Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Thoughts from the tiller.

Today we took Pippin into Cambridge to pump out.

Those who have been reading this rubbish for a while will know that such a journey can be fraught, to say the least......

But not today.


It all went off without a hitch.

No idiot rowers kamikaze-ed us.

No bankside maggot-danglers were even present, never mind rude or stupid.

It was cold, in the way that ice-cream on the tongue is cold.

Sharp, refreshing......

The boat went beautifully, the water was calm, and in Cambridge we were joined aboard by Amy Duck for a bite to eat after pump-out was completed.

(Don't worry, we washed our hands - rather obsessively, I felt......)

In the calm of the trip there and back, I found I had much to occupy my mind.

One topic was The Cam Conservancy: an organisation seemingly more effective at preserving itself than the river to which it purports to minister.....

Their supplementary charges to boaters who are already paying through the nose for an E.A. licence will put off most visitors to the Cam while providing an additional burden on the already hard-pressed finances of those who moor here.

I have been very angry about this, but am no longer.

Someone's got to keep them in shiny new 4x4s and also pay for the nice granite worktops in the River Foreman's wife's new kitchen.

It might as well be us........

Never mind that the river is so desperately in need of a good clean-up that one of the Conservators emailed all the Camboaters recently asking us to join a voluntary litter-pick on the banks and the Commons.

Never was an email less well judged, both in timing and content.

I refrained from a reply suggesting exactly where the gentleman concerned could shove his litter-picking apparatus, choosing instead to deposit the email in 'trash', which at least allowed me a degree of satisfaction laced with a rather sweet irony.

In short, idle, useless and inefficient though they may be, we are stuck with them.

The resident boats will have to pay whatever charges The Conservancy seek to levy, and as for all you visitors, well, you can all just go to hell. They never wanted you on their river in the first place.

But at least you have the choice not to visit.

We, however, will just have to grit our teeth and pay up.

It doesn't mean I have to like it, or pretend to like them.

Or volunteer to do a job that the over-paid and under-worked are shirking.

Isn't it amazing how a peaceful chug on the river can imbue the soul.......?


Imagine what I was like before the soothing effect of an event-free passage...........

A water-borne Victor Meldrew.

On crystal-meth............

More 'thoughts from the tiller' tomorrow.

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