Setting out from the chapel, I was determined to follow some of the others as based on my experience in poole the previous night, I wasn't sure if the satnav would not have another problem and this plan worked quite well ( even if I would have given anything to have a passenger to talk too)
However after a badly timed light, I lost the people in front of me which I didn't think would be a issue. But I then became aware that several people had, had the same idea I had but instead were following me! Which was not a comforting thought as I was dependent on the talking little box that had not been proving to be the most dependable of electronic gizmos that weekend!
Fortunately it decided to play nice and got me to the right destination. Meeting up with some of the others from the convention we headed to the waterfront. Now, it's often said that it is easy to pick out church members in a crowd and this was certainly true that night, as we were in a major town on a Saturday night. Plus there was the not so small fact that several people were dressed up in fancy dress. Even Fraggle who was dressed up as jimmy saville, which due to later events ( which if you haven't been living under a rock you will know about ) is probably the last time he will ever dress up like that.
Now I had heard about the "boat" from a previous year so was somewhat looking forward to the trip, and it was a big boat. Even so, I moved to bag a seat on the top deck pretty quickly as it wasn't what you could call a large deck.
Being in a good mood ( and that I hadn't really mentioned to anyone what I was up to that weekend) I decided to have some fun by updating my facebook status update to say words to the effect of " In a change to my usual Saturday night, I am now on a boat" and didn't say anything else which prompted a great response from one of my friends from work of
" Wait... what???"
he, he, he, he.
I later confused her even more by sending a text message later on that night when we were out to sea ( there was general amusement from people when we found there was phone coverage but no internet access. However would we update facebook :-) by saying "you've heard of snakes on a plane well this is a text from a boat". Her response was somewhat to the point
" All right just what the heck are you up too?"
The trip was a wonderful night, most people spent the night below decks as there was a dance floor, but despite dancing the previous night therew as no way I was going to try dancing on a boat. Besides being out to sea was giving me the opportunity for some fantastic photo opportunities and a sunset that was just awe inspiring; Plus it gave me a chance to talk to some members of the "canon club". And by this I mean that as the average age of the attendee's was somewhat higher then a YSA conference it was reflected in our choice (plus what we could afford of course) of gizmos and gadgets. Namely a lot of DSLR's, spilt between canon and nikon, hence the canon club and the nikon club.
The president of the canon club ( by virtue she had the best model) proved to be a lot of fun as we spent a lot of time pointing out opportunities to each other for great shots and taking tips from each other. And we both got dozens of great photos of such a awe inspiring sunset . However as soon as the sun went down, it got cold, fast!.
However in another one of those " I really can't believe that just happened/ no one will believe this moments) one of the two ladies who had come back to use my B&B came up to the top deck and satdown, complaining it was cold and suddenly sat down next to me, moments before cheery from earlier reappeared and she came over to say hello. I introduced her to Roch ( the code name for one of the ladies who came back), she asked how she knew me and roch responded that I was one of the ladies who I had taken back to my room, at which point cheery laughed and said well she had got me first by necking with me and sat down on my knee and put her arm round my shoulder in order to keep talking to me and roch.. My first thought was, well this is cosy and my second thought which just made me giggle was, without a picture there's no way anyone is going to believe this.
There was also a attempt to launch several Chinese lanterns, which due to high winds proved ( if you pardon the term) a rather damp squig as even with using a whole box of matches in one go, the lanterns would not stay lit. In the end the two which did light only proved to have a few seconds of flight before being promptly blown into the sea.
The end of the evening ended with me making friends with a group of girls who were primary school teachers, and it was half way through talking with them that Fraggle appeared and I realised to my general astonishment I was actually introducing somebody to him.
But it wasn't long after this I was finally driven below decks by the rapidly dropping temperature. Whilst watching the port approach through one of the side "openings" ( I can't think of a better word right now) I reflected on the weekend and I realised that I was really, really happy. Yes it had been a radical change for me to come so far to a activity and yes it could have backfired. But it hadn't, it hadn't at all. In fact it had really buoyed me up ( one of my friends at work would later comment she hadn't seen me in such a good mood for long time)
By the time I eventually got back to the B&B and climbed into bed, I was feeling very tired but a good kind of tired I hadn't felt since the last YSA conference.
It was proving to be a good weekend.
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