A very sociable weekend

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’ve ignored the news and kept clear of current affairs programs on the TV.

Instead I’ve had a very sociable weekend. I’ve still downloaded the Times and read a few bits – I always read Melanie Reed’s spinal Column in the Saturday magazine. It’s been several years since her tragic riding accident and she has a great attitude to life. Giles Coren’s restaurant reviews have, from time to time, got him both verbally and physically attacked. He tells it how it and is highly entertaining.   

Robert Crampton is the beta male. He and I have so much in common that my wife sometimes asks if I ghost write his column –  for the purpose of clarity I want to point out that I have never met Robert, but I’d be very happy to do so, and that I do not, have not, and never expect to write his column.

On Friday we enjoyed a social evening at the sailing club, and that’s not as posh as it sounds. We gathered in our large wooden shed beside a rapidly drying ditch, sitting on old plastic garden chairs we picked from a variety of takeaway menus. Two of us were despatched to collect the meals from the Chinese/Fish & Chips/Pizza restaurants while the others arranged trestle tables and paper table cloths.

There was plenty to go around and several people took doggie bags home – there’s nothing like cold pizza dipped in sweet and sour sauce for breakfast. We have no alcohol licence so you have to bring your own drinks, everyone did and they were mostly soft. One of our member spoiled us with a home made pudding, a great big apple pie smothered in double cream. I could feel the arteries hardening and it was wonderful.

We chatted for a couple of hours about boats and families. Mostly we’ve known each other for so long that it’s one big extended family in all but name. Our wooden hut might not be the most celebrated clubhouse on the east coast, and I’m sure it’s never going to win any design award. But it’s the scene of some of the most memorable occasions of our thirty plus years in this town.

Fast-forward to 6am this morning and our annual breakfast race. The idea is that we have a silent start with no guns or hooters to disturb the neighbours. The Sailors are meant to “read” the flags and cross the start line accordingly.

We can ignore the race, I did as well as I ever do. Once everyone had finished, and the boats were out of the water, we settled down for a fabulous fried breakfast. Thanks must go to the members who cooked bacon, eggs, sausages and tomatoes on a Bar-b-que. Once again the trestle tables came out, we sat either side as they stretched down through the dingy park. Although it is September, the early morning sunshine was bright and warm, we feasted on a breakfast fit for a king.

And this is the point of today’s blog. Good food doesn’t need to be served on bone china plates in opulent surroundings and chased down with fine wines. If the right people get together over takeaway food or a Bar-b-que breakfast, eaten off plastic plates. In a wooden shed it can still feel special and create an atmosphere of joy filled thankfulness. We are drawing towards the end of our sailing calendar for 2019, there are maybe half a dozen races left. Our plans for 2020 will be constructed around social events like this as much as trophy races and personal handicap events. 

Thats all I have to say, I’m off for a bath with a good book . You can see what I’ve been reading by clicking on this link. It’s not a comprehensive list of everything I’ve read recently but you might find few hours of escapism here.