Wouldn’t it be nice if once, just once, life was boring and everything went according to schedule? I could happily do boring for a while.
Whizzo scheme No. 1
An Ocean Youth Trust trip for the boys. What a great idea! Time off school was negotiated, forms completed, money paid. The boat is due to leave this Sunday from Holyhead. No problem! We’d go via Manchester on Saturday, collecting Boy Cousin en route. And oh look! The World Short Course Swimming Championships are on in Manchester – what a bonus! So I bought tickets a couple of days ago. And even better – I have a meeting in Bangor on Tuesday so let’s reschedule everyone for Monday and I’ll stay over for it.
Have you spotted it yet? No, I didn’t either. Nor did a lot of other people, it seems.
The boat, the Greater Manchester Challenge, a large boat, a tall ship in fact, has been over wintering in a marina in Liverpool and is all fitted out and raring to go.
Spotted it yet?
Meanwhile, the marina has been happily working on its lock gates…
… and they’ve not finished. The gates are closed, shut, not to be moved. The boat is on the wrong side of the gates. It is going nowhere this week. It’s too big to crane out. Three OYT trips have already been cancelled. More will be cancelled as, even if the work is finished this weekend, the tides will be wrong.
Two more ordinary yachts have been booked for our group instead. They can still go sailing, led by the OYT staff. They’ll still learn about sails, navigation, chartwork, tides, weather, sea conditions, making new friends and eating what’s put in front of them. In fact, that last might be the most challenging part of the trip for GP2. It won’t be quite the same tall ship experience, with big sails but maybe they’ll want to do that another time.
But there is one snag. They’re leaving from Largs. Much closer to us, not nearly so far to drive, much more sensible in fact. If I hadn’t just booked expensive tickets to the swimming and arranged a meeting in Bangor for 9am Monday.
Whizzo scheme No. 2
The swimming club would appoint a professional coach. We did it. It’s been a great success. She’s been in post a year and the club has moved forward apace. More swimmers, more competitions, more pool time, structured training, individual development, a real buzz. We’ve been looking towards the future and rebuilding the club once more.
M’s partner has been offered a job in the south of England and they’re off at the end of the month.
Of course this could have happened at any time. We might not have got on. She might have hated us (perhaps she does and is only being polite!). We might have hated her – we don’t, she’s been great. She might have been offered a better deal with another club. She might have decided to take on a real job herself.
There isn’t one yet. Advertisements are out for a replacement but coaches are hard to find. We’re not quite back to square one as we now have a much better structure in place and M has promised to leave us coaching plans to see us through the short term.
But big sigh.
And of course we all wish M well with her move to a new life in the deep south. At least the weather will be better down there.