Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, August 30, 2010

In Schitter's Ditch

I may have started this with "it was a dark and stormy night" except that that has been done before and it wasn't particularly dark, and however bleak the new day dawned the forecast was for "showers" not blustery squalls so in what we perceived to be a lessening of the conditions, but which turned out to be a mere lull, we bade farewell to the crew of Saskia, leaving them to wash the coffee cups, and we sailed off on our separate ways.

Many years ago after an ocean race in somewhat trying conditions I recall remarking to someone that in retrospect if I'd been smarter I perhaps would have reduced the mainsail area a little and used a smaller jib, to which he replied that it would actually have been smarter to have found a good woman, a bottle of Port and an open fire, and he had a point. However we lack a fireplace, and the Port is reserved for some special stew or other and the locks are in a chain of six so we stoically carried on through it all regardless.

I'd never seen white caps on a waterway fifteen metres wide before today. We managed each lock like seasoned professionals of course, as is always the case when there is not a soul to witness the cleverness on display. Even the hire boats with drivers who know no better stayed home.

The ignominy of our situation was fully revealed to us when steel grey sky that formed the background to the mighty squall which arose in the minutes between when we spied what seemed to be secure mooring, attempting to dock in a breeze that was travelling somewhat faster than the boat is capable, and snugging ourselves to the shore revealed itself to be in fact, the steel grey side of Schitter's Vita Compost factory.

Minutes later, in the middle of downtown nowhere, we received a visit from a bicycle riding Jehovah's Witness who arrived to shyly present us with the solution to all our problems printed in a coloured brochure in a language we could not understand but if we phone the London contact number in the fine print they should be able to help.

It's enough for anyone to forgo the special stew and go looking for a box of matches.

No comments

Blogger Template Created by pipdig