Today has been a day that I spent some time thinking over every detail before tackling it head on. I decided that as my wife was busy all day with appointments and getting her hair done (she has a lot more hair to style than me) I was going to take our daughter on a shopping trip to the big island. I had planned everything. The time we would leave the house to get in to town in time to take money out (very important if you go shopping apparently). The time we would catch the bus so that we would make the hi speed service in time. The only thing I didn’t do was tell my daughter were going until this morning because I would have never heard the end of it and would have talked myself out of going thus disappointing myself and, more importantly, her.

All was well in my little world and I was looking forward to what could be a great day out and another thing to tick off the ‘making progress’ list (if I had actually made one which I haven’t).

On arrival at the ferry we were a bit early so we made our way down the gangway and waited patiently in line along with the other passengers. If there’s one thing we are good at in Britain it is queuing patiently. It arrived a little late and the passengers filed off in single file. There’s always an awkward silence in the tunnel as you try to look for someone you might know coming off the boat but you don’t want to make it look like you’re stalking people. My daughter and I made our way on to the boat and took up some seats right at the front so I could see where I was going and we settled down. That’s when it all went wrong.

The tannoy came into life and the message was announced that there was a slight delay in leaving due to engine trouble but we would be leaving shortly.

What if we get halfway across and the engine fails? What if we lose power and sink? These were some of the questions my mind began to ponder and I started getting nervous. We all sat there unconcerned (except for me obviously) and hoped the engines would be fixed quickly and normal service would resume. Then the message came on again that they were having trouble locating the fault but they assured us we would leave soon. One of the crew came around the seats and explained to us that if we wanted to stay on the boat it would be leaving soon but only travelling between 6 and 12 knots (not very fast). We had the option of getting off the stricken vessel and catching the next one which was coming in as this would be reaching the big island well before the broken boat. I must have looked a little bit too eager to get off as I leapt out my seat, grabbed my daughter and started making our way back off the boat. It would appear that everyone else soon had the same idea and they all disembarked too.

The next boat arrived and we sailed off into the haze reaching our destination just a little later than planned. My daughter and I spent a good 4 hours wandering around shops and she came out armed with bath bombs from Lush, clothes from Primark and some food. I came away with a Jack Skellington notebook. A successful day out done, we headed back for the hi speed boat home to the small island.

To our dismay we found out the boat we had rushed down for was cancelled (it was still broken and coughing out black smoke. I’m no expert but it didn’t look good) so we had to wait another half hour for the next one. We got on, grabbed a seat by the front again and settled.

Then…….someone came and sat next to me. Out of over a dozen empty rows of seats they chose to sit next to me. Why? Did they not want to sit on their own private row of seats with plenty of room for their bags?

This was not quite the day I had hoped for when I did my planning throughout the week. My anxiety levels had been tested to the limit with the first announcement of a broken engine, then tested at various times through the day as we navigated through crowds of people in tightly packed shops and then again on the way home with an unwelcome visitor on my seat (well, not quite on my seat but close enough to my personal space) but you know what? I tackled each event head on, questioned myself on the right way to deal with it and made a decision. Fortunately they proved to be good decisions and my day went by without a hint of shortness of breath and wobbly legs. I did however wear out a hairband that I have wrapped around my fingers to fiddle with so there was one casualty from the day 😦

Until next time…………………….

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