Tomorrow we set off for our annual group sailing fracas on the Norfolk
B Roads Broads. Once again we have checked our wills and made our confessions before setting off for this terrifying annual ritual. It wouldn’t be so bad if I knew anything about sailing, but even then zig zagging in a little sailing boat down rivers full of drunken holiday makers who only picked up their huge plastic megacruiser that morning doesn’t seem to get any easier. Some of these cruisers are approximately the size of an aircraft carrier. Generally I refrain from taking the helm unless we find ourselves in some quiet backwater, preferring to rub my cold wet hands raw with heaving on the jib sheet whist trying not to be tipped overboard. On the plus side we will be spending the weekend with old and dear friends (most of whom are more skilled than I at sailing), so if we perish, we’ll all go together.
As usual we will be attempting not to be the winner of the Bowsprit Trophy, awarded to the person who inflicts the most damage on his boat. I myself am a proud past holder of this prestigious award after a sudden gust of wind whipped our barque into the side of a passing cruiser some years back. I don’t think the boatyard realised the bowsprit was two inches shorter when we returned the boat so unusually, we kept our deposit that year.
On Saturday night we shall all share a meal cooked by the drawer of the short straw and undertake the customary quiz where each person donates ten questions. In recent years I have provided the music round, playing intros, middle eights, classical snippets etc from a music player. Having run out of ideas for this, I have instead this year recorded sound snippets of well known people laughing. I don’t think it’s too difficult, but the questions do tend to be easier when you know the answers. We’ll see. One of our party is from Yorkshire, so no doubt it will be lost on him.
(Two dour Yorkshire men converse in the pub.
“Didst thee see that comedian feller on t’telly last night?”,
“What didst thee think on ‘im.”
“Alright, – - - if you like laughing.”)
Well that’s it. On the assumption that I survive (about 50/50 I should think), I’ll see you next time.