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Monday, 5 May 2014

Trouble on the flight

I had to take the boat out on bank holiday Monday, not something I would usually do, but I was overdue a diesel and pump out visit to Kings Bromley. It was predictably busy and I didn't start till about 9.45. However there were more volunteer lock keepers about than you could shake a windlass at so help was at hand.

All was well until I reached the third lock in the flight. There was a boat waiting to go through the next lock that was tied on the lock bollards in such a way that I would struggle getting in behind him. I slowed right up and saw the boater chatting to people on the towpath. I called out in my most friendly and polite manner and asked him if he minded moving his boat forward on the bollards so I could fit in behind. I saw him say something but couldn't hear him so I repeated my request. This time it was obvious the man was annoyed. His wife then had a word and reluctantly and making a great show of effort, they moved their boat a few feet so I could get in.

The wife went off to the lock and the man, in his 60's, stayed with the boat. I secured mine and then wandered up to have a word. I said I was sorry if I caused him a problem to which he replied "I don't like bossy females at the tiller" I was about to respond in kind when I noticed his boat (Rosy) was covered with Boater Christian Fellowship stickers. I asked if he was a member, he said he was. I said "well you aren't a great advert are you?" To which he asked what I knew about it. Well I couldn't resist and said "I was an evangelist for the Church of England". I paused and saw him thinking maybe I was part of his club and then said " but then I saw the light and left."

His response honestly shocked me. He came up very close, poked his fingers at me and hissed in a low, vicious tone "get away from me you devil!" I said "devil?" He replied that if I was "an ex" then I was a devil and then he disappeared inside his boat, even though the lock was almost ready for him. I was stunned by the mixture of fear and fury that flowed from him and decided not to speak again as he was clearly unhinged.

But I still had to follow him up the lock flight and being that he was slower at the locks, I kept catching up with him. I noticed he was smiling and chatting and even handing out chocolate to the volunteer lock keepers but when he glanced at me, which he did regularly, his mask slipped and I saw what was underneath. At the last but one lock he got his camera out and appeared to take a photograph of me and then nodded as if to say he had me now. No doubt I should check their website in due course. I might find my mugshot on it with warnings about the devil!

I know I should just shrug it off but it still bothers me when I see such an ugly face purporting to be Christian. I also know he is in a tiny minority (although I have met two other rude members of the same organisation) but as I tied up in the woods I was very grateful again that I no longer have anything to do with organised religion!


Nb Yarwood said...

You see the 'Christian' I see the misogynist arse! He doesn't like bossy women...goodness what a silly little man he is.

Nev Wells said...

Hi Mandy,

Like Lesley, I see little Christian behaviour in his actions, he should be careful he does not meet a husband of a lady on the tiller he insults.. he may then receive some ungodly retribution.

Throw it over your shoulder, his life dramas will carry on to his detriment I am sure.

Shame he casts such a negative on what I would presume is a good organisation. I always look forward to a cheery wave from the folk who own Maid of Oak near Colwich at the boaters Christian refuge,

Take care, think of him when you are having your pump out !!


Mandy Wright said...

Thanks. I did regain my perspective once I had some piece and quiet in the woods.
Lesley, silly little man is right!

Lynda Alsford said...

Yep, silly little man is the only way to describe him. Actually I can think of other ways but that wouldn't be polite...