Sunday, January 21, 2007

Golden Balls and Boats

“Which one d’you like sweetie?” asked David Beckham.

Victoria Beckham looked at both boats carefully. “Well that one’s a Princess and got just a lovely walk-in wardrobe” she said.

“We’ll take it” David said to the sales rep, who beamed back.

“Wait a minute, let me finish. The other one is a Sun Seeker – now that sounds nice – and it’s got its own jacuzzi”

David smothered a groan and looked around at the London Boat Show. “There’s a hundred boats here, there’s got to be one for you here”.

“But you don’t understand, David, it’s got to be just right. When top international stars like us go to LA we’ve got to accessorise to show our class. I heard Paris Hilton and Britney Spears are getting a matching pair of speed-boats”

“Wish they’d get a pair of knickers”

Victoria gave David a slap. “Don’t say that – it’s those horrid paps”

“Yes, your paps are much nicer”.

Victoria smiled. “You know what I mean – look at how they were chasing that nice Kate Middleton, even after they promised they wouldn’t”.

“What-ever, you going to buy or what”

“I don’t know, does it come in pink?” she asked the sales rep, who nodded, smile fixed as if by superglue.

“Not pink, not pink again, call it Posh’s Palace, Brooklyn II, anything, just not pink”.

“It’s my boat, you get to choose the other toys”

“Yup, iPhone and all the best from the Macworld”

Victoria sniffed. “You spend too long on that Apple – who is this Michelle Manhart I found you searching for”

“You wouldn’t be interested” Beckham quickly said, “she’s a US military sort in Iraq, its international politics, very boring, not your cup of tea at all”.

“Oh”. Victoria had lost interest.

“Come on, I’ve got a meeting with the Florida Gators management team. Someone called Yvonne Decarlo or something like that.”

“Maybe not a boat” said Victoria, “but a car”.

“Now you’re talking” said David, perking up, “let’s go to the Detroit Auto Show”.


It's a slow period for sailing when the nights are long and the days cold. So for the foreseeable future this will be a once a week blog.

This week I'm trying an experiment suggested by Ken Levine on his blog - post an entry with all the top search phrases and see how it impacts the hit-rate. In this case it was to include all the terms in Google's Zeitgeist in a boating related piece of fiction.

Hope you enjoy the results.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Boat Show Round-up

So I went - but it was only just worth it. It doesn't help that the exhibition centre Excel is the edge of beyond (ok East London) and it didn't help that there was a signal failure on the Docklands Light Railway which meant a 20 min hike through the wilds of Canning Town (which is clearly a place you should leave your valuables at home before visiting).

It should be a plus that the place is so huge it feels empty, but it lessons the character and atmosphere. Maybe in an attempt to generate some excitement that many of stands went interactive, with demos of how to lay an anchor, competitions to haul up a dinghy's mainsail or grind a volvo, and a fog tunnel.

I was most interested by the America's Cup boat on display, BMW Oracle. Particularly impressive was the size of the track - understandable given the loads involved.

There wasn't enough time to look round the boats or do any shopping as was the last two hours on Thursday. But its my favourite time to go as the stands hand out free drinks and hire bands.

So many thanks to the Laser stand for the beer and music. But alas they were out budgeted by Sun Seeker(who else) who had hired a The Committments style band (below) for their stand.

Now that was fun!

But what does it say about a boat show when the best bit was the beer and the band?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

What's the point of Boat Shows?

Its that time of year again. The Christmas decorations have been put away for another year and England is grey and wet, so it must be time for the London Boat Show.

But I can't get enthusiastic and wonder why bother going. It's not like the year I was thinking of buying a dinghy so had fun checking out Lasers and Toppers. It's not like the year I met up with a couple of friends in the champagne bar, nor the year another friend was exhibiting.

If I go at all it will be the late Thursday night where there seems to be an open bar at most stands. But at the moment its only 50:50.

But yes, this sailor does think a spinnaker is much like a bikini top.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

River Life

Happy New Year!

One of my favourite quotes comes from The Wind in the Willows. As Ratty introduces Mole to the river he says "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolute nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats". It is of course so true.

Almost all the action of the book takes place beside the River Thames, which I can now see gliding gently past my new flat.

The river is fascinating, ever changing. Tides come and go, birds flock and feed, clouds rush by, while flurries on the water show gusts of wind. This afternoon we saw a melancholy Christmas Tree - floating upstream as the tide was in full flood. If I wait a few hours I'll see it come back down again.

I love watching it so no doubt more river stories in the future.

Anyhow, hope you all had great holiday breaks!