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):

pirate reading

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:




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13 responses to “Arrrrrrr!

  1. I get invited for birthdays by aunts and uncles, or friends, never by best-selling authors though. Lucky you!
    But if you had found out about the fancy dress, would you go as a pirate, a wench, or a wenchy pirate?

    Personally I never had much with pirates. As a child I loved the Burt Lancaster one, but I still haven’t managed to sit through even one Pirates of the Caribean films.
    Love the Hornblower tv-movies though! Too bad they didn’t do the whole series, but I guess Ioann Gruffud has become too expensive these days….

  2. Lerxst

    Pirate Nelson, Ruud? Nooo…. something sounds very wrong there ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. …I know. But somehow I just don’t see Jayne doing the wench-thing….

  4. Lerxst

    Maybe not, but I bet Jayne would make a very good wench… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. jaynenelson

    I’ll have you know I would’ve been a Captain.

  6. Lerxst

    That’s me told!

  7. jaynenelson

    Now get back to swabbing the decks, scallywag!

  8. Lerxst

    Aye, aye captain.

    I be just a scurvy dog.

  9. yep, that’s how I would imagine Jayne in a pirate-wench scenario…..
    (maybe involving corsets though…..)

  10. Lerxst

    Corsets? For Jayne’s sake, I’m not going to go there…

  11. ….er…em……as support for her delicate back?.
    Pirating can be pgysically demanding, and a corset can be good protection….
    Why else would you think I suggested a corset?

  12. Lerxst

    Ah.. that’s ok then, though I suspect a corset might restrict Jayne’s movement, which wouldn’t be good for duels and swordplay. And all that tightness might reduce her capacity for full volume yo-ho-ho-ing.

  13. I agree, but corsets don’t matter with the timber-shivering, plank-walking or broadside-evading…

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