My father is worried about ageing so he's devised this test which we have to complete on a daily basis. This way we can monitor our progress and note any improvement.
The test is to see how many times we can run up and down the stairs in one minute. So after a brief good morning, we test, collapse, pour coffee and make our to do list for the day.
This weekend after a hiatus of nearly 30 years, he planned to get back into a dinghy, having enjoyed the luxury of a much larger boat for the best part of 15 years. I fear this stair test may have been part of the preparation.
D-Day has been long coming. First, we had the purchase of the buoyancy aid, then the search of the depths of his wardrobe for any suitable clothing and lastely we've been running up and down the stairs for weeks.
Sunday dawned a beautiful day, possibly one of the finest of the year, would he or would he not appear? If so, what on earth would he be wearing? Granny Helen is well renowned for being well groomed but we all feared that she might not be able to control this one. Additionally he was repeatedly warned by several of his grandsons not to embarrass them with his attire.
I was teaching on the water in the morning, followed by safety boat duties in the afternoon, so I didn't spot him 'til I came in for a quick bite to eat. He'd arrived and for the large part he was successful, although I caught William and Rich having a little giggle as he was spotted wearing a rope for his belt.
William agreed to crew for him in the Vision. The boat was chosen for it's spacious hull and high boom. At 70, my father was opting for comfort over speed and style. The winds were light so they decided to join in with the 2 o'clock race. I was on safety, so I could additionally keep an extra eye on them. Charlie and Freddie joined me in the boat as it had turned into a glorious afternoon. They soaked up the Rays and I watched the racing.
My Dad and William were last to the start line, last to cross it and last over the finish and they'd forgotten to sign on. Joking aside after 30 years he'd done exceptionally well, they'd stayed dry, had a great time and both were full of smiles as they left the water.
This morning, I opened the door to my father. "Right, stairs time". He announced. I fear he may be back out on the water next week.