Thursday, 22 January 2009

Left in the lurch?

As usual, visiting bloggers have stirred up the muddy waters of memory with their comments. Mulling over parting with kids in lifts, trains and even at the top of an escalator, causing untold terror in the mind of the abandoned parent, I realised I knew how it felt from the point of view of he, or she, who had been abandoned.

Here's today's picture through the square window of the computer screen.

As a family, we'd never been ones to jet off around the world when holidays came round, as lack of funds put paid to such grandiose happenings. But as son and daughter grew a little, along with funds in the old piggy bank, my Dad's enthusiasm for all things 'boaty' inspired us to hire a cabin cruiser and spend two weeks 'en masse' ( i.e . as an extended family party) afloat on the Norfolk Broads.

This proved to be such a magical experience, we decided to repeat the experiment a couple of years later, cruising along the Thames, only this time, we took a cousin and some neighbours too, to liven up the proceedings.

As the memories merge into one, I'm unable to pinpoint exact location for the following, but it involved a water course which split in two parts, one ending in comparatively calm water, the other rushing and gurgling over a dodgy looking weir. In the centre, in order to divide these segments, were a series of extremely large, square wooden posts and crossbars. Huge 'DANGER' warning signs were liberally scattered around the area, to warn boats to take the calm water option only. Currents and eddies swirled and the weir added its loud voice to underline the hazard. I believe there was a lock looming in this scenario as well, but what I am certain of, is that I needed to jump onto one of the wooden crossbars at one point of the proceedings, to secure a mooring line.

This is where life became interesting. The boat swung dangerously near the channel leading to the weir, and whoever was at the steering wheel ( should I have gone for the more nautical 'helm'?) decided to turn the boat away as quickly as possible, ending up going back in the direction it had come, with me still clinging to the post in the middle of the river.

So I know exactly how it feels to be abandoned.

P.S. They did come back for me - else I'd not be around to tell the tale...


  1. Ah yes, fond memories indeed. I can only remember the realization bit... 'we are actually heading for a weir!'

    Would that be the same holiday I abandoned ship to your amazement. Managing to get from ship to shore over a large gap between said ship and said shore. I wish I could remember how long I stood waiting for everyone to realize that looking for me on the boat was fruitless, I was waiting for everyone on the shore! :)

    Oh yes, and who did move the boat?!! xx

  2. Yikes! I'll bet that was part of the family stories through the years.

  3. Q - I think you have given me the story that must be posted tomorrow.

    Hilary - you have no idea what a boating holiday can dredge up.

  4. As usual you painted the picture very clearly and made me laugh out loud. Many thanks!

  5. Oh dear! Glad they came back for you so we can now enjoy your observations and good words.

  6. I have such lovely images of toodling along Britain's canals, but your scenario wasn't in the mix.

  7. Jinksy - that sounds suspiciously like my Thames cruiser holiday of many years ago - those weirs are really frightening. We too went on the Norfolk Broads - much more serene and super bird life. I am sure that that feeling of abandonment has stayed with you all these years, even if the exact locations escapes your mind.
    Cheer up - at least they came back for you!

  8. Jinks - My pa-in-law, an experienced sailor, went aground on Loch Ness - It's huge, I tell you! My husband, who was with him then, needed sedation after that!

    It isn't easy, and at least they came after you - I once fell into a harbour, and emerged spluttering and choking, to find them both on their backs on deck, feet in the air, choking with laughter!

  9. Good story - glad they finally managed to steer well enough to reach you!

  10. Jinksy, I spent many a holiday boating with family and extended family and have the lifelong memories to show for it! I love the way you weave a story ... Thanks Jinksy!

  11. Hi Jinksy,
    I loved this! I can imagine at the time it must have been very nerve-racking!
    I never got to go on a boating trip, always wanted to but never had the friends and family who liked that kind of thing. Maybe one day... in calm waters! I've had too many rough waters in life already! haha
    Big Hug and love your Blog! such wonderful writing!
    Big Hugs!
    Donnie XX


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