It is that time of the year again. The next scan is looming, Ms Raccoon is within touching distance (next Wednesday!) of her latest goal (to make it to 68!) and a suitable adventure had to be found to mark this milestone.
The excursion on the Lord Nelson was such a memorable disaster that I wasn’t sure how I felt about the latest lady in Cap’n G’s life. Damn near as old as me, but, I am told, marginally less trouble to maintain in working order. Not only that, but you can switch her off with a flick of your finger. The old fool is in love.
The Cap’n has been a swirl of perpetual motion for the past few weeks, alternating between swabbing the morning dew off her and racing to make my tea on time, before returning to fret over the impellers in her water pump. He’s even taken an interest in ‘soft furnishings’…unbelievable.
So it is that the royal barge ‘Raccooniana’ has been prepared and ready to slip her moorings this morning for my annual tour round the western bullrushes.
She has been victualled with the finest Suffolk black bacon, cured with molasses, dark beer, fennel and coriander, eggs from a hen fully aware of the responsibility of providing for the delicate palate of Ms Raccoon, and a large loaf from Mssrs. Marks & Spencer, petrol, bread and toilet paper provenders.
A thought just occurred to me – do you think the invention of Andrex quilted ‘soft as your face’ is responsible for the decline of the newspaper industry? What else do we need newspapers for now that canaries are out of fashion? Put your mind to that while I’m gone.
There is a good pub a mere three hours up river, so I should survive to read your ruminations.
He’s even bought me a life jacket – me! with the one mile certificate still lying on my desk. No suitable life jacket could be found for the faithful hound, so he is to be left ashore with a houndmaiden – one or other of them should bite any would be burglars. My money is on the houndmaiden.
Thus Ms Raccoon will be playing maritime dogems with the plastic floating holiday cottages that roar up and down the broads at this time of year with skull and cross bones flying, piloted by hen parties in varied states of intoxication, and she is told she will enjoy it.
She has taken her trusty Roberts radio, the latest Private Eye and Paul Gambaccini’s book just in case. Oh, and three pairs of Mr G’s socks, a sou’wester, and a sea trunk packed with medication has just been hauled aboard. I learnt something the last time I was afloat.
Acht! corkscrew, I knew I’d forgotten summit.
If I’m back before Wednesday – don’t bother to ask, something went wrong.
Play nicely, there’s no one to let you out of moderation. Wi-fi? You jest.