Yesterday I went out on a pleasant afternoon motor launch trip with my father and some friends on the south coast.
This was after I had braved England’s motorways to get there – and for the fourth consecutive time in doing so, found myself trapped in a serious traffic gridlock. This time the cause was a serious motor accident on the southbound M3, just before the junction with the M3. It looked pretty gruesome as we eventually cruised past, a medium-sized lorry clearly having gone into the back of something pretty substantial because its cabin had been involuntarily concertina’d into a fraction of its normal dimensions. From the safety of my own vehicle I couldn’t imagine how anyone inside at the time of the accident could have survived.
Having motored up the estuary and secured ourselves to a vacant buoy just off one of the coastal villages, we unpacked our picnic contributions whilst the host prepared a seriously strong set of double gin and tonics – of which we were obliged to consume two examples each – and then a bottle of red to help wash our sandwiches down.
Unusually for this summer, apart from interruptions by two short bouts of rain spitting, the sky remained blue and the sun shone. Much amusing conversation followed, time passed quickly, a flock of swans swam past at a slightly more sedate pace, and all in all we had a great time.
Back on dry land and eventually the house, we sat out on the terrace and continued the chat until it was time for something to eat. A short conference decided upon a fish and chips supper, so I set off to purchase the same from a nearby seaside town. Classic stuff – fish, a great pile of chips, salt, vinegar and a handful of pickled onions – soon all consumed in front of the television as we watched the build up to the France v Germany EURO 2016 semi-final soccer match on BBC1.
Sadly, once I’d downed my supper I was immediately overcome by fatigue and opted to drag myself upstairs to bed rather than watch the game. Accordingly, as in the background I heard the pre-match anthems of both nations being belted out on the sitting-room television, I wearily mounted the stairs and subsequently fell asleep to the sounds of the Radio Five commentary on my bedside radio.