Tuesday, July 18, 2006

POND LIFE - WINDY MILLER

Windy Miller I hear you ask, why is he called that? Well it’s something to do with bread, as you will see.

Windy appeared at week-ends and sometimes during the day on a very small but attractive boat, which I later found out, is named after his Grandfather’s nickname for his Grandmother, who brought him up after his Mother abandoned him. Every time you came within calling distance of his boat he waved and shouted Hello, I duly raised my hand and reciprocated, as you always do around boats unlike our fellow landlubbers who will pass you by if you’re choking, blue in the face and gasping for breath in a horizontal position on the pavement. If you’re very lucky you might get a kick in the ribs, or nudged by the wheel of a pushchair which might give you the impetus to draw breath and clear the blockage and live to fight another day in that melee everyone is so fond of calling a civilised society. Off I go again, shut up and stick to the story Kats.

As time has passed Windy has become a friend, a friend in need, but that should read needy, and a willing helper if we are stuck for an extra pair of hands. BUT Windy is a disaster on legs, if he was on a ship in the 1800’s he would have been called a jinx and made to walk the plank in short order and would now be a neighbour of Davey in his Locker.

Luckily for the rest of us, his Bad luck and disasters are a personal thing and despite his requests and well meaning invitations for a trip on his boat, no-one in this Marina will go outside swimming distance of land with him, and with good reason.

After the nodding of the head and the waving, one Sunday I passed by his boat and a bag of Sunblest Griddle Scones were pressed into my hand with the claim that he was going back to his house and they would go to waste. Very nice with butter and strawberry jam by the way. On our next encounter it was a loaf of bread, plus the scones, plus some cake. So, I then felt obliged to say that anytime he was passing our boat he was welcome to a cuppa. When he arrived for the cuppa the next day, he came with a very nice apple pie, which was shared amongst ourselves and the Disillusioned Social Worker in the Penthouse (see the cast list), who had decided to come down to earth and grace us with his presence.

So, our ongoing relationship with Windy Miller began, and it was a bit like being run over by a very large steam train in the beginning. Windy has a child like enthusiasm for everything and everybody, and even though he’s in his late 30’s always rushes in where fools fear to tread and always reaps the consequences. He’s definitely jinxed though.
Once in the middle of Loch Ness a repair on his boat peeled back like the proverbial bannana. He bailed and bailed till he was blue in the face and managed to limp into the marina whereupon he promptly sank.
Next, after repairs and tears, off he went again, determined to go out on his hard earned boat and bloodywell enjoy himself whether it killed him or not. This time he encountered a force nine on the middle of the Loch, limped to Fort Augustus and promptly sank it again, but more frantic bailing and help from others brought the boat back up like a cork.
Never to be beaten, with great excitment he announced that he was off for a trip to Fort Augustus yet again. Saturday morning came, he put his two very large flags up on the back of his cruiser and disappeared into the distance with a jaunty and confident wave. Sunday arrived and a phone call informed us that his engine had failed in the middle of Loch Ness, he had a tow to Urquart Bay. Hours later after him indoors had tinkered with the engine, and declared that life was extinct, a very kind hire boat towed him in.
Some days later a second hand engine was sourced, Windy's smile returned. Then this engine died.
He wants to buy a boat large enough to live on. He's lived in his bedsit for 3 years and never spoken to anyone and is bowled over by the fact that people here speak and help each other. The bank refused to lend him the money and he sank into a feeling of no hope.
Windy announced he was going to move onto his cruiser so he can save up for his dream live aboard. He lives in a space that's no bigger than a cubicle in a public toilet. He still smiles and is filled with child like optimism. Now his boat is too far below the waterline because of his belongings and he is going through the process of downsizing because his new engine won't pull the weight he has on board.
Today he announced he's got it up 3 more inches but has got a quarter of a ton more to remove.
He has my utmost admiration for following his dream no matter what the inconvenience to himself. He may be cramped, he may be sinking, but as he says his quality of life now is worth the sacrifice.
I just wish he'd take that bloody plastic orange nodding cat off his bow.
Kats

5 Comments:

Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Good to see you posting again Kats. I shall have to shift you in my links gategories back to the land of the living. I was beginning to think you'd abandoned us forever.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Kim Ayres said...

categories, not gategories

10:53 PM  
Blogger kats said...

Greetings Kim and thankyou - I will try to do better in future

8:49 AM  
Blogger Lightning said...

Yes, brilliant to see you back posting Kats. Great story by the way.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Gaea Phoenix said...

Yay! We're both posting again! Brilliant!

Sounds like life is interesting. We'll have to talk about that soon...

5:21 PM  

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