Pack up your troubles

English: Royal standard of members of the Brit...

English: Royal standard of members of the British Royal Family without their own standards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In one of the few remaining countries with a reigning monarch, any royal event is bound to be significant. People sometimes question the wisdom of paying large quantities of money from the civil list to various brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins third removed that make up the Royal Family. Advocates always point to the tourist revenue generated because of the Royal family and the hard diplomatic and charitable work that the main Royals undertake. Detractors make the point that many of those tourists would have come anyway and that the work could be done much cheaper. For me, there are bigger things to be concerned about.

In the world today, there is a lot of worry. In the UK, we worry about recession and lack of growth. The Americans are worrying about their level of debt and losing their grip on superpower status as younger countries catch up. The Europeans are worried about the Euro and the nations that are both figuratively and geographically clinging onto Europe. In Germany, they are worried about the final bill for a working Euro whereas in Greece they cling on to Europe with the finger of one hand whilst waving goodbye with the other.

Everyone worries about the atrocities in Syria and the simmering conflict between Israel and Palestine. Are we leaving Afghanistan too soon or too late? Despite the supposed destruction of Al Qaeda, terrorism remains at the back of our minds. The Chinese worry about losing control of their people. In Japan they are rebuilding their country following the dreadful Tsunami that we all watched in high definition. In Africa, people are either starving or fighting (or sometimes both).

This Summer in the United Kingdom, all of the worries in the world will be forgotten temporarily. With the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the London Olympics taking place this year, the British people will do as only we know how. Today, a pageant containing 1,000 vessels headed by the Queen will make its way down the Thames. Despite all the misery in the world, we are going to have one hell of a party…. in the rain.


What’s in a name?

Boat shoes boat shoes boat shoes.

So why “”?

Anyone who sets up a personal blog under a domain name wants something that is relevant and obviously available to buy. Availability of good domain names has diminished as the web has grown, so it’s always a struggle to fine something that you like. I have always had a fascination for all things nautical, and this is reflected in the clothes I choose to wear. It is rare to see me out of a blazer and a pair of blue deck shoes, so I was delighted when I found the domain available.

I don’t know what it is about boats, but my fascination began at an early age. As children, we were ferried across to Ireland at least once a year in order to see the family. I found the whole journey totally absorbing. There is nothing quite like the feeling of standing on deck watching the dock workers untether the various mooring lines and see the ship ease away from the dock.

I remember the crossings were always very rough. My mum would start to be sick the second the ship passed the harbour wall at Holyhead, and she wouldn’t stop until the ship passed the harbour wall at the other end. She wasn’t alone. One thing you learnt on these crossings was to make sure that you used the toilets early in the voyage, because at the end, you would be paddling in the unmentionable.

I used to like standing on deck during the rough weather. I loved to watch the big waves as they crashed over the ship. The sheer power on the sea was awesome as massive peaks and crests appeared in the sea. The way you needed to lean as you stood in order to remain upright made me smile every time.

I carried this love on into my adult life. My wife and I have been lucky enough to have travelled on a number of cruises all over the world. We even owned a small boat on the Thames for about 4 years. At one point in my life, I very nearly joined the Navy. What a different life it might have been!

So when you look down at my feet and you see a pair of blue deck shoes – that’s the reason why!