December 31st 1983

posted in: The way back | 0

Harry (on the left) – they really are easing the boat along the wharf.

We spent all day on the boat today, + the boat itself made little progress, just advancing 20 yards or so along the channel.  Still, apart from some inevitable frustration at not going anywhere, the day passed most pleasantly.  I wrote this – (I’ve set myself the target of completing 3 days e very day until I catch up), played chess against various crew members, + losing every game (I reckon they’re a bunch of chess wizards); + Val sewed.  Plus there were the usual things – mandi-ing, eating.  We had a little bit of trouble with Harry.  He did some shopping for us, + tho’ he didn’t get exactly what we wanted, + wasn’t as careful about getting a good price as we would have been, we couldn’t really complain.  More important, he seemed to take a liking to a couple of our possessions.  We had lent him the green bag to collect the shopping, + he seemed very reluctant to give it back.  Even more important, Val discovered that our small photo wallet, in which we keep a collection of pictures to show to others, was tucked away in his locker.  She retrieved it without saying anything, but we vowed to keep a closer eye on our belongings.

The owner came aboard during the afternoon – he too seems quite happy for us to be going along – + that provoked some work on the rigging.  A good no of the crew left later, presumably to celebrate the new year, but we stayed on board with the watch contingent.  Harry rushed back very excited during the evening, bearing a bag of new clothes, most of which he’d been given, he said.  He presented us with a doughnut each, asked Val to take up his trousers, + then disappeared again.

Val went to bed early, while I read for a while.  Then, at 11.30, I went to lie down for a little while, + fell asleep.  The first New Year I’ve missed since I don’t know when.  I could list them – 83 Twin Pines, 82 Merida, 81 Oxford, 80 Widdacombe’s “Mama Told Me Not To Come” party, 79 Hatfield, with Bob in the pub, 78 Davidstow, 77 Welwyn pubs with Kev (I think.)  And before that a succession of pub crawls + parties in the Welwyn area.  And next year?  England, I reckon.

Not the most ininteresting of final paragraphs – sorry about that – but an indication of how much I was set on home. Otherwise, a day on board, and learning to cope with Harry (actually his real name was Ari, but he seemed happy enough with the Anglicised version. Quite a lot of chess for me, though I do seem to have been given something of a lesson.

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