Sunday 30 April – evening!
In my earlier (rather long) post I said I would tell you about Leighs ‘swim’ in the canal, so true to my bark, here you are…
Last weekend saw us enjoying a short stay at Gas Street basin in Birmingham – a favourite gastronomictrip for my humans, who always end up eating out at one of the many lovely restaurants there.
The reason for being in Birmingham was so that Tom could collect two of the younger members of the family from Grand Central station. The plan was to collect them on Friday, take them for a cruise back to Tardebigge on Saturday and then enjoy a spot of fishing with them, before one of their parents would pick them up on Sunday.
As Leigh’s had a tutorial at Birmingham University on Saturday, she planned to catch the train back to Bromsgrove or Redditch (Tardebigge is in between these two towns) whilst Tom, Jack, Liam, Rosie and I cruised back to Tardebigge.
True to form all four humans ate out on Friday evening – Jack chose ‘Zizzi’s’ for dinner, then Leigh suggested they go to ‘Ed’s diner’ for milkshakes or dessert afterwards; I think they rolled back to the boat.
After breakfast on Saturday, Leigh packed up her books, showered, dressed, then did her hair and make-up whilst Tom got the boat ready for the off. After about thirty minutes we had reached the spot where Tom ‘thought’ he could drop Leigh off. Unfortunately, there was no visible route to get from the canal up to the road, so Tom explained that he would need to drop her a little further on. Leigh was a tad concerned as her geographical knowledge of Birmingham isn’t great, and she didn’t want to get lost finding her way from the canal to uni.
Mooring outside one campus Tom told the lads to tie up whilst he got the map out to show Leigh her route.
At the same time Leigh realised the lads were struggling and that the boat was in reverse; she ran to the stern, put the boat into neutral and turned the engine off. Seeing that Jack had hold of a rather long length of rope (which meant the boat was floating into the middle of the canal) she jumped off the stern to help pull the boat back in.
Oh. My. Word!
Next thing she was in the canal. In the canal right up to her neck. Yelp!
Attempting to ground herself, she realised that (at just five feet) she couldn’t reach the bottom. Jack and Liam shared the same rather puzzled expression – as if to say, ‘What on earth is she doing? Is this normal?’ Taking note of this Leigh calmly shouted, ‘Get grandad!’
Liam then shouted for Tom who strolled down the boat muttering, ‘What do they want now?’
On hearing this Leigh shouted out, ‘I’m in the canal’.
I kid you not – as I am writing this I am still laughing. It really was quite hilarious (although, in hindsight it could have had awful consequences).
Because Leigh had recently showered, and applied body lotion, her hands were slipping out of his as Tom tried to pull her out. He managed to pull Leigh out by her arms in the end. The water was so cold that Leigh just couldn’t pull herself up onto the boat, so thank heaven Tom was there. Apparently, one reason that people drown is not that they can’t swim, but that the weight of the water on your clothes, and the fact that it feels beyond freezing, renders you immobile and can cause a heart attack.
Having torn her outer clothes off on the stern, Leigh ran straight into the bathroom and immersed herself in the hot water of the shower.
It must have been the shock that caused her to laugh hysterically for the ten minutes it took to warm up. Outside the bathroom, Tom, Rosie and I wondered what on earth was going on! Leigh said she kept seeing the comedy in the situation; imagine, a perfectly made-up face with Lulu Guinness lips, and a perfectly done ‘hair-up-do’ sticking up out of the dirty old canal.
Arriving at uni she apologised to her tutor and explained why she was late…her tutor accepted her apology, acknowledging that it was a good ‘excuse’ for being late. Leigh wanted to retort…’It’s not an excuse, it’s a reason’, but she decided not to – after all she hasn’t had her latest mark back yet! Yelp.Not surprisingly, risk-taking, adventurous, spontaneous, crazy Leigh is now going to treat herself to a life-jacket. She has realised that life is precious and deathbydrowning is not a choice she wants to make! Much better to die of natural causes aged around one-hundred-and-six, says she!