Trust and taking things for granted

A bridge hole near Milton Keynes

A bridge near Milton Keynes

Just like taking it for granted that the boat will fit through the apparently narrow bridge hole we seem to take many things on trust.

For instance Gwyn, having very recently passed her driving test, took me back to my boat at Birkhamstead where she had never driven before and we both trusted that she would get back fine, she did of course. And when we leave a boat moored up safely we expect to come back and find it safely afloat and secure where we left it. It normally is. Although a few months ago I cycled back to the canal to see that my boat wasn’t near the end of the of the cycle path as I expected. In fact it was no where to be seen. I stood there bemused. I definitely left it near the end of a cycle track. Right next to the lock. I looked both ways as far as I could see and it was not there. It slowly dawned on me that neither was the lock! On the grounds that it was unlikely that anyone could have stolen the lock I decided that it was me that was in the wrong place. I had come down the wrong cycle track!

This time however the boat was just a little further along than I thought I had left it. No matter, my memory is not that great. When I unlocked and went aboard I stopped in my tracks. Two kitchen drawers had been pulled out, one was right out on the floor, resulting is some spillage, and there was a distinct smell of perfume. My trust was pretty much shaken at the idea of someone having gone through my stuff on the boat. Nothing else was strewn about, a few things seemed to have been moved, but there was no expected mess of drinks or food, no signs of the toilet being used or abused. Just that smell of someone’s perfume. And the boat had been moved, the way it was moored was different to my way of doing it.

Marsworth with volunteer lock keeper

Marsworth with volunteer lock keeper

It is said that when someone says “to cut a long story short” it is generally too late. So, sorry, but to cut a long story short… it took a few days to fathom the cause. We trust our boats to stay safely afloat, for that we trust that there will be water for them to float on, or is it float in?. Anyway, someone must have accidentally drained the water between the locks where my boat was, while I was away. The boat listed over so far that the drawers slipped out and the few other things moved. The mooring pins would have eventually been pulled out and when the water level came up she probably floated away and some kindly soul moored her up for me. The proof of this was the dirty tide mark in the front well deck showing that it had been under water nearly up to the front door! And the perfume? well my shower gel bottle had also fallen over and the lid was not fully on, hence it dribbled down the shower. So all pretty innocent really, but one does really trust that someone won’t have a go at sinking one’s boat as soon as one’s back is turned.

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