But then, we had the canoe. Of course, everyone thought it was a contingency plan for when the inevitable floods followed the official declaration of a drought, as these things always do, as sure as hosepipe ban follows flood.
Ah, but if you are a man who has seen a woman skilfully propelling her canoe through the rapids, you know just how erotic the canoe can be, and how strong, but still dexterous, her wrists are.
All of which is well worth taking into consideration.
Especially when she had suggested it is time for the annual pilgrimage of a weekend with her mother, and the necessary human sacrifices that will entail, and you know the only possible escape route lies through use of the canal, along with some thin excuse about us both needing the exercise.
Not to mention the well-known fact that mother-in-laws cannot cross water.
So we won't....
Despite the relevance.
Still it was either a frosty morning out on the canal, or another round in the seemingly never-ending battle with the crusts of her mother's home-made mince pies and the interminable dissection of her near-neighbours and their obvious immortality and petty vendettas against the very paragon of virtue that is her mother.
Still, I thought there would be some residue of family loyalty deep within the bosom of my wife, buried deep underneath the not-inconsiderable frontage that she presents to the world, no doubt, but still present.
However, when I suggest packing both the life jackets and a spare set of paddles, despite the smallness of our current vehicle's boot, my darling wife – much to my delight – said: 'yes.'