July 26, 2010

Captain’s Log day 8: Lost and found

Filed under: Canal,family,misc,This is not a mommy blog — Duchess @ 12:28 pm

The crew and I meant to spend the day at Hampton Court Palace, but as we were waiting for the ticket office to open I took a phone call that changed my plans.

My younger daughter, ever the Baby of the family, though she is 18, has given me some of the worst moments of my life (lovely creature though she is), and she started very early.  When she was less than a year old she took up that toddler trick I had heard about but never before seen – holding her breath until she went rigid, turned blue and shook as if convulsing, and then holding her breath some more, until her eyes rolled back in her head, and she passed out.

By the time she was two or three I was in danger of being reported to the Social Services for gross neglect.  Onlookers who witnessed this performance (I am telling you, it is scary) shouted Do something!  Call an ambulance!  How can you just sit there?  And I would answer casually, Oh don’t worry, she’ll come round in a minute or two.

The first time she did it, however, I thought she was dead.   I thought something like that today.

I spent much of the day on the telephone.  Everyone agreed there was nothing I could do by returning immediately to Oxford, and in any case the boat would have to be got back to its home mooring somehow.  The crew were very sympathetic, and when they came back from their day at the palace, they urged me to do whatever I thought best, and they would help in any way they could.

By evening the situation was more stable, no one was dead, and it was quite clear that nothing could be gained, for the time being at least, by turning the boat around and heading back.  In fact, after I had discussed the alternatives with the Baby’s father, we agreed that the best plan would be for me to get the boat to London as soon as possible.  There I would be able to catch a fast train to Oxford.

Day 8 statistics: 0 locks and 0 miles, except for the many miles I paced.


  1. Fingers crossed for you and your family.

    Comment by Hattie — July 26, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

  2. Adult and still a problem. They never worry about us like that.
    Hope all goes well.

    Comment by friko — July 26, 2010 @ 2:05 pm

  3. I can’t imagine kids causing a problem or changing any of your plans. No never…..it just doesn’t happen. :)

    I hope all is well and Pangolin gets home as well.

    Comment by Midlife Slices — July 26, 2010 @ 2:21 pm

  4. And the fun doesn’t even start until they turn 27 (when they’re old enough to know a whole lot but not old enough to know they don’t know nothin’ yet)….well, good luck with it all.

    I think living on the water would be ideal, temperature-wise, but I can’t say I know anything at all about the challenges. I know a woman who lived on a boat in the Potomac River here…one night a log came down the river and popped a hole in the hull. She got up to go to the bathroom and stepped to mid-calf in water. All her books were ruined. Still, I doubt she was ever too hot or too cold….:)

    Comment by M.E. — July 26, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

  5. Oh my! Hope everyone is okay soon!

    Comment by Liz — July 26, 2010 @ 5:56 pm

  6. My positive thoughts are with you, Baby and family, and of course your boat.

    Comment by Denise — July 27, 2010 @ 1:18 pm

  7. Hope everything is okay. My kids have given me every wrinkle I have.

    Comment by Twenty Four At Heart — July 28, 2010 @ 7:12 pm

  8. Thank you all for your comments. Really it is a wonder any kid survives to adulthood — and a much bigger wonder that their parents do.

    Comment by Duchess — August 3, 2010 @ 1:07 pm

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