We’re so excited. In just over a week’s time over a million people are expected to turn out on the banks of the Thames in London to watch me and Kath go past. Bells will be ringing and flags waving. I believe the Queen might come along too.
Yes the good ship Indigo Dream, recently returned from the swirling maelstrom of the upper reaches, will be transporting us at a terrifying four knots under the redoubtable skippership of Richard and Sue. Security will be tight. I understand they have recruited around a thousand boats to watch guard over us, and CCTV screens will be mounted all along the route. Such Glory!
However there is a price to pay in the shape of some very early mornings. This weekend there is a rehearsal and we have to report to our skipper in Limehouse well before proper people wake for their breakfast. Then in order to get all the boats in position we have to cruise half way to France (well a long way past the Thames barrier anyway) to get in the queue for the dash miles upstream to find our designated buoy. If last year’s rehearsal is anything to go by that should be a non trivial task! It will probably be hilarious and terrifying at the same time. I suspect I may be recruited as buoy grabber. My life will of course be at risk, but I’ve had a good run and my will is up to date.
It seems that will take all day, then we disperse up to Brentford to shelter overnight in the comparative safety 9as long as you don’t drink it)of the Grand Union canal. With any luck we will find ourselves in the vicinity of the Fox at Hanwell which is a bit of a perk after all that anxiety.
Next morning however comes the real price. We have to be up and off at 4.30 am to get to Thames lock at Brentford for 5.30 to rehearse the proper downstream pageant procession and the buoy mooring. Apparently, if we survive, we should be back at Limehouse by the time normal people have their Rice Krispies.
Note to self: MUST remember to take my camera.