Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited on a cruise along the River Thames by author Robert Rankin, who was celebrating his 60th birthday in suitably bonkers style. Sadly, I didn’t find out until the last minute that it was a fancy dress cruise, or that there was a pirate theme, so I couldn’t dress up like Admiral Robert:
Or any of his shipmates (who have impeccable reading taste):
But I still had a wicked time, particularly when all the pirates discovered the wonderfully echoey nature of the underside of a bridge, so every time we sailed under one there was an almighty “Arrrrrrrrrr!” Or when a pirate leant out of a window, spotted two women rowing by and yelled, “WENCHES! THERE BE WENCHES!” – prompting every other male pirate on the cruise to do the same until said wenches were giggling heaps in their boat. I also enjoyed all the cries of “Ramming speed, Cap’n!” every time we passed another boat, and the pirate who got rather excited as we passed the Houses of Parliament and shouted, “Thievin’ bastids!”
On the whole, however, a pirate’s life is not for me – far too noisy.
At times like these, I really wish I wore t-shirts more often, particularly this one: