Polly Player tells it like it is with her top 50 highly amusing “truths,” re; life afloat. I like people who tell it like it is – being as I’m one of them. See the daft side of things too and it makes all the difference…
I read Polly’s article in WW whereby she explains what it’s really like to live on the water. What a laugh – and it is isn’t it…? So I’m going to pay tribute to her writing talent by listing a few out of her “50 truths” relevant to us two nutters aboard TT, or that we can truly identify with:
3) WHEN VISITING ANOTHER BOATER: It is uncouth to use their toilet, unless you are at least a 15 minute walk from another toilet facility (for women) or a wooded area for men.
6) LAND DWELLERS FILL GAPS IN COVERSATION BY TALKING ABOUT THE WEATHER: Boaters fill gaps in conversation by talking about water levels.
7) PUMPOUT OR CASSETTE? Oh hell no. Don’t even go there.
13) “ONLINE” NO LONGER JUST MEANS THAT YOU HAVE INTERNET ACCESS: Confusing the two meanings is a faux pas.
15) IT SEEMS PERFECTLY NORMAL TO YOU TO HAVE BOTH THE STOVE AND HEATING GOING FULL PELT: And all of the windows open.
24) ROSIE AND JIM ARE BAD PEOPLE.
27) YOU CAN ANSWER THE QUESTION: “Is it cold on a boat in winter?” sensibly, only a finite number of times, before deciding to mess with people and saying “Yes, it’s terrible, I have nearly died of hypothermia twice this year already, and I don’t know how I’m still alive.”
Note: As you probably know, I do that too, slap hand…
29) UPON HEARING “MAN OVERBOARD” you reach for the camera first and the life-ring second.
30) WHEN OTHER PEOPLE FALL IN: You’re never there to see it / photograph it. But you know all too well that when you fall in, there’ll be a group of Japanese tourists there, immortalising it on film and uploading it to YouTube within the hour.
32) YOU STOP THINKING TO YOURSELF “There’s some funny people out on the cut” around the same time you realise that you are just like them actually.
36) YOU WILL HAVE SOME KIND OF NASTY TOILET-EMPTYING RELATED INCIDENT within your first few weeks away from mains plumbing. No one can teach you how to avoid your own personal initiation into boat toilet hell; you’re just going to have to grit your teeth and wait for it to happen.
37) WHEN YOU STARTED OUT WITH THE BOAT YOU HAD A LIST OF ABOUT 5 THINGS THAT YOU NEEDED TO DO / BUY / SORT OUT. However, due to a phenomenon (Polly calls) “boat mathematics” you learn that for every one item you cross off said list, another two appear. Three months down the line your list has about 30 essential and time sensitive things you still need on it.
39) THE FIRST THING YOU DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP in the morning is look out of the window and make sure the land is still at the same level to you as it was the prior evening, and that your recurring sinking dream, is, in fact still a dream.
41) AN IMPRESSIVE NUMBER OF BOATERS seem to produce their own elderflower (or similar) wines. This is very refreshing, tastes delicious and doesn’t seem particularly alcoholic. Don’t fall for this.
48) YOU START TO WONDER WHY THE HELL EVERYONE OWNS A KEY FLOAT, when they don’t actually float after you’ve attached your bunch of keys to them. Take my word for this one.
50) YOU USED TO HATE HAVING PICTURES OF YOURSELF SHOWN AROUND, because you always look so gormless in them. But with boating pictures, you don’t even really mind that you look like a cross eyed imbecile, because you’re just so obviously happy in all of them.
BRILLIANTLY WRITTEN POLLY…!
I just can’t resist adding my own number 51:
51) THE FIRST TOWPATH BBQ BESIDE YOUR BOAT IS ALWAYS A DISASTER: Whilst trying to impress family and friends with your culinary skills and peaceful lifestyle. You discover that dogs off a lead and speedster cyclists enjoy crashing in on the party. The dog runs off with your sausages or the speedster runs over them… Henceforth you learn to use the titanium Squirrel gloves to pluck several clumps of nettles, to surround, and protect your goodies with…
And with ref, (on a very personal note), to number 50:
I tried to find a link to the whole article online without any luck. However, it’s on WW website, but you have to pay £1.00 just to “view” it. Tight gits…