Whilst I was out for a walk a few evenings ago, mulling over tide times and social commitments and generally putting off the decisions I need to make about the resumption of our wanderings, my eye was caught by a flat piece of flint, lying on the track in front of me.
I stopped and picked it up: it showed the tell tale marks of having been knapped into shape.
It lay in the palm of my hand, with a large, flat, knapped surface uppermose and a knapped edge towards my finger tips.
It seemed to me to be asking to be balanced on my index finger and gripped by my thumb.
I think I had found a stone age tool, a scraper of some sort, perhaps (as my vague recollections of history lessons suggested) used for scraping the back of a hide before treating it.
OK, so the tool (if it is one) was made getting on for four thousand years ago and the edge was blunted.
But it fitted my hand is if it had been made for it yesterday.
I strode home with a new clarity of thought.
Vagabond will be back in the water at Burnham on Crouch sometime during the week commencing 3rd June and we'll be setting sail a week or so later.
The first port of call will be somewhere on the River Deben. Then on to Felixstow and a long slog to Wells Next the Sea. After that it the future becomes a bit more murky - do we head for Saltfleet (described to me by someone as 'a miserable little creek' ) or further on to Grimsby. Here, the name is enough to put one off!
Then north, to hide behind a headland or two before reaching Whitby, and then harbour hopping up to Holy Island.
After that, it all depends. There is one fixed date in July for which I need to be at home so will have to find somewhere to abandon Vagabond for a few days. I'll keep you posted.