Ages ago, Blogger stopped supporting third party widgets, and I lost my pretty little Daisypath ticker that told me how long I've owned Chertsey. But I noticed that Nev on Percy has been counting off the days of his retirement, so I followed up his counter, created a new one there, and fingers crossed, it seems to work. I like the no-nonsense meter better than the pretty ticker anyway. We shall be celebrating my ten years of historic boat ownership in September.
In the meantime, though, I also made a countdown, to see how long we have, mentally, emotionally and practically to prepare for this year's HNBC expedition to Hebden Bridge. And it is - gulp - only a shade over three months. That is, frankly, terrifying. I can get only the barest minimum time necessary off work, meaning that we have to go out and back the same way (all those smug gits with their shortened boats and tugs are bragging about the Leeds Liverpool; my alternative would have been via Preston Brook (don't ask me any more just yet, it's all a bit vague) but as it stands it's Rochdale there and Rochdale back), and very little time to prepare the boat.
Jim is now full time managing Sebastian's shop while Sebastian takes the next step up the ladder towards qualifying as a solicitor, so he won't have much time to spare either. I have no ideal how we're going to manage Geoffrey, who has never been boating before and - the horror - likes swimming. I haven't even started the new strings yet; the engine's still smokier than Jim would like so in all probability I'll be steering through Harecastle. We've never done the Rochdale before but when people who have been boating for forty years did it two years ago and say it was the hardest thing they've ever done, you can't help feeling a bit nervous. At least I'm building up my fitness - though I think I might need to work on the upper body strength too from what I hear.
I was, frankly, shocked to see how little time there is before the event - and includes the time to get there. Give me a few days of blind panic, and then I'm sure I'll start to formulate a plan.
At least I'm writing about boating again.