a class and pick up the car...
And we shan't be setting off alone. Sadly Willow aka Willoughby aka The Furry Gentleman will not be accompanying us on this trip because - happily! - Dr and Mrs Duct will be, as far as Burton at any rate.
Plans are afoot for the accommodation of half a brass band on Chertsey (the other half will be on Bath, which I guess sort of rhymes whichever side of the vowel shift you're on), and I have belatedly been informed that it is customary for boaters to don 'traditional' costume. I have not thus far needed to confront the thorny issue of fancy dress and the historical authenticity or otherwise thereof (it's permanently about 1950 on Chetsey, don't forget, externally at least... 1960 in the engine room and 1970 in the cabin... So hell, why not 1890 at the tiller...) but overall I am not a fan of dressing up. I have however conceded that I will wear a long black skirt, which is what I might wear anyway if it weren't so damned impractical for boating.
I have recently, on a couple of occasions, been out and participated in vaguely cultural activities, which, if I were Diamond Geezer, I would be writing about in a witty and informative fashion. Sadly I'm not, so (or quite possibly because) I don't seem to be able to be arsed. But I have been and heard a top architecture journalist talk about his favourite band and some people with very nice singing voices in a rather interesting church.
Les and Bruce in my thoughts 24th January
2 days ago