Getting a complete make-over, like the one I’m getting now, is physically very stressy, for a delicate being like me. The out- and in the water, the much too hot shower just after that, the scabbling and the sanding. And then the ultimate thing: the little hairs of the paintbrushes. Because I’M TICKLISH.
But it’s also a huge psychological stress. I consider myself as the perfect boat, but since I’m out of the water I got a few very unpleasant findings. Like that about three third of my body has a skin disease (called mill scale), I’ve got wrinkles, and the drainage holes in the handrail are not all the same size. Danny, the engineer, mentioned that I’m too heavy and should loose weight. And yesterday Martin, the make-up artist, told me that only one of my mushrooms is in the right place, the others are all out of line, up to a tenth of an inch!
Look! Can you see it? Isn’t it awful?
That really put me down. One: I can’t see it for myself, because it’s on the roof (but if I concentrate I think I now can feel it). And two: there is nothing they can do about it. And make-up won’t hide it. And when Sally told me that I might be allergic to the dark green paint (it dries only very slowly) I got into a deep depression. And actually thought of committing suicide.
But how do narrowboats commit suicide? It takes a lot of efford to find a railway aqueduct, jump out of the water and land diagonally on the tracks. And I still have to find a tree, strong enough to hold a 60 ft 18 ton narrowboat. Well, I suppose, I could use a bridge to hang from, like the motorway bridge near Worsley. But it is too busy there. People would see me and try to talk me out of it. I can’t use gas, because of all the detectors and alarms inside me. I could take some tablets. But that only messes up the engine, and they would just replace it. And cutting my wrists? Or use a gun? Maybe the train is the easiest way. But it has to be a freight track, for obvious reasons.
What keeps me going at the moment is the excitement of Magda and Lawrance. They like the gloss, and Magda absolutely loved the porthole, all cleaned and polished. Just see the difference with how it looked at the end of last year!
They can’t wait to see some of my make-up put on, and will discuss the most important part of it on Monday. Let’s just hope that remaining three of the team of five not also get the Scarlet Fever. That would really be a disaster!
Oh, by the way, this is what I will have to endure next time…