Latest Obsession

Things are sort of moving apace in my new madness. I keep making progress only to have to stop again.

I was supposed to be going to pick up my new boat today. I was all excited. I’ve bought a book on how to sail, and read it a few times. I’ve also watched a really good video on the basics. How to start, steer and stop. I was wondering about the last of them, as there are no brakes. It turns out it was the same as the other thing I was worrying about, going overboard and the ship charging off into the distance. Apparently it’s the sailor holding the sail to the wind that powers it. As soon as you let go of the mainsheet (get me! That’s the bit of rope that pulls the sail around) the sail swings around like a weather vane, so it’s no longer catching the wind and powering the boat.

I was pretty confident I could at least do some basic sailing. I’ve applied to two local yachting places for lessons. One of them, Pickmere Lake club, got back to me. The first thing they said was not to buy a Topper (the little boat, slightly more that a surfboard with a sail, I was supposed to be getting today) as they are built for teenagers. You have to be small to fit under the boom (the bottom bar of the sail) and lightweight. I might get away with the height, and I am quite limber, but unfortunately I am too blubbered up.

Get a good glimpse of the shark before fighting it - All ...

The good news though, is that the club are running level 1 and 2 courses in a fortnight! I’ve had to join to be able to take the lessons, but that will take me from ‘complete lubber’ to ‘lubber with delusions of adequacy’. They also gave the good advice to join the club, try out some boats, see what suits, and then buy one. Assuming I like it. I had one go at parachuting and never went back.

I’m fairly confident I will like it. It sounds a hoot. Anyway, assuming I do, and I get a boat, the good thing about the club is you get berthing for one boat included in your membership. And, if I get a hefty one, for a further £31 a year I can stash a boat trailer there. It’s a fairly big lake and you can get an access card so you can sail whenever you feel like. This is good. I was envisioning trips to Liverpool for sea sailing. I don’t have to worry about lugging the boat about, unless we go on holiday or whatever, and I’ve got a safe place to sail. They do races there one day a week, mainly to improve your sailing skills they say.

Now I just need to buy a cravat.

Yachting club. Me. Who’d have thought?

A sub-obsession, relating to the main boating one, was a sudden need to buy a car to do the job. Wendy’s mini is a good ‘un, but it won’t take a towing hitch if I need to get a trailer. I started with desirable vehicles. This would do for a runaround.

A real Mini pickup! How cool is that?


OK, not *that* cool.

Then I went on to uber-practical.

It’s a Citroen Berlingo Multispace. Ugly as the day is long, not that refined a ride. It’s basically a van into which they’ve put seats and windows. However, the good news is that it’s a reversible operation. The back seats are designed to be easily taken out, in effect turning it back into a van. With windows. The best of all worlds. If you buy a straight van, A, it’s not pretty to look at and Wendy would kill me, and B, it will have been battered by people using it a tool to work. In a car/van, there’s a chance you can get a decent one. With one of those, with a towing hook and a roof rack, we could tow the boat on holiday (or roof rack it if it’s that kind of boat) and fit the pushbikes in the back, stood up, with all the luggage. And cheaper than upgrading Wendy’s car to a model of Mini that would take a towbar. But it is ugly. Ugly, ugly.

Then I thought of an estate. Lots of room on top to securely tie a boat. Towbar in case. Fold down/ removable seats, loads of room for kit. And some of them haven’t been beaten mercilessly with the ugly stick.

I spent all day yesterday, until gone midnight, looking into every option, narrowing my fields, comparing prices, until I found the perfect car.

That’s a stock image. The actual one has in-detail snaps of each part of it but no good overall pic.

It’s a Peugeot 308 sw. Roof rails for a roof rack. It has a towbar. It’s an ’04 car, which is getting on a bit, but it’s only done 51K miles! It has service history and a brilliant MOT record (I checked online). It’s £1600 and in Blackpool. And it’s not hideous.


That was about 01.00 this morning.

As soon as I’d finally found the perfect car and I could relax I realised I didn’t need one yet and I’d just wasted a whole day. *sigh* I might not like yachting. I might be leaving the boat at the lake (8.5 miles away). Wendy’s Mini would do fine for a roof rack one once a year on holiday. Bah.

As well as the book on sailing I’ve bought a lifejacket. Prerequisites for mucking about in a boat.

That’s where I am with that. Lots of hurry up and wait. Still, if I take to it, it’s definitely the right way to go. Lessons, get the right boat, safe sailing environment.

Then maybe get a bigger boat for taking Wendy out for gentle sails. If she ever warms to the idea. She has an unhealthy attachment to dry land and continued breathing. No fun.

Talking of, Wendy was immensely brave and went into work last Thursday. She’d built it up in her mind that it was all going to be terrible. Shouting, sacking, etc. So to go and face it when she’s still nowhere near right, was incredible bravery.

I used to think every one else was a bit cowardly because they, for instance, ran away from exploding ammunition while I was sat by it, unconcerned. But the truth is that’s just my condition, to not recognise dangerous situations, or to be not concerned by them. It’s not brave if you’re not scared. When you are faced with mind numbing terror and you do it anyway, that is bravery. In my life I’ve only ever been that brave once, pushing myself out of that ‘plane when my brain was screaming I was most certainly going to plummet to my death (I’m scared of heights) but I did it anyway. I didn’t die, in case you were wondering. But even that fear, though total, was only for one minute. After that I was out of the ‘plane and merely scared witless.

For Wendy, still freaking out with fear and anxiety, to drive herself into work and face the situation that had sent her that way… *that* is bravery.

Anywho, it went way better than she expected and better, even, than she had hoped. They know she is the only thing keeping the stats, and funding, coming in. They’ve agreed to her coming back two mornings a week for a month, and have gone a bit further by saying she’s not see any clients, just catch up on her job knowledge. Then they’ve agreed to her going back but just doing 3 days. With a reduced workload.

She came home in the afternoon and within minutes was flat out asleep. She said it was more of a coma than a sleep. Hahaha. As you do, when the tension relief hits.

Since then she’s been a different woman. She’s laughing again and just tons better. She’s still not right, but a few more days of getting over the fear of work (the fear of her workplace, she’s not workshy) and I think she’ll be a good 90%. It’s been a long and horrible ordeal for her. It’s so good to see her properly on the mend.

I took a week or two off running due to that last bout of plague weakness. I went out for a run this morning. As much to test the alleged direct correlation between exercise and Post Viral Fatigue, as for the run. I’m off for another 4 day’s. If I do an hour’s run each day that should test it. It’s win/win really. If it doesn’t waste me, yay! If it does, then I know the cause and I can hope to get completely better when I rest up.

Here’s a bit of Twitter then I’m done.

Meanwhile, in Liverpool: