Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Rowing Boat In Central Park And Wine For Me

(Originally published on the 17th April 2013)

So. In case anyone had failed to notice, I’ve become quite the seadog since I moved here. I start and end every day with a voyage. And just because that voyage is only 8 minutes along the Hudson, it doesn’t make it any less of a voyage. As far as I’m concerned a voyage is anything that happens at sea. Or at river.

Or, at lake.

This Saturday I went to show off my new sea legs in Central Park. It wasn’t the original plan, but it turns out my new sea legs were not destined for a rush ticket to Book Of Mormon, so they had to think on their… Feet?… Hmm.

Basically, we went to town fairly early (minus the bit where we slept until glorious 10am) to enter the lottery for show tickets. After not getting them, we ate a very unhealthy brunch and decided the best way to undo the damage was to walk up town to Central Park. This was 99% because we knew there was a waffle truck there, but our intentions were noble and our hearts were pure. So it’s totally cool.

And, as the natural progression of things dictates, after waffles must come rowing. And between waffles and rowing must come an awkward 10 minutes of trying to get the boat away from the side of the lake, and look cool enough to convince the guy renting you his livelihood that you absolutely are not completely incompetent and you actually are a qualified seadog, and not crash in to every other person doing exactly the same thing as you are. I only mention this because, well, they never told us that in school.

What followed was an hour of mayhem. I’m not sure exactly who’s had the misfortune of seeing me tackle a three point turn in a car but, well, boats don’t even have wheels. And there’s, like, hardly any road. Except for the parts where I crashed into the side. It’s missing a lot of the key components needed to even barely succeed – so it’s difficult to get out of trouble.

Assisted by my able cox Tallulah*, I crashed into boats full of tourists, got my oars tangled up with a boatload of French men, startled several snogging couples (seriously, I’m not sure anyone is attractive enough to make me not want to pay 100% attention to the fact that I’m suspended in water by what is basically just a piece of wood. You have to respect the sea. And the boating pond.), and only got up any kind of speed when I splashed a lady’s back with my oar and she didn’t notice straight away, giving me the perfect window for escape. Tallulah’s* cox-ing in all of this consisted of very late instructions like “Oh by the way, you’re about to hit a rock/tree/boat” and some arm waggling.

When Tallulah* and I swapped places, I’m not saying I was any better, but this isn’t Tallulah’s* blog and so I’ve whipped out my artistic license.

*Names have been changed because this person should be embarrassed.

After the boat we had a quick glass of wine to steady the nerves, and I wandered jelly-legged (Seriously, not-on-a-machine-in-the-gym rowing is hard – did we know this already?!) to the Met. I’d met a girl earlier in the week at a writing workshop and after exchanging pleasantries and numbers, I was very surprised to find she actually wanted to meet.

And then we did stuff and then we ate food, blah blah blah, and then we met the person who writes the sex columns for Cosmo!! This only gets the appropriate (or should that be inappropriate?) reaction from half the people I tell, but I think that’s a pretty cool thing to happen. And I certainly did when it was gone midnight and there was sangria involved.

But seriously, kids. This is actual proof that those columns aren’t just created by putting a load of things nobody seriously wants to do into a computer, with loads of ‘ifs’, ‘ands’ and ‘buts’, and just mixing it all up, and printing whatever comes out. Who knew? I mean, I met someone who is not a medical professional and actually uses the word ‘perineum’. As part of their proper job.

I’m moving up in the world.

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