The world may be heading off to hell in a handcart financially speaking but the the great white boat building industry seems to be carrying on as normal.
I spent a couple of hours at The Southampton Boat Show today. Such is my enthusiasm for this festival of all things decadent that I normally don't go near the place unless there are free tickets around, I really do have better things to do with £20. But once again my mate Peter came up with the goods and so there we were rubbing shoulders with lots of other folk who couldn't afford the boats either.
However it seems some could afford them, show tittle tattle has it that a Russian chap turned up the other day and ordered three Gin Palaces at 14 million quid each. Well you wouldn't want just one would you? Probably means the wholesale price of gas is about to go up again.
It does seem a bit crazy to have boat salesmen wearing suits, but I suppose it does differentiate them from the proper sailors. Of course none of us poor people are allowed anywhere near these boats. If you should be daft enough to try to board you are politely but firmly fended off by the hired muscle. If your credit card is inspected for spare cash and found to be either sufficiently in credit or dare I say sufficiently in debt only then may you approach. However there doesn't seem to be any requirement for taste. I would love to turn up at the Ancient and Venerable in this, but it wouldn't go under the bridge at any state of the tide.
There are of course some more down to earth boats on show, with real sailors who positively encourage you to come on board and look around. You'll have to wait for the next fun filled instalment for that though...............................................................But here's a sneak preview