This afternoon was washday at the laundrette on the nearby Woodloes housing estate; it’s about a ten minute walk away from the ship. My onboard washing machine has broken down and I need to have it repaired. But in the meantime it is a very pleasant walk to the shops, even on a cold day and I had quite an amount to wash and dry.
Because I didn’t think I would be long I couldn’t be bothered to lock up the ship for that short amount of time and so left all my keys aboard, expecting to find the yard still open when I came back.
Imagine my dismay and horror therefore, when I returned at around twenty five to five to find the tall yard gate with sharp spikes on the top, closed and well locked up for the night.
Initially I thought I would just have to wait for somebody else who lives in the yard to return from work; there are not a large number of residents here but certainly one or two I thought I had noticed in the past returning after five o’clock. I would just have to wait, as someone would be bound to arrive in the end.
But as the time ticked by and I was getting colder by the minute, I realised that I needed to get some shelter pretty quick otherwise I could die of hypothermia before rescue arrived. I considered knocking on the door of Mitie Security, in the unit next door to ask if I could wait there, but then, because the gate was hidden from their view, I wouldn’t notice when anybody did arrive, so that was no good.
Eventually I walked to the firm on the other side and trespassing over their private property through a yard and expecting at any minute to hear sirens ringing in my ears and having a big dog tearing at the seat of my trousers, I clambered over a high wall, teetering with my balance on the top and managed to drop down the other side with my black laundry bag, all intact. With my guilty furtive look and the bag, I must have appeared as your typical run of the mill burglar and the only effect that was missing was the clank of silverware from inside the grip.
However I had made it safely into Kate Boats' Yard. Nobody had noticed my unusual and suspicious behaviour. I was okay and was glad to get back aboard undamaged and to be able warm myself up. I shall always make sure in future to take my keys with me when I go ashore under any and all circumstances.