This is William. He's not one of those kids that tend to carry their problems. He's fairly relaxed.
This weekend, William was sailing in the RS Tera Start of Seasons. A great event, a squad selector and the first event after the long cold winter's training. William is fairly new to the class, so for him, it was a matter of completing the event and learning something new.
I was William's plus one for the weekend, as the others were off on rugby tour and a D of E weekend. So we had each other exclusively. This could go one of two ways. Brilliantly or hopelessly.
We set off, car loaded up. William excitedly sat in the front. Then opened his book. "William, darling, would you mind awfully putting the postcode into the satnav? I've got to concentrate." Driving with the boat on the roof makes me terribly nervous. I have visions of it flying of half way down the motorway. So I've learnt that the best policy once you've checked, double checked and tripled checked it, is to panic about it continually until you arrive safely. "Sure, no problem." He replied.
Ok, silence save for the odd page turning. "William, would you put the radio on? I could use the company." (Monster hint). "Sure, no problem" replied William as he twiddled the stereo without his eyes leaving the page of the book. Marvellous, thanks darling.
The forecast for the weekend, being the end of April and all that, was cold. Artic winds coming from the North. How joyous. After what has felt like a very prolonged winter, we are all desperate for a little respite. However the sun shone. All day. I helped out on finish line which was great fun as we got to cheer all the kids as they came over the line. There were 72 competitors, a super bunch, full of smiles as they crossed the line. A great day.
I treated William to a curry that evening. Just the 2 of us at the local curry house. I brushed my hair and William changed his socks. They treated us royally. The book was banished and we had a wonderful evening discussing the days highlights.
The next morning dawned. I was woken by the cats, that William had insisted I needed last night in my room. It was like sleeping in a zoo. We set off, William pulled out his book and I begged for radio company. We arrived, with 20 minutes to spare, only to be greeted with the sight of the boats launching off to the race course. Some brilliant friends rigged William's boat whilst I pulled his wetsuit on and taped chocolate bars to his boat. They were doing 4 races back to back. I had to radio a rib to take me out to the finish line. I arrived as the starting gun sounded. A little close to the wire. Maybe William and I shouldn't be left alone too often.
Not only did we survive, we thrived. The car was possibly a low point for me, watching a boat that isn't going to fall off, isn't good for the soul. William sailed well, learnt lots, largely pulling in his main and eating the chocolate bars that I had lovingly taped to his boat. We all reunited with a family dinner and swapped tales.
It's Monday morning, I've at least 5 loads of non standard washing to do and my machine is broken. It has spent the last 8 hours on the final spin and I know deep down that it is broken. Smelly dripping wetsuits, towels and tennis gear are waiting to be renewed for the next adventure. Deep breath, open the secret hatch my mother once showed me, eyes closed and hand in. It turns out the filter is utterly and disgustingly clogged. Pleased that all the synchronised swimming training has not gone to waste as I hold my breath and shut my eyes whilst I clean the filter. Washing machine mended. Monday Morning Success.
A rare feeling. I'm rather more used to the Monday Morning Crash. I'm rather wondering whether I'm just an adrenaline junkie or that I find life a bit scarier than most.
This weekend was no exception. Although it was non sailing weekend for me. It was a big one for the boys. We were all off to Rutland Water. George and Simon were taking the 29er for their first big sail and William was off to Tera Boot Camp. There were plenty of things for me to worry about.
First off, we needed to leave by 6.50am. For those of you that know me well, I'm not a morning person and that itself was challenge enough. To top it off it began snowing. In April? At 6.30 in the morning? Rude.
We arrived safely and on time, the boys rigged, William skipped off to boot camp, Simon was straight out on the wire, massive grins all round. The boys had a brilliant morning, we stopped for lunch, thanked the coach and awaited the big moment of setting them free under only the general safety cover at Rutland. The winds picked up and the Tera kids stayed on shore. George and Simon set off under strict instructions to stay within the agreed area.
They had some fantastic runs with the kite up, going further and longer than they had gone before. we whooped and filmed until a monstrous squall came through. Bang over they went. Here was the moment of truth. We were helpless we had to sit and watch as they repeatedly capsized time and time again. Rain came with the squall which made visibility impossible. We had to trust them out there. We asked the shore team to radio for help our hearts raced. Kathryn and I stood helplessly, both terrified. I wiped the binoculars and saw the pair of them stood together on the dagger board. Sensible, boys well done. Safety reached them, George had to cut the main halyard with his knife as they were over powering the safety boat. They then brought them in.
Rich was messaging, how were they getting on? Watch out they might have an adrenaline crash. They might? I think we might... Kathryn and I hugged each other mightily relieved glad to see them safely back on shore.
Back at home, I drunk a gin and tonic faster than I ever had done. I fear Kathryn may have done the same.