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Blowing a fuse

Oh, the joys of a bank holiday weekend! A whole extra day in which to relax, enjoy yourself, and spend time with the kids.

In our case, after serious effort on the part of the Sailing Fanatic (making dinner! Ironing!! And coming home early from work!!!) we decided that there would be no better way to spend our bank holiday Monday than to have a jolly family trip to the boat.

What could be nicer than a bit of pottering, a picnic, rowing about the marina in a dinghy and maybe – weather depending – a sail!

So Monday morning saw us up bright and early, ready for the hour and a half drive to the marina. It was sunny when we set off. The east coast of Scotland blazed in sunshine, a sunshine that diminished the further west we went until, by the time we hit Largs, big drops of rain were splattering down onto the car.

We sat in the marina car park, peering out at the deluge.

‘Picnic in the car, anyone?’ I said.

Silence from the back seat. The Sailing Fanatic faked a smile.

‘It’ll clear up!’ he said. ‘See! It’s getting lighter already!’

True enough, if you took a monsoon as your starting point.

‘We’ll run for it,’ said the Sailing Fanatic. ‘It’s not far!’

So we all ran for it, as best we could, along the wooden pontoons to the boat, hopping in the rain as the Sailing Fanatic ripped open the hatch and hustled us inside.

‘There! That wasn’t too bad!’

The Sailing Fanatic bustled about, pushing sails, bags and an old battered toolbox into the forward cabin, so that we could sit down.

‘Lunch time!’

We sat, perched round the cabin table, munching.

‘This is fun, isn’t it!’ shouted the Sailing Fanatic, over the percussion of the rain.

Stony silence from across the table. I faked a smile.

‘You betcha!'

Poor Sailing Fanatic. He tried his best. He really did. But normally there is a lot for us to do on the boat. Normally we can be out and about. And normally it isn’t raining. This time it was too wet even to go up on deck. We were all stuck inside the cabin.

The Sailing Fanatic began to faff. He went out. He came in. He went out. He came in. He pulled out his list of things to do. He crumpled up his list of things to do. He went out. He came in…

‘I’m bored!’ said Daughter Number Two.

‘I’m cold!’ said Daughter Number One.

‘Aha!’ announced the Sailing Fanatic, bouncing with the excitement of having something to do. ‘I have the very thing.’ He rummaged in a cupboard and produced an old white fan heater. ‘This’ll keep you warm!’

He plugged it in. There was a funny popping sound and everything - the radio, the lights, the pump, and the determined look on the Sailing Fanatic’s face – died.

He slumped down onto the seat.

‘I think,’ he said mournfully, ‘I’ve blown a fuse.’

‘Guess what?’ I replied shortly. ‘So have I.’

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