Missing Ming two years running

I skived off the last day of Conference on Thursday, much like I did last September, if not last March. Still, it seems that the speech has generally been well received, by bloggers and pundits alike.

Instead of going into the Conference hall, I took advantage of being on the South coast already to go and see my little brother, who has just bought a boat which is presently moored in Southampton.

And it’s a very nice boat indeed. I’m quite keen on the idea of sailing out to sea in it (there have been suggestions of popping over the channel to France, or to the Channel Islands, but I’m holding out for Biarritz…)

He will hate me for this, but there was an element of the layout inside that reminded me of, ahem, a caravan. Something about the compactness, the dual bed/couches everywhere, the fact that everything needs to be tied down and away in lockers. There were elements of the boat that were infinitely more impressive than the caravans I’ve been on recently:

  • the boat sleeps 11 (although there’s barely any space to get away from the other 10 if you needed to).
  • It had two toilets heads – more than my house!
  • The oven has a thingy which means it stays level when the boat is pitching and doodahing around in high seas.
  • There was much more specialist language in describing a boat than there is in a caravan – fore, aft, port, starboard, stern, bow, fo’csle, etc, etc, etc. Much of this I have instantly forgotten after having it explained.

The yacht (technically, I think I remember him explaining, a ketch, and not in the Lady Bracknell sense) is ready to go to sea, but bro is working hard at improving it – making sure all his stuff is stowed and there’s enough food aboard; adding in hi-tech stuff that makes life sweeter, like a telly, and toilets you don’t need to be 5 miles out to flush.

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