I f@$%#*g knew it!
Something was wrong. How many people start their annual cruise in the middle of winter? How many cruising boats did I meet?

Happily cruising down the Bridgewater Canal

Happily cruising down the Bridgewater Canal

We’re happily cruising down the Leeds & Liverpool, Bridgewater canal, Trent & Mersey, to the Shropshire Union. At Hurleston Junction we turn onto the Llangollen. Been there before. Like it. And meeting Linda, from Cheshire Cat, whom I know from my time in Overwater Marina, is a good omen, I think. Especially because SHE DID REMEMBER ME!

But then it happens: we turn into Swanley Bridge Marina. First I thought: maybe for fuel? Or water? Or laundry? No, we moor up…
Strange…

We don’t move for five days, but there are all kinds of strange people visiting me, looking at me, and at various parts of me.
Strange…

Moored for five days

Moored for five days

Then the following happens. They strip me almost naked.

Almost naked

Almost naked

And inside I get all kinds of covers.

Internal covering

Internal covering

Then Lawrance starts the engine and steers me into a dead end part of the marina. I can but close my eyes and pray. It all goes so fast, I don’t even have time to decide which part of the Perkins engine I’m gonna use to break down.

When I’m slowed down I open one eye… and see the trailer.

I’M TAKEN OUT!

Leaving the water

Leaving the water

Oh, no. The last time I was out of the water was in April 2014, when I got examined by this guy Magda hired to look at me… When I was sold…

THEY ARE SELLING ME!

Oh, it’s happening again. I really thought they loved me. My engine room just done up, all the things Magda is crocheting for me. I just can’t believe this. What do I do wrong?

Where am I going?

Where am I going?

But after my bottom had a shower, Magda comes up to me, with a big smile, and says: “WRT, old girl, you are going to get a complete make-over! You’ll be looking even better than when you were brand new. And every boat will envy you. You will look so shiny… It will take about four weeks. And don’t worry, we are just around the corner, in a caravan. If you shout I’ll probably hear you. And I will visit you every day to see how you are doing and to cuddle you if need be.”

Bottom showered

Bottom showered

Phew.

Do I fit?

Do I fit?

And here I am. In a shed, bottom clean, waiting for things to come. I should have known…

My new home for four weeks

My new home for four weeks

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