August turned out to be a busy month. So busy, in fact, I’ve only managed three nights in my own bed. Now, before you all start raising your eyebrows and doing Sid James impressions, it isn’t what you think. The first trip away was a holiday in North Wales, staying in Harlech within thirty feet of the spot that Zoë and I had our honeymoon. We were with friends and managed to get the best of the weather (except for overnight rain on the final night7 which necessitated the evils of a wet pack of the caravan awning and annex). It was marred only by the swallowing whole without trace of my debit card by an ATM in Porthmadog (see previous ranting diatribe post). I still haven’t heard back from either banks involved, so a letter may be sent next to the regulatory authority – the banks have been warned!
After that it was off to deepest, darkest Cumbria in the shadow of the shipyards (literally) in Barrow-in-Furness for a sailing trip. We didn’t actually sail all that far, staying as we were at a Sea Cadet sailing centre within the shadow of three ships built for the Sultan of Brunei. It must be nice to be so rich that you can say: “Take these ships away and dispose of them, for I am bored with them now. Grey is so last year” and that is pretty much what he has done. A few hundred million squids of ships for sale for their scrap value. One careful owner, never raced or rallied and only ever put to sea once for trials.
The real reason for the trip wasn’t to oggle some rich man’s follies, but to teach children how to sail. Actually, my specialist area is pulling (for non-navy people read: rowing) and that’s what I ended up doing. You get a lovely tan sat in a naval pulling boat through some of the sunniest weather I’ve seen this August. Unfortunately it manefests in a curious way, on account of me being sat on a stern bouyancy tank of an Admiralty Sailing Craft and my nose, cheeks, shoulders and knees are all sunburnt (though the rest of me managed to sustain only a light tan).
I’ve learnt a few things on this trip. Firstly, that a thirteen year old kid can produce a surprisingly large volume of vomit when they are ill in the night. I also learnt that other people’s children quickly lose their gloss when you can’t give them back for another week. On the Wednesday I reconnected with my hatred of modern sailing dinghies when I had a day free and went out on something called a ‘Topper’ It was more akin to sailing an ironing board with a dayglow orange sail. Oh for a proper boat, like the RMS Jennïkins that sat forlornly back in Bolton under a cover.
Getting back home yesterday proved to me that Zoë has money burning a hole in her pocket and without my stable influence, it tends to burn right through and drop into the outstretched hands of retailers. A jet black Xbox 360 has appeared to replace the old lump that was a plain Xbox. With it has come Halo 3, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Project Gothanm Racing 4. On top of that the digital box for the television now mysteriously allows me to watch far more channels than we got before on the free package. I’m just wondering what else came whilst I was away and managed to get well hidden from my prying eyes.
It’s back to the grindstone for me here at Jenny towers, with books to write, two others to edit and some promotional material to go through for ‘Bringing home the stars’. That’s all on top of doing an imperial f**k-ton of laundry that seems to have accumulated a light dusting of sea salt. Why does it decide it must get on my shorts in interesting concentric circles at crotch level? Life’s little mysteries…