Met someone new today and went to have a cup of tea on his boat. It's a 27ft, 4 berth cruiser. Also known as a caravan that floats. Reg was jealous, so he came over for tea too. Reg and Dan had seen each other in the yard, but hadn't spoken to each other before. Good start. I've had to explain at least 6 times today, how I keep myself clean. Tesco and a flannel. Enough said. Finally saw some countryside stars. Amazing, there are at least twice as many here and the light pollution is still high. Can't wait to get back to the Scottish mountains. The first time I saw them I nearly crashed the car. They look so close, you'd think you could touch them. Dan and I got on well. We had 5 cups of tea before he let me go. He's 73, a retired builder, who also made money by poaching in his younger days. He's a hard ass and deals with life fist first. Even now. When I first got on the boat, I had a mini-panic about walking on the pontoon and even more so walking on the fingers. To translate - the big floating path is a pontoon and the little small ones sticking out are fingers. Fingers are held up by oil barrels and rope. Also learning the names of even more boat shit. The men are amazed at the - and I quote - ”clever young thing”. Speaking of young, I got asked for ID today when buying tobacco. Thankfully I've transitioned into the age where it's a compliment. Back in the old days, when we bought child paper bus passes at 15 and cigarettes at 16, I'd confuse them by asking for both. Good times.
Went for a drive with Dan to the world's smallest petrol station. 2 pumps. One of which doesn't work. You also need to call to check he is there. That's the most ghetto petrol station ever, and chances are a black person has never even used it before. Oh wait. I'm 'black' here. Damn. Another installment for stupidest business names ever. Moo Zoo. Yes, Moo fucking Zoo. Best part, it's a 'dress agency' which is a second-hand clothes shop for the deluded. That place made me itch. Not because it was dirty, but because the clothes were on different hangers and it wasn't sorted properly. Looked a mess and made the stock look cheap. And believe me, it wasn't cheap.
The day before, I left Paul's milk on Dan's boat. At 8am, Dan thought it'd be a good idea to speak to me through the car door. It's a good thing I'm only 5”2, otherwise I'd have put a hole through the roof. Panic over, I recovered by having yet more tea on Dan's boat. I could get used to this. Met Mick the yard master. Nice, geeky, mid-40s still living at home. Wears character t-shirts and reads sci-fi novels whenever he's not working. He's also disgustingly dirty and drinks from the single most disgusting cup I've ever seen. His explanation - other people won't steal it. He does have a point.
On Monday, it was time for the return journey to London. Paul came with me, as he had some things to get on with in London, and was grateful for the lift. I did nearly kill him though. I wanted to leave at 2pm. We left after 9pm. And then he tried to eat breakfast in the car. Then left to walk the dog and eat his breakfast. Then, when I stopped for fuel, he spent 5 minutes picking out a damn sandwich. He just bought some tobacco, so I rolled a fag and told him that I'm on the verge of fucking killing him. Not that he cared, as he was busy stuffing his un-punched-face. Finally arrived in Romford at 23:47. I checked. Told him to call me on Wednesday to make a plan for the return trip.
Wednesday comes and it's time for my appointment. Mum was having a breakdown, because she had to drive down 'country lanes'. Ha! Those were nothing compared to the madness that goes on 'out there'. She just kissed her teeth and carried on cussing the road for being foolish. We were early, so we went for a tea. Two teas, two flapjacks. £6.50. Luckily the cardiac department was nearby. We were sat by the window chatting away, when suddenly I stopped dead, and look to my right. Mum. Yes? Look. She turned her head and gasped so loud Christ himself heard it. Before our very eyes, in the hospital cafe, a woman had put her 6-month old baby on the floor. Read it again. On the floor. Yes, there were chairs and tables available for the placement of small humans. Mum's face was distorted with shock. I was laughing so hard, I had to face to window. Words cannot express how we felt that day, so I'll repeat myself. White people.