It's been an endlessly fun weekend. One of two halves.
Saturday morning dawned and William and I set back off down the M6 with the Tera strapped to the roof. On advice, this time I attached the painter. This meant that if my straps decided to fail, the boat should merely slide down the back of the car in an embarrassing manner as opposed to flying off the roof causing unimaginable damage.
We arrived intact and on time. We signed on, rigged and launched. I bumped into Steve and we slipped off to the chandlery. Owning a growing fleet of boats means there is an endless list of items that I require.
An hour passed in the chandlery as a growing throng of men appeared, as we weighed up the different options of creating outhaul and downhaul in various boats. After the initial cheery hellos, came the "Don't tell my wife you saw me in here!". A few giggles. The stories began to flow. "Oh you need to get your stuff delivered to work that way they don't know". "Or those new Amazon collection boxes that you find outside the supermarkets and petrol stations" another chipped in.
I discovered a whole new male underworld. The equivalent to the ladies who hide their shopping in the wardrobe and when their husbands ask where the item came from they simply reply "Oh that old thing!".
Next time I need a favour I know where I'll be headed.
After the chandlery followed a meeting, by which time I'd missed the first 3 races but my number hadn't been called out on the tannoy so all seemed to be ok.
In the chandlery Andy had promised to teach me how to splice. Yet another new skill I hadn't envisaged ever learning, so for Race 4 I found myself back in the boat park learning to splice.
The boats came in. William full of smiles. We'd both had a great days. Apart but together.
Sunday dawned and I was off to a cricket festival with Freddie for the day. Could this possibly top my day yesterday? I knew very little of the format of the game, who the players or parents were. I duly introduced myself to a player's father who replied "Jane, have you forgotten me, we sat together to watch the boys at the Athletics last week?". Fail. Big Fail.
The day was fun, the boys played well. I loved the team camaraderie and atmosphere. It was quite intoxicating. I leant on my new/old friend for advice. " How many runs do they lose for a wicket?". My questions were endless but answered kindly and carefully each time.
I needed the a nudge from time to time to remember to watch Freddie bat and bowl and as the day progressed I became more entranced and by the time team made the final, I was gripped counting the score as the game unfolded.
One ball remained in the final over, the opposing team were 1 run ahead and the only way we could win was by taking the final wicket. We silenced, the boys screamed wicket, wicket, wicket. The bowler took an enormous run up, bowled and hit the stumps. We erupted into cheers, grown men hugged and shed a tear whilst the boys took a victory lap around the pitch.
I had no idea cricket was so captivating, so exciting, so bonding. The last time I felt a similar wild mix of emotions was watching Jonny Wilkinson kick the drop goal in the final of the a Rugby World Cup.
It's been a weekend of two halves and a good one at that.