Monday, 22 June 2009


Last night I think someone got mugged on the tow-path opposite our mooring. We heard some shouting - a pause - and then more shouting - and then a relative silence. I looked out the window and saw a small red light flashing. A bicycle rear light.

I heard some talking in the dark. I heard, ' a 'phone...better call the police...' Then the flashing red light lowered to the ground. A figure moved and briefly appeared in the glow of an out of view street light. The figure went out of sight for a few seconds and then re-appeared. A few more mumbled words - a street name I think - directed at the flashing red light. Someone was on the 'phone I think. To the police maybe.

And then ... A flurry of figures on bicycles. Some 'fucking' and angry shouting. Seemingly at no one or no thing in particular. The gaggle sped along the towpath, the surface of the path crackling under the rythmn of spinning wheels and whirling pedals. And then the voices faded in the darkness. And then silence.

I looked across the river and back down the tow-path to where the red light was flashing. It rose from the ground and started - tentatively at first - to move away. Then rapidly the flashing light got smaller and then disappeared.

In the distance a fugue of sirens could be heard. I don't know if the police turned up or if the group of figures on bikes were anything to do with the mugging. If there was a mugging.

The clouds of bugs continued to dance silently around the boat and we went to bed.

Tonight S is in Blackpool; at a the Railsport Games. A kind of Olympics for railway industry employees and their families. Well, not sure about the 'families' bit - but families do go. We met for lunch as S was leaving from Euston. Went to one of the new food and drink outlets that have recently opend up on the piazza outside Euston station. Not too busy this one. Whose name escapes me. But relatively good and cheap. We then said our goodbyes and I went back to the office - where, once again, I singularly failed to put together a PDP (a Personal Development Plan). - I had instead an interesting cycle of communication with one of our public affairs chaps. Apparently some MP was complaining about some weeds at a station out west somewhere and wondered why we couldn't just get a local firm to come in and do the clearing. Someone in the office remarked that he could get his gardner to do the job and claim the cost on his expenses - oh how we laughed.

I've been watching the tow-path tonight. I'm becoming an inland waterways curtain twitcher. Except we haven't got any curtains. Not on that side of the boat anyway.

And so to bed. Tomorrow I hope to get on with some work in the bathroom. It's not far from being finished - just a few details and a new bit of floor covering. Another seven or eight working days should do it.

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