You can call me a curmudgeonly old git if you like, but last night I avoided all special plans and went to bed at 9.10pm both because it was my bedtime and I was tired.
Ironically, I then woke up with a start, heard on Radio Five Live that it was 11.40pm, and decided to get up and see the New Year in for the first time in nine years. A countdown on BBC1 to the central London fireworks, the opening of a cheap supermarket bottle of pink fizz (literally described as that on the label!), three sips from a champagne glass … and I was on my way back upstairs to bed before 00.05 hours on 1st January 2015.
This morning I took the dog for a walk in the dank, cold, overcast morning air. The water was up, almost covering the end of the jetty and I was reminded of a tale my father told yesterday of the time that the police came to see him when my son (then aged about 11 or 12) was accused of stealing a sailing cruiser.
The facts are that my son had spotted said vessel moored to the end of the family’s private jetty. He then took it upon himself to go on board, untie the boat and manoeuvre it to the nearest ‘public’ mooring buoy, adjacent to the sailing club, about 150 yards away. Later, when the owner and his crew returned he got very animated and – presumably on the basis that whoever moved it had done so without his permission – had called the police to report said ‘offence’.
My father was fortunately able to put the matter to rest. When it was suggested to him that a kid that young was de facto incapable of taking charge of a cruiser that size on his own – and, indeed, that to let him do so was irresponsible by anyone in loco parentis – the police were satisfied with my father’s response that his grandson was one of the most accomplished helmsmen of his age he’d ever come across and that he would be happy leave his own boat in his charge at any time.