Sunday, 5 October 2014

Whilst earlier today

The day started like this. Vertical rain, my least favourite kind of weather. It persisted along the same vein as we rigged and launched, what slight whisper of breeze we could find shifty, fickle and light. The forecast had promised a gusty F4, but as the weather system moved through, I was betrayed; the bluster of the very early hours decayed to a damp, disinterested lassitude.

And so we drifted, barely enough movement in the air to hold the sail shape, let alone ghost Ondine along with her compliment of six hardy souls. It seemed almost a cruel thing to pick a day like today to introduce Ele and her young son Ben to the simple joys of sailing. But they'd turned up, they'd brought waterproofs and optimism, so it seemed a crueller choice to not take them out.

We were going out anyway. Whatever the weather, I'd rather be afloat than ashore.

After they left us, they went to watch the Rugby with Ben's dad and his little brother. I understand Gloucester thrashed the visitors, so the day turned out well for them in the end.

Some of us were clearly enjoying ourselves. Oli professed a preference for the rain. Though it must be said, having a small boy in a rubber tender dragging himself around the hull or hanging off the bumpkin plays havoc with the trim of the boat when you're trying to ease her along on the merest puff of air.

Most cruel of all, as we came ashore, the sky broke and the sun came out.

To add insult to injury, as we hauled out Ondine, derigged and prepared her ready to trail to Lydney next Saturday, a lovely, lovely wind finally filled in. The afternoon was glorious, gorgeous sailing conditions. We would have stayed and enjoyed it ourselves, having earned it through the trials of the morning.

But I had a gig to get to.

Home now, the gig done, dogs sleeping at my feet as I enjoy a late night glass of beer and wind down ready for bed in a short while. Racing tomorrow. Assuming my crew sobers up. Had a number of amusingly incoherent texts from her shortly after midnight this evening. Seems she and her husband Matt are out with friends this evening. Hardened party animal that I am, a late night and copious amounts of alcohol wouldn't really shake me by the following afternoon (that's more a confession than a boast). Hels, however, is to her credit of a more delicate disposition.

I've decided what I'm going to read once I've finished the Heller. Michel Faber; The Book of Strange New Things. It was a bit of an impulse buy. I heard a bit of it on the radio driving to the gig, was quite intrigued, and when I got to the pub, before getting out of the car, looked it up on Kindle. May a thousand curses be heaped upon "One-click purchase" and all it's teasingly seductive accessibility.

Not read or heard of any Faber before. Not really sure what the book is about. However, I find myself quite looking forward to it (pre-ordered, it's released Oct 6th, which gives me time to finish Catch 22 in the meantime). I feel strangely relaxed again, knowing I've got a plan. Even if I'm not really sure what that plan entails.

I should probably get a copy of Moby Dick for my Kindle, and donate the paper copy on my bedside locker to charity.

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