All the boats had moved out of the pool by the time I walked up about 10am. I said my goodbyes to Fabian and John before returning to catch up on this blog. I also had to try and get still pics off the video that someone else had taken on my camera of the prizegiving, instead of still pics that I asked for. He had obviously pressed the wrong button at the time. I got there in the end and managed to get the blog up to date some hours later. Perseverance pays off in the end!
I took the side doors off to put another coat of paint over the cured rust and was making a new handle for the kettle; the previous one being thermo-plastic that had melted after leaving the kettle on the stove until it boiled dry. I found an old broom handle in the rubbish tip and already had some stainless steel strips in my ditty box – knowing that they would come in handy at some point. Thanks Jim!
While I was working at the aft end, a couple passed by and we started talking about narrow boats, as they were going to hire a boat from Worcester for a week. They had arrived from Canada that morning and lived in Victoria, on Vancouver Island, where I had been many years ago, so we had a common connection.
I answered the usual questions like “Do you live on your boat?” and “Where is your mooring?” etc., until they then said,
“We are going to Burgess Hill tomorrow.”
To which I replied “That’s funny, I used to live there and teach at the secondary school.”
The next question was “Do you know the Burtenshaws?”
“Yes.” I replied.
Then the bombshell – “Well, Gordon Burtenshaw is my cousin!”
Now I taught Gordon and he also trained as a teacher, after which he took over my job, when I left that school.
Coincidences like that are so rare as to be almost unbelievable, and they very nearly walked past my boat and only turned back at the last minute. We exchanged e-mail addresses, so I hope to catch up on their boating holiday soon. Watch this space!