I think Ratty was right. There really is “ there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Both my father and grandfather sailed so favourite pastime was always predestined, and even when I spent a time away from sailing it was only to take up rowing instead.
The downside of all this time on the water is that everything you take with you tends to get wet – at least it does on the sort of boat I come across. I’m sure that on huge yachts in the South of France, teeming with liveried staff laughing at your every joke and bringing your heart’s desire before you’ve even thought of it, unpleasantness such as actual dampness doesn’t happen. As I don’t move in those crowds, I wouldn’t know. On the sort of boats I sail, getting wet is most definitely part of the game.
As my Dad says, you realise what sort of boat you’re joining when you see that the charts have been varnished. Luckily, these days there are choices other than best spar varnish to keep paper dry, and we tested one such machine: a Fellowes laminator.
It’s very simple to use: you insert the item to be laminated in the plastic pouch, switch on the machine and choose the temperature. Wait until it heats up – it tells you with a beep when it’s hot enough – then insert the folded edge of the pouch. The item is automatically drawn through the laminator at the correct speed. It takes a few moments to process, but to be honest, the longest time is spent waiting for it to reach working temperature.
It’s all very simple, and now I’ve had a go, I have a sneaking feeling that the number of laminated items around the flat is going to increase sharply. With a bit of thought, there are all sorts of things that can be helped with a bit of laminating. Unlike H, I can never remember recipes, so a few cards with the favourites – muffins, bread, etc is one thought. More relevantly, I can never remember all the stages required in posting, so an idiots guide will be making an appearance soon.
The only real downside is the size – as an A3 machine, it’s already quite sizeable; a length of 56 cm/22 inches, so somewhere to store it does need to be found.
Many thanks to Fellowes for my laminator, we were not required to write a positive review.