18th February 2015
The word had gone out that Python was to be emptied so that various persons could scrabble about in the bottom to discover just what had to be done in the deep, dark depths to restore Python to reliable flotation. So, having both an incompletely full shed and a van handy, I was allowed to go and fetch the first instalment of the small stuff. I knew where Sheet Stores, Python’s temporary home, was by canal, but I had to rely on the sat. nav. to get me there by road. This it did with no trouble, even if I was a bit late.
Now, you can guess that the weather would be appropriate for carting bits, pieces and boxes about, namely drizzly rain. Python was sitting on some sort of stands with the gunwhale about six or eight feet off the ground. She was rather shoe-horned in between other boats and the best I could do with the van was to park at right-angles across her bow. (One of the higher achievements of human intelligence is the side-loading door.) The passage between the boats was mostly a large puddle with a few islands at awkward intervals so that no matter how you tried you always ended up sloshing through the water. By the time I arrived the others had set up a ladder which was a bit short, hence a bit awkward to get into and out of the boat and definitely challenging to go down whilst holding a box with both hands. Happily, there were enough of us to pass things from one to the other rather than climb in and out of the boat and for everything to go straight into the van without having to be piled up in the drizzle.
In the Tower of London, they used to have a nasty little Tudor trick called the ‘Little Ease’. A sort of cupboard dungeon in which the unfortunate occupant could neither stand nor lie straight thus inducing great discomfort, cramps and other nastinesses. I always get the same feeling when I have to stand, Quasimodo-like, in the van stacking stuff for a long time! But it wasn’t too bad and the stuff that had to be taken didn’t quite fill the van, so that was pretty good – only one trip, for now.
The next thing was back home to unload. Straightforward enough, except for twice round the Junction 52 roundabout because I misread the signs! We had to have a bit of reorganisation to actually get into the shed and then it was just a matter of piling it all up in such a way that it didn’t all fall down again. You know how, when they invented microscopes, they could see wiggly things appearing in rotting stuff and so someone came up with a theory that it was some sort of spontaneous creation of life? Well, I suspect that you get the same sort of thing with junk, a sort of spontaneous creation of more junk. Well, it’s the only reason of which I can think to explain why those who are much more familiar than myself with the innards of Python kept up a steady flow of surprised comments on the lines of “I didn’t know we had one of those” and “What’s that for?” and “What is it?” Never mind, it all went in although it just about filled the shed. It would have been satisfying to shut the door on it – but the door collapsed……..to be continued.