Gosport boat race in Spitfire of the seas was incredible: Zella Compton

I was privileged to be invited onboard a historic ship last weekend, HSL 102, to spend the morning watching Gosport Marine Scene’s Nab Tower Pursuit.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 6:57 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th June 2019, 6:09 pm
The Spitfire of the Seas , HSL 102, one of the historic Second World War boats permanently moored at Gunwharf Quays.

After being picked up from the ferry we whisked around Stokes Bay and historic forts watching the yachts race as competing teams raised money for Oarsome Chance, a Gosport charity, plus other good causes.

HSL 102 was one of the first fast offshore rescue boats in service with the RAF and has a chequered career since being launched in 1936 – including a stint as a home. There’s something so marvellous about being on the water on the Solent.

Let’s hope the sun appears soon for us to enjoy our lovely waters.

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I have to carry a note around reminding me not to swear???????

I’ve been interviewed a few times on radio.

The first time was when I was the editor of a women’s magazine in Scotland.

I was quite relaxed about it all, had chatted with the presenter, knew what was going on and was ready.

Then she told me to put on my headphones, and we started.

The headphones though – yikes. They deliver straight into your ear and it freaked me out entirely.

I lost the plot and squirmed through the experience in a hot sweat.

Learning from that lesson, when I was on Julian Clegg’s show a couple of weeks ago on Radio Solent, I refused the headphones and found it a much more respectable experience.

Now I consider myself a dab hand – ha, almost – although I do have to carry a note in front of me with the immortal reminder ‘don’t swear’ written across it in capitals. 

I’ve recently noticed how sweary I can be when under stress, or when with other people, or when by myself.

In fact, it’s safe to say, my vocabulary is spattered with offensive words.

Often I see articles online about how intelligent sweary people are which makes me feel better for about three minutes until I realise I’ve been sucked in by blooming click-bait.

But somehow I can’t stop myself ladling expletives into general chit-chat. And most the time I can get away with it by apologising profusely. So I was hugely grateful to get through a second interview with the lovely Stephanie Newenhouse on Radio Solent’s Early Late Show.

We were doing a live broadcast excerpt of one of my plays, Five Beaches. It was a fantastic experience. The BBC team in Southampton are so welcoming. If ever you wanted to see great customer service, the BBC is the place.

But what I hadn’t remembered in the heat of it all, is that there is swearing in the play’s extract. There’s a bastard and a few mentions of Jesus. And while those may be my words from the play, I take heart that they’re sourced from verbatim accounts of D-Day veterans who experienced the beaches.

So please forgive me if you heard, but for once it wasn’t actually me.

Communicators need to communicate more clearly 

I often park in Petersfield and catch the train to London. 

When you’re coming home late, driving from Petersfield to Gosport is quicker and warmer than getting the ferry, walking to the car, then driving.

On Friday my husband and I were on our way back from an epic West End show when we remembered the motorway was shut. What a nuisance at 11.30pm. So here’s my plea to transport communicators. When telling people about closing motorways, don’t use junction numbers.  Use geography instead.

I had no idea where junction 9 was, but I do know Fareham central, Whiteley, and other ones. Surely it is much easier to use names of places?