Its been just over two weeks since John set sail on the ‘S Boat’ bound for Belfast and I haven’t been able to get a word of sense out of him since. Every sentence begins and ends in ‘S Boat’ with several ‘Befasses and Eye O Mans’ in the middle.To say he had the time of his life would be something of an understatement.
I went to wave him off and stood on the cold banks of the Mersey in blustery winds and squally showers, sporting a bright pink waterproof and a cold red nose. As the ‘S Boat’ sailed into view I leapt about like a salmon and burst into tears, god knows why. I must have looked slightly deranged to the many dog walkers and poop scoopers as I waved and wept in equal measure, nearly garotting myself on the cord of my binoculars. I was crying so much I couldn’t see through them so I just waved and hoped John could see me. Then I jumped into the car and raced to New Brighton where I was told I could watch the boat sail past the Mersey bar. I have no idea what or where the Mersey bar is but I am sure its mentioned on the shipping forecast along with Dogger, Fisher, German Bight; and if it isn’t then it jolly well should be.
I received a text message from Mike, one of the support workers accompanying John, to let me know that he was almost bursting with excitement. I cried again and waved until the ship was a tiny dot on the horizon. An old man who had been walking up and down staring at me, eventually came over and asked me if everything was ok. I explained that I was waving to my son who was on his way to Belfast. The old man looked at me with kindly eyes and said ” Let him go love, he’s got his whole life ahead of him, I am sure he’ll be back to see his old mum soon enough”. I just nodded wiping away my tears and not daring to tell him that John would be back at 6.30 the following morning….but now come to think of it hey! enough of the ‘old mum’
How pathetic am I and why all the tears!
When I try to get some information about the trip from John he just starts shouting excitedly ” Johnelmo on ‘S Boat’ yessss, Mih Cha, pada, man, cars, loyyies” then he turns into Marcel Marceau and mimes filming something on his video camera while shouting again “cars loyyies man” Pausing for breath he continues ” cama, veo, torka, yeeeha,” spins round several times then shouts “seep ‘S Boat’ yessss Johnelmo yahooo”
Loosely translated this means…..’ Yes mum I went on the S Boat with Mike and Chad. I ate Pasta, saw lots of cars and lorries which I then filmed on my video camera as they loaded and unloaded. I also took 264 photographs on my digital camera…I kid you not… and spent many hours filming an unsuspecting bald headed man in the lounge area. I carried my V tech Talking Alphabet Game thingy everywhere and I was very excited to have a cabin and then finally I went to sleep.’
Trying to get him to stop yelling I then turn into one of ‘The Scousers’ made famous by Harry Enfield saying ‘All right all right, calm down calm down’ to which John enquires ‘Seeps ‘S Boat?’ He is now asking how many sleeps is it until his next trip to Belfast on his beloved ‘S Boat’. Oh dear god!
When the ship docked the following morning John bounced off like Tigger on speed, slapping his head and squealing with delight. Mike and Chad however staggered off bleary eyed, looking like death and mumbling incoherently. They were weighed down by several large bags full of video cameras, cameras, toys and all the other stuff on Johns list of ‘Things to take on the ‘S boat’ Apparently they had not had a wink of sleep for over 24 hours because John had kept them awake with his nocturnal noises.
Sharing a cabin with John was never going to be conducive to a good nights sleep, I knew that. John snores, grinds his teeth and rustles his assortment of A4 photographs one of which he puts on his head to go to sleep. There is one of his boyfriend, the 4 bridges, Terry the goat, a couple of tower cranes, and some geese . However he rearranges them at intervals and this rustling in the dead of night, in the middle of the Irish sea, will have been deafening. In addition to all this he trumps loudly and often.
I am just thankful that Mike and Chad didn’t jump overboard.