Monday, 8 April 2013

Meanwhile...back of the River.

With the weekend dramas over abscesses and the Sunday furore over Ann Barnes' Youth Commissioner appointment, followed by today's sad and moving news of Baroness Thatcher's death, it is reassuring to realise that whatever happens, the tide still ebbs and flows as ever!

Two pieces of nautical news to report.

Firstly, Vicky Pollard (aka Mrs Duck) despite the earlier false start when she appeared to start incubating then buggered off with her two gentlemen admirers, has now laid a further 6 eggs (making 18 in total) and has finally taken-up permanent residence in our plant pot. The two men in her life, Francis and Charlie (think about it....) spend every hour patrolling the river and the pontoon guarding her safety, which I find amazingly moving. I have no idea what they would do in the face of attack by man, dog or swan, but I have no doubt these brave little beasts would go down fighting. They have already seen off the neighbour's elderly tom cat, by swooping and pecking and hissing. He scuttled off at a rate of knots and now doesn't come near. Meanwhile, Vicky Pollard sits flatly on her nest, grunting and huffing at anyone who passes !

Secondly, scandal!  Or what passes for it in these parts.

Apart from the tide, nothing ever moves in this marina. There are boats, some worth many tens of thousands of pounds, which have been tied to the pontoon (or propped-up on the hard standing) for decades. Boat movements are like Haley's Comet; they are so rarely seen that when it does occur, everyone goes outside to watch. It therefore caused great excitement when late last night (it was dark - so probably around 9pm) a tug boat, with no navigation lights, chugged it's way into the marina and passed all the live-aboard boats. We all thought he was lost in the dark and wandered outside to watch (under the obvious cover of trying to be helpful). Then, in a swift move, the tug pulled up alongside one long-abandoned but expensive cruiser, lashed the boat to theirs, cut the bow and stern lines tying it to the pontoon, and raced out again with the cruiser breasted alongside.

Rumours flew...where they later day river pirates, stealing somebody's boat, where they employed by a bailiff to pay-off debts. No-one knew, but in such a closed and gossipy community, we were ready and willing to believe anything.

Thankfully, it's all much more mundane. It transpires that the owner of the boat, who has been living abroad for many years, tired of paying good money to keep his boat in a marina which he was seldom able to visit. Apparently unable to start the engine, he had paid a local tugging company to take it to a boatyard to have it fixed, prior to sale. Why they had to do it at 9pm on a Sunday, in the dark, with no navigation lights, remains to be established.  But it did give us all something to talk about. 

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