I have never thought of my self a a boatman, just an underpaid working stiff who works with boats. Today all that changed. I was showing a party of five around their day boat when, from across the front deck there came a rather posh, hyphenated, voice, “Is the boatman there?” I detached myself politely from the party of five I was showing around and stepped outside on to the deck.
“Er, yes madam, I suppose that would be me,” I said, “are you taking a boat out today?”
“Yes we are,” she replied all Mrs Bucket but for real.
“May I finish here then I will be with you as soon as I can.”
“Yes, yes,” she said , “just wanted to let you know we are here”.
“You can start loading while I sort these people out.”
So to some I am the boatman. They were a lovely family, all gun dogs and hunters, and it was a pleasure to deal with them as were the other hirers. Fortunately the weather kept well for them other than a fifteen minute downpour while they were having lunch whilst inside moored up.
They both returned on time which was good. As they were all unloading their bags I noticed a dead hen Pheasant. Well I couldn’t contain myself and had to ask.
And so unfolded the story, short though it maybe. They had a nice trip up to the quarry at Kirtlington and enjoyed a hearty lunch. During which they could hear what they thought was a Pheasant shoot not far from their location, but continued with their lunch mainly because of the rain.
When lunch was done they set of to the pipe bridge to turn around for the return journey. Well while at the winding hole their Spaniel (also called Molly) hearing the shooting closer jumped ship, in the winding hole, only to return moments later with the now deceased Pheasant. Somewhere a shooter must have been slightly bemused when his dog tried to tell him that this other bitch had snatched the bird from under his gaze. Short of rolling around the floor I nearly burst my sides laughing. No names, no pack drill.
~Still no tip!~