Marianne and Steve are both hard working people. Marianne used to drive the OXFORD TUBE buses. Steve, ex-Royal Navy, drives for a local coach firm, two weeks on days then two weeks on nights. Marianne now runs Annie’s Tearoom taking a 50% pay cut to do something she had always wanted to do (bake cakes). She works about 12 hours a day.
They own a car and two big motorcycles and they live on a narrow boat. They are not by any stretch of the imagination continuous moorers. In fact they can’t abide continuous moorers. They do have a winter mooring, November to March, but the rest of the year they are on the move. Oxford canal, on the Grand union, the Thames and the Regent. Even at times when they have been ill I have known them to move their boat because they wont over stay. They are both respectable members of a variable community, Steve does the Santa bit at Crimbo time, Marianne helps out with charitable causes where she can. Indeed they are two very nice people who care about the canal and boating and their friends.
So you will probably be able to understand that Steve was a bit miffed when on one occasion as a boat sped by their boat and he asked the boater to slow down the boater said “At least I move my boat you old soap dodger.” Steve was in fact not a bit miffed, he was ‘head tearing off’ furious.
We all judge people wrongly. I do it a lot. Just because a chap wears a red bandana on his bald head, to stop it burning in the sun, we should not make the assumption that he is a ‘skankey soap dodger’. Steve may not be your idea of a svelte drain pipe cleaner, but when the canal breeches he could single handed stop the flow by sitting in the gap! In short he is the sort of chap you always want on your side.
I know a lot of people don't particularly like me to the point of lying to others and making up stories on blogs/FB etc. I am fortunate I have many good friends who see the ‘me’ in me and know I am essentially a decent sort of chap. I am also thick skinned and I don’t care what people say. While they are talking about me they are leaving some poor unfortunate, who would suffer the ignominy, alone.
Of course if your name is Norman I am coming for a chat.