10 July 2008

Saluting Marmaduke

One of the blogs that I always tune into is Marmaduke. This is the blog of John and Cathy, a couple who have shown remarkable stoicism and fortitude over the last year or so as they coped with the derailment of their boating dream. Marmaduke was still in build when Severn Valley Boat Centre failed and thus the dream quickly turned into a nightmare. I am probably not alone in marvelling at how John and Cathy not only survived this huge initial blow but came back even stronger, determined that they would live their dream come hell or high water. With the help of friends, family and complete strangers, they recovered themselves and slowly but surely put Marmaduke together, refusing to look back and let rancour or bitterness destroy their hopes and simply pushing on, pushing on until the great day when the boat was declared complete. I mentally raised a toast to them because that was a comeback Lazarus would have been proud off. And while it’s no consolation, at least they know exactly what’s gone into their boat having had to closely supervise the build themselves. The other day I heard a real horror story about a well-known, six-figure boatbuilder – actually, a number of horror stories – so at least the ‘DIY’ approach means that John and Cathy can be reassured about the integrity and quality of the workmanship.

Now that Marmaduke’s out and about, the tenor of the blog has happily changed from dour struggle to sheer enjoyment. John perfectly captures all the buzz of the new boater although I think he’s being a bit hard on himself vis a vis his helmsmanship – or perceived lack of it. John, if you’re reading this, even those of us with a few years under our belts can still make a total hash of things. And everyone has to start somewhere, so just relax and enjoy it. If anyone deserves to, you do.

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