Back from the booze-crooze….
Well, I’m back from darkest, dankest Norfolkshire – and what a week that was. A life on the broadland wave for the OK crew along with a yo-ho-ho and a bottle of gin, a case of medium-rough red wine and a brewery load of beer.
10 adults, one hyperactively bouncy-bouncy dog, two chemical residual karzis and a 1970’s retro-crap cruiser that wouldn’t look out of place in an early Cliff Richard movie. I can almost hear the song as Cliff, still in denial, still in the closet, serenades a young British starlet…. "We’re all a goin’ on a Summer boatin’ holiday"…..
Our boat, improbably called the ‘Majestic Gem 2’ was a Tardis in reverse. Big on the outside, mini-me with a liberal sprinkling of umpa-lumperage on the inside.
It was certainly cosy, especially in the corridor – lemon squeezy without the easy peasey – I don’t know, but everyone but me seemed to have piled on the pounds. Cupboards and drawers had creatively been renamed ‘Bedrooms’ - and the bijou kitchen or ‘galley’ as us nautical jonnies like to call it was a cast off from Barbie and Ken’s divorce settlement.
Our contingent of five plus the dog were inevitably the last to arrive at the boat yard - so all the best rooms had been taken. Worse than that, someone was wearing a Captain’s hat.
Well that’s it then. I’m completely outranked….
First and Second Mate had already been baggsied as well for God’s sake. Rope Coiler-in-Chief was history, as was Crow’s Nest Lad, Cook and Bin-Bag Wanger. Bugger! That just left Bilge Rat, Chemical Toilet Aspirator and Powder Monkey…. Not much of a choice for a man whose Dad was nicknamed ‘Matt Low’…..
I surveyed the jolly jack tarring of it all – everyone was really getting into the lifestyle on the ocean wave. Stripey jumpers, grog, ahoying their very own mateys, and everything….
The Cap’n held sway, well it was pretty damn choppy. With the wearing of that hat, he could marry us, he could bury us at sea, he could hang us from the yard arm, he could even get first use of the chemical karzi every morning….. In short, the Cap’n was God…. He could do anything he liked.
Obviously the Cap’n shouted "Avast behind", "Get back you scurvy dogs" and "Cast off aft, cast off forrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrad" alot….
Obviously, the Cap’n did all the driving.
Obviously, the Cap’n shouted a lot and was never wrong, even when he was.
It couldn’t go on.
Alfie resolved to buy an even bigger and even more gold braidier Captain’s hat than the encumbent Skip. I’ll outrank him with purest plastic bling.
Alfie resolved a name change. ‘Fletcher Christian’ seemed to fit the bill.
Alfie plotted….. Mutiny!
The first souvenir shop we hit in Wroxham had a fine stock of naval, power hats. I put one on my head. Immediately, I felt anointed. I felt Horatio Nelson himself coursing through my frame. A mirror, I must find a mirror.
And there I am, in all my salty glory.
Boy, I’m looking mighty sharp – jaunty almost. My hand sort of began to creep up to the peak of the hat – I felt a salute coming on…
"Yaaaaaa it’s Cap’n Birdseye"…..
Some gobby kid had just ruined the mood…. Twat! Crestfallen, I replaced the hat on the shelf, all shiny black peak, gleaming white cap and goldy-bling-bling badge of it. I shuffled away, wondering where the Bilge Rat calipers were kept……