Monday, June 08, 2009

Went the day well?

Indeed it did. Not only were my skills clearly (even if just about) up to the mark, the fates smiled upon me as well.

Thunder, heavy showers and wind had been forecast, and indeed the night before was very wet and windy, as I lay awake contemplating the day ahead. When I arrived at Kings Place about nine it was damp and chilly, and spotting with rain. Having explained to the relief security guard ('what boat?' 'That very big one just outside your door there') my business there, I went on board and started preparing for my first trip in charge. The first slight hitch was finding the log book and all the passenger forms in a pool of water where the window had leaked, but small matter.

Very shortly I was joined by Penny and Kelvin, 'my' crew, and between us we got everything ready and had a cup of tea before our passengers arrived at ten - a party of the cutest children you could possibly imagine, little moppets straight out of central casting, that even almost overcame my serious aversion to other people's children - at least until they started shouting 'Hello ev'rybody' in unison and kept it up for about half an hour.

And here's the thing: five minutes before we set off, the sun came out, and shone on us all the way to the entrance to Maida Hill Tunnel (we were going from Kings Place to Little Venice), when it started to spit with rain. Still, we stopped at Little Venice and the children were sent off to work off some energy, while the crew availed themselves of Westminster Council's most acceptable toilet facilities, and then as we set off again for the return journey, the sun came out again. And stayed out until the minute we arrived back at Kings Place.

I did not hit anything. I did not make a spectacular mess of anything; I even did one or two things quite neatly; I stopped in all the right places and for long enough for the little darlings to get on and off and help with the locks (and never was I so glad to be the one left on the boat, although I did do some lock 'n' child duties on the way back, which was probably the most stressful part, especially as apparently you aren't allowed to tie them together to stop them wandering off. Still, their innocent little questions... 'is it all full of wee and poo?'; 'How can it [lifejacket] help me float when it's additional weight?' (from a six year old)).

And when I got home, I was so exhausted I could barely stay awake for the European election results.


Penny Holloway said...

The little darlings tried their utmost to wear me out..... They succeeded! I pretty much fell straight into bed after some dinner & a cuppa. I did thoroughly enjoy the day though. Well done on your maiden voyage being such a success!

Anonymous said...

I have 11 month old twin granddaughters and when I'm in charge I fully intend to shackle them together when they start walking :-)
Well done on your trip.

MoominPapa said...

I trust that you did your duty, explained to your precocious six-year old about displacement and related the story of Archimedes in his bath with five-part harmony and full orchestration.