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Monday, 4 September 2017

Care in the community...


SO then, we've returned from our jaunt to Huddersfield.  A journey that takes about 25 mins from home in the car and 16 hours (ish) of travelling the nice way...

On our journey we've been fortunate to encounter quite a few good, nice,friendly, pained and helpful people...  That's the thing about boating; MOST people walking the towpath are fascinated by boats and the boating lifestyle and MOST people on other boats are friendly sorts who WANT to pass the time of day and more often than not... HAVE the time to pass... it's a good way to be.

The towpath walkers vary from foreign families to lonely sorts - some of whom seek solace from their troubles by talking to strangers.... being a boater actually does affect your way of thinking about and approaching those types of folk.  I'm the first to admit that for the most part in my life thus far, I've been the one talking - I'm FINALLY learning to listen and give people the chance to share what's on their mind.... when you do so, you learn to adapt your behaviour to the needs of other people.  It's quite a good feeling.   WHY am I waffling on about this? - well, whilst moored in Shepley sitting on the the back of the boat and greeting the tow-path walkers as usual, an older lady (note I didn't say old although she turned out to be early 80s she had a young mind) stopped to chat...  well I say stopped, she was with us so long, I half expected her to move in.  In the time we were chatting, she opened her heart about the loss of her husband... her sons marital disharmony... her own medical issues AND her loneliness.

This lady obviously NEEDED to talk to someone and whilst not immediately comfortable with the conversations, it actually did us good to listen and empathise with her!

She wasn't the only one to share their soul with us on this trip - there were another couple... also older but this time a husband and wife... her being fit and healthy and him suffering with dementia.  She was doing her best to look after him and you could tell it was exhausting her... the thing is, she was perfectly happy and willing to do it... no sense of duty, just a deep kindness for the man she once knew rather than the empty shell shuffling along side her.

The point I suppose I'm making here, is that being open and available to listen to other people is very good for us - good for everyone I suppose... we spend all our lives rushing about, thinking our own lives are so very important and trying to keep plates spinning to get through whatever it is we THINK is important....  ... ... after a while, when you slow down... stop to think about everyone else doing THEIR thing, you realise  for the most part, none of the things that stress us out matter in the slightest... they really dont.  IF you need help with things... JUST ASK.  Stop worrying about being a burden  - human kindness seems inherent despite all the bad news we hear, it's the good news we should be shouting about.

GIVING someone in need those few precious moments of time and kindness which might not even register to YOU, could be the precious fuel to keep them going!

Boat folk seem to do this with ease...  AND with a willingness to help others it makes the boaty world the special place it is.  It's a very diverse community... often quite bohemian but with very few exceptions, it's inclusive and welcoming...  EVEN if you're ginger!

I'm rambling sorry...  

IN BOAT RELATED NEWS.... well, I've been doing a few jobs here and there - I've a plan to do a bit of touching up and finally get the none-slip stuff on the roof before winter arrives but as the weather has been a bit hit and miss for painting, I've put up a little shelf behind the TV in the dinette so the walkie-talkies can always be on charge and more importantly, to hand!

They plug in to the spare socket at the back of my cubbyhole - I keep trying to tidy it out but whenever  I take things out of it to sort, I realise everything in it IS needed and ideally more useful if it's to hand... SO everything just gets shoved back in.

I really DO need to get my tool/electrical cupboard sorted out though as my shelves are getting so full that things fall off when you 'kiss' the bank side... Weather permitting though, painting really has to be the next priority before my other hand is operated on.... and we still need to try and squeeze the contents of our cars (currently acting as sheds) in to the boat somewhere - although I have been helped in throwing some more clothes away by a mouse - at least I hope it's a mouse... I took a bag out of the car yesterday with a few to sorting though it, only to find a mouse had been nibbling at my shirts .. whilst IN the car.  I'm not sure exactly how to deal with the mouse but I've binned the clothes.

Until next time...

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