No need to be rudderless in Beaulieu…
There’s something rather depressing about a Travelodge. Plain and simple and ‘no frills’ is fine, but what was most perplexing was the heated towel rail in the bathroom. It was disconnected, with a neat tag attached to the end of the lead which said ‘This towel rail has been disconnected for your own safety’.
It rather reinforces the feeling that you’re in a padded cell for the mentally deranged, because of course you can’t open the windows either, which have been locked for your safety. You spend the night too hot even under the very flimsy duvet, wondering when all the air in the room will have been used up.
We were enjoying this rather dubious hospitality to exhibit at Beaulieu Boat Jumble last weekend and had an early start on the Sunday morning. To add to our delight, it was raining first thing – the first rain in weeks on the one day we’re doing an outdoor show. Perry asked the girl on reception if she had a weather forecast. She frowned and said ‘no, sorry’…. then inspiration struck. ‘I think it’s raining at the moment’, she said helpfully. As Perry had just come in from the car park and his coat was dripping all over the reception desk, the information was not strictly necessary. Ah well, it was very early in the morning, I suppose.
The day did improve – the sun shone, our new marquee didn’t blow away and the crowds were out in force. Beaulieu is the largest boat jumble, a wonderful event that flies in the face of all the popular misconceptions that yachting is a posh sport. Boat jumbles are living proof that most sailors like nothing more than rummaging around in a box of odd rusty shackles and heading home with a cut price length of rope, a pair of mismatched oars and some dubious but cheap antifouling. In the spirit of the occasion we were doing plenty of discounts, especially on the new log books, and it was a good day. I was very restrained, I thought, restricting my spending to a pair of dinghy oars (matching) and a dinghy rudder which will be the basis for a piece of artwork. Eventually. Here’s the outcome of last year’s Beaulieu ‘bargain’. Why paint a rudder anyway? Who knows, I just love the shape. I could probably find something deep and meaningful along the lines of a rudder giving you direction in life, but perhaps not. I’ll have another glass of wine and think about that one…..