What is behind the East Coast red trouser invasion? Without funding, we’ll never know
I was thinking of going sailing last Wednesday, but had to call it off because my not-for-profit organisation failed to meet crowdfunding targets.
Shame really as I had the perfect weather window, virtually no wind whatsoever, just how I like it.
The plan had been to waft sideways the six miles to Osea, drop anchor, have a light lunch of a locally sourced ethically reared Scotch egg from a sustainable source – a chicken – (the Scotch was for later consumption) and then waft back on the tide, all the while conducting scientific research into the floatiness of boats and the wateriness of water, and drawing attention to the horrific environmental damage done to our East Coast marine habitat by the invasive red trouser, which is spreading from the South Coast at an alarming rate and threatens to totally eradicate our native Burberry onesie.
It was to be an inner journey, outer journey, a voyage of self-discovery and something to do with an envelope, limits and challenges, man against nature, man against Sailfish, Sailfish against the world and whatnot. In short, I am nothing less than an ‘ocean advocate’.
Above all was the scientific purpose: to explain once and for all why red trousers always gather on yacht club verandas at the onset of happy hour: this strange phenomenon is known as slack water. I reckon the findings would have been a real turn up.
An emotional homecoming to the River Thames, where Dave’s sailing odyssey began...from his October 2017 PBO column and podcast
Terylene, developed for travelling salesmen’s jackets, migrated into sail cloth
Yet, there was an even higher purpose. If I’d survived I would have used the lifechanging experience to launch my global motivational speaking and team-building business.
Of course, you can listen to me most nights in The Queen’s Head free, but locals find themselves so motivated by me that they’ve urged me to take my message further afield – and are willing to pay for it. This is known as mob-funding.
Alas, science, humanity, the world, The Queen’s Head, are to be denied the secret of the red trouser. It’s certainly a pressing issue, not only in the ’Amble where butlers do that kind of stuff, but up here where there’s an epidemic at Burn’em on the Crutch.
Problem is, crowdfunded sailing’s just too crowded.
For example, to emphasise the damage plastics are doing to the environment I was going to undertake the entire expedition in a piece of environmentally sustainable plastic marine waste known as a Sailfish 18.
This was to be no ordinary Sailfish – as if there were such a thing – but a brand new crowdfunded Sailfish made entirely out of plastic microbeads and money, which is now also plastic. It would be pretty costly cos to make the microbeads I was going to have to shred a huge number of new plastic fivers, which have the perfect Sailfish-hued blue pigment.
As the tenners are the wrong colour, proceeds from those would be put towards ‘outreach projects’ – to the Green Man in Bradwell.
Trouble is no one bought it. The other idea was to set off with a crew made up entirely of one disadvantaged youth, namely me – on some planets I’m considered quite young. As this was 100% male it fell apart on diversity targets. The teambuilding pitch didn’t fare much better.
Mine was to be a unique one-on-one approach, message statement: There is an ‘I’ in team, but only one.
What I really need is a bigger boat, and I’m after about £80k for something beautiful and elegant. If you crowdfund this you’ll get a tote bag, or a 90-minute Skype ‘consultation’. Then in return, I’ll do a little bit of some of the above and then sail off round the world, in a boat you paid for. That really doesn’t float my boat.
But after failing to get crowdfunding for going sailing last Wednesday I did go on Thursday, with my mate Tommy, in his Edwardian pilot cutter.
He paid for it with stuff called money, that you get from stuff called work. We didn’t learn a thing because both of us already knew that to pay for your pleasures with the fruit of your own labour is a bigger reward than anything anyone else can give.
Still puzzled about the red trousers though. I hear there are quite a lot in Antigua and need crowdfunding to find out why.