Friday, 17 April 2009

Jolly good boating weather

A group of us is thinking about pooling some of our resources and investing in a communal boat. A boat, at a time when the credit crunch is biting hard and we are all meant to be pulling in our horns because nearly all of us are feeling the pinch.

So what better time to get a boat, when prices are low and everyone is fed up? Especially when the village is so near the sea. Near enough, but not so near that we get tangled up with day trippers and second homers.

The reason for this possibility is that we suddenly have an opportunity. And we're not sure what to do with it.

Some years ago, when Mr Grigg was having a Howard's Way moment, he put his name down for a mooring at Lyme Regis. This is the place made famous by fossil collector Mary Anning, in Jane Austen's novel Persuasion and John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman. The place where ichthyosaur skeletons were discovered, where Austen's heroine Louisa Musgrove dramatically banged her head because of her own impetuosity and where Meryl Streep famously walked to the end of the Cobb in a big hooded cloak and then looked smoulderingly over her shoulder.

It is the place where the gardens literally tumbled down to the sea before the council stepped in to prop them up, the place pictured in the broadsheets every time there is a storm (thanks to the artistry and news sense of photographer Richard Austin), and where locally-born chef Mark Hix has a restaurant overlooking the Cobb.

And now, we have just been informed by the harbourmaster that Mr Grigg's name is at the top of the mooring list. This is great, but the problem is we don't have a boat. So, after a few glasses of wine, talk has turned to getting a little day boat a few of us, under Mr Grigg's watchful sailor's eye, could have some fun in.

Mrs Bancroft has visions of her city-bound family coming down at weekends for picnics and waterskiing. In his mind, Mr Grigg has already bought the lobster pots and has fishing lessons lined up with Number One Daughter's fiance, whose prowess with a rod and line has won him many competitions.

Mr Loggins, if he knew about it, would have bought his captain's hat. I can see Posh Totty lying out in her Boden swimsuit on the deck while MDF Man and Sparky Mark sit down for an ice cold beer. There would be Night Nurse exquisitely turned out in blue and white striped jersey and white capri pants and navy deck shoes.

Celebrity Farmer would be trying to use the boat as a babe magnet, Super Mario and Princess Peach would be entertaining us with tall stories. There would be Mr St John in shorts, and his Lady Friend in the cockpit sipping G&Ts. Darling Loggins would be in charge of deck games, Nobby Odd-Job would be tinkering, Mr Sheepwash would be fiddling around with bits here and there and Pelly would be slaving away in the galley and worrying about the vessel's seaworthiness.

Packman would be bellowing 'land ahoy' from the crow's nest, Randy Munchkin would be enjoying a well-earned rest away from the children, Dudley would be naked at the piano like Terry Jones in Monty Python, Tuppence and Caruso would sing The Owl and the Pussycat, our resident DJ, Ding Dong Daddy, named after a Louis Armstrong number, would be told to put soft, mood music on and Monty Chocs-Away would have to leave his flying helmet at home and put on something more appropriate.

Yes, I can can see it now.

Hmm, I think we'll need a considerably larger boat.

That's about it
Love Maddie x


  1. Don't forget... standing in the mud as the tide rushes in, scrubbing her bottom!
    .....the wind!
    .....the fog!
    .....the rain!
    .....the waves!
    .....anchors stuck!
    .....the tide's out!
    I'm not trying to pee on your parade, I wouldn't change a thing!

  2. Wonderful idea Maddie, nothing more relaxing than an evening at sea. Just think of all those fresh mackeral. And don't pass up the chance of a mooring, they are as rare as rocking horse poo! I've seen just the boat for you, on the jetty outside the cafe at the Bay, big for sale sign on it. Big enough for a bit of lounging - go for it.

  3. Have just booked a week in Lyme in July, lucky enough to live and holiday in the same county. Will look out for any distress calls and flares!!

  4. Brilliant fun. I am scared of small boats. I've been known to cry. I can't make that leap over a gap from the side into the boat because of the water. I have been carried off a small boat before now.

    But I am always a source of entertainment although Morty tells me off for making a spectacle of myself.

    I am the same on a cable car.

  5. Maddie, You have rekindled my many happy memories of Lyme Regis. I spent most weekends there in the Summer of 1965. We used to drive down in our Mini Moke (Very 60's) from Chard in Somerset. I remember the Stone's song "I wanna get out of this place" was No. 1 in the charts at the time. Go for it, get your boat, and to heck with the recession.

  6. What a fab idea! You are lucky to be near Lyme Regis, its such a lovely place.

  7. A mooring in Lyme Regis
    sounds like the ultimate in cool. You just have to have a boat now, it is clearly meant.

  8. The last time I went to Lyme Regis it was a blustery winter's day and I was photographed on the Cobb wearing a cape and doing a Meryl Streep impersonation!

  9. Can't wait for the first sailing !!

  10. ......and you, Maddie?......what will you be doing on that boat?


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