This morning I awoke early, anticipating the exciting day ahead.
We would have a good start – our little fleet, and very modestly get as far as Long Itchington tonight perhaps before tying up. The Sun would be shining and all would be well with me and the World on this special first day of this splendid season of cruising.
As it was early, I staggered out of bed rather drunkenly, scratching the sleep from my eyes as I did so and lurched towards the toilet, whilst slipping my feet into slippers that had inadvertently and unbeknown to me got themselves round the wrong way during the night. So as I stood in the little room wondering why there were two lumps where they shouldn’t be under my feet, on the outside of each shoe, it never occurred to me to try to look through the porthole at what the day was like. It was only just getting light after all and my eyes were still nearly closed.
Full of enthusiasm I continued the normal routine of my day; made the fire up, sat in my easy chair even more positively than usual with the first cup of tea and had my shave. Then I got dressed into my full working regalia ready for the off; it was lovely to feel its special warmth around me again after so much time.
Eagerly I wolfed down my breakfast of porridge oats, coffee and toast lavishly spread with honey so I had plenty of calories to work off in the locks, which I was gladly looking forward to.
How wonderful this first momentous day would be.
“Right let’s go.” I said to myself with relish and optimism when I had finished and while moving to the rear of the boat and up to the after hatches.
I flung them open in readiness and anticipation of breathing in the first lovely lungful of air on this beautiful bright day. I had done it so many times before.
Imagine my horror therefore when, on opening the doors, I was greeted not with the wonderful sunshine I had expected but with a cold face-ful of wetness, as heavy rain hurled itself against me.
Taken aback I closed the doors again very quickly, with spirits as well as body severely dampened. I turned around and went back slowly forward towards my easy chair in front of my warm, dry fire, where I would be, as Fagin so succinctly puts it in the show ‘Oliver’ “..reviewing the situation.”
Coming to no successful conclusion I went aboard ‘Roots and Wings’ to see if Janis could boost my flagging spirits and after a lengthy planning meeting, after we had discovered that the rain was expected for the whole day, we decided as the true, honest all-weather sailors that she and I both know we are:
To batten well down and stay exactly where we are until tomorrow.
Yes we would get underway tomorrow.
Definitely we would!