Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Parental Guidance

Met up with a lovely family, mum, dad and their four kids. All were thoroughly enjoying their first ever narrowboat holiday. It was a great adventure. The kids had been parted from their mobile phones in the morning and they were not returned until after the boat was moored up for the day. So the kids were joining in on everything. However, there were a few things that I had to draw the parents attention to. The kids were jumping off the front of the boat while it was still moving, especially when it was entering a lock. the kids were walking up and down the gunwale while the lock was filling. 

I explained to mum about the paddles and the power of the water, the propeller turning at high speed and the risk of crush injuries against the lock walls. I did not say anything to the kids, I just drew the parents attention to the issues. You could see the light dawning. Next thing when the boat is in the next lock. The kids are called inside for a bit of 'parental guidance'.  So at the next lock one of the kids says. 'We have had a telling off from mother. We have been acting a bit too silly for our own good.  We could get crushed between the heavy boats if we were to slip into the water. There is a  huge propeller under the water out of sight that is very dangerous.' I sort of nodded and said, 'your mum is right, you have to stay alert.' He says, 'mum is good at this sort of stuff, she never misses anything.' Next three locks -  everything is done with a lot of extra care and no messing around at all. I got a thumbs up and a big smile from mum as well.

Now this is a bit of a contrast from the last time I said anything to a parent. The boat was proceeding past us, with a young girl aged about seven sat on the gas locker with her legs each side of the front button.  So I says, 'if she slips, she will be under the boat and into the propeller. Because from where you are on the back you can't see her at the front.' 'What the fuck has it got to do with you.' was the reply.

You know, I have a big gob. What's more I have been known to offer some sage advice whether it was wanted or not.  I did think for a moment about not saying anything - in case it was another 'fuck-off-pill' from the parents. However, its quite restored my faith. I shall award myself the good deed of the day, can of larger or four tonight! The other thing was, as we left the family, we could smell bacon cooking on their boat.  - When we stopped for lunch, it was a full English breakfast for us!

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