I am at that age when I'm not sure quite how old I am. Mentally, certainly, I'll always be about 12 but physically it's hard to convince myself that over five decades have passed since Mrs Morgan's second-born entered the world, a small, sickly yellow thing (he had jaundice).
The Laser has a visceral appeal: sailing at its simplest. You sit on a Laser, whereas you are half in and half out of a Flying Fifteen. It is half dinghy, half keelboat. My friends are saying "Sell the Laser, buy a Fifteen. You're passed it." Nonsense. There are Laser sailors in their 70s, and undoubtedly 80s. I've just subscribed to a blog called Proper Course, which advises: "Cheat the nursing home: Die on your Laser". Up here in Ullapool, when the wind comes down in great blasts from the hills, and with no warning, that could well be on the cards.
For the time being I'll keep the Laser, as a reminder of how young I am really just as I keep a red Honda VFR 750 in a shed, which I fire up from time to time but seldom dare take on the roads (the potholes are truly horrendous after the cold winter).
I realise that keeping two boats is bound to end in tears. One will get neglected and sulk, shedding vital bits at crucial times. Maybe it's time to declutter; sell the Laser. Last time I did that was in 1992, when I sold the very same Laser to an old school friend. Fifteen years later I bought it back for the same price. It was like seeing an old friend. With a yellow Laser again in the drive I feel complete, and younger, even if I seldom use it. Some people surround themselves with a comfort blanket of books; others collect things. Those of use who have more than one boat feel more secure, surrounded by our boats. It makes no sense, costs a lot and yet...