The Cruise of the Dondevoy

    


On Monday and Tuesday I went to work, but on Wednesday I woke up late with a splitting headache, so rather than face the sack or a humiliating dressing down, I asked for my cards. To get the sack from a road-sweeping job would be the ultimate failure! So, on Friday I went to collect my wages and cards from the Council House in the city, and started to think about where next to stop for a job.

On the Thursday I had been helping a young man named Gordon with his boat, which he was repairing and fitting out. I mended his hooters, which up until then had merely been making a rasping sound; all that was required was to put a piece of cardboard between the core of the solenoid and the contact breaker - a bit of a botch up, but it worked perfectly. Then I helped to reglue a seam on the top of the boat. The old rubber solution was difficult to remove, and took a couple of hours to complete.

There is a Model Railway Club in an old warehouse adjoining the canal, so I dropped in to one of their meetings. While there, a girl appeared in a terrible state. She was the girlfriend of one of the members, and everyone was of the opinion that she was drunk, but it looked to me as if she was doped up to the eyeballs, especially as she did not even flinch when water was thrown in her face.

Saturday arrived, and I was getting ready to leave. I had bought provisions the evening before, after going to the cinema to see The Wizard of Oz, a charming film that has lost none of its magic even after so many years. I digress, however. I was checking the hooks and eyelets around the canvas on my boat, when a middle aged man approached me and offered me a job. I was flabbergasted. The job turned out to be with the car hire firm, based right opposite me in the basin. After getting over my initial surprise, I promptly accepted. It seems that I will have to wash cars and clean them inside, but I shall find out more on Monday when I start.


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Copyright ©1972 Ben Newsam. The author of this diary may be contacted at ben.newsam@gmail.com