Those who know me, even a little would probably put 'pedant' as one of my attributes if asked. Hence I remember all the fuss ten years ago from a certain quarter of society who insisted that the end of 1999 was not the end of the millenium, century, or indeed decade, due to something about counting from one or zero, and all that. They were largely ignored, and obviously their parties at the end of 2000 were less than notable.
I like things to be correct & clear - good communication is essential, and being precise within a complex if poetic language is worth the effort, in my opinion - even if I get things wrong as much as most (so no marking out of ten at the bottom, please). This was something heartily discussed by myself (engineer, of sorts) and father (metallurgist) with my stepmother who, despite being an ex teacher, was vehement that the details don't matter any more - computers will sort it all out for us. Ouch.
Anwyway, yes. Decades. If we want the decade to end in 2009, it will, and no number of awkward sods will change that. I do worry about apostrophes more than I should (but they're useful, they convey added meaning, sometimes critically so), and as someone pointed out recently, people use quotation (not quote, I like to think, although again now used interchangeably) marks for emphasis rather than their correct use. I find myself being annoyed, when such emotions are largely futile. Anyway, a decade is just ten years, it can start and finish whenever we bloody well want it too, for our own purposes. A certain war criminal turned 'peace envoy' insisted on a decade of premiership, without it fitting neatly into the right dates.
The last ten years have been eventful, but I probably know myself a little better at the end than at the start though. Getting Tortoise has been a major step, and yes, suits me well. John o'Farrell was on Woman's Hour this morning, and described that as his own reaction to a mid-life crisis he was going the wrong way and thinking about getting a canal boat and growing the appropriate facial hair (as opposed to getting a sports car and a partner half his age, being the context). It wasn't the put down it may have sounded like (since I'm digressing today, John Humphrys was decidedly snooty to comedian Dave Spikey when he took as his Mastermind specialist subject the Leeds & Liverpool Canal), as he was very positive about the life and the community. I'm a bit like that; I bought a boat in my thirties, after all, and it's been great.
I look forward to spending new year's eve in the best possible company, looking to the sky (let's hope it's not cloudy) and forward to new adventures.
Thanks to everyone who's been part of Tortoise's progress, in all ways.
this posted edited after belated proofreading. We're all human. ;-)
A few more 1970s boating pics - We've realised that the dates on the back of the photos in my parents' album are probably wrong. Our first canal holiday, we think, was not in 1978 but 197...
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