Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ahoy, Sailors ...

SHIP’S LOG.
Being the year of our Lord 2011, 25th day of June.

Vessel: MV Richmond
Condition: Seaworthy and sound, with valid certificate issued by HM Admiralty
Position: 50° 49' N / 0° 46' W
Weather: fine
Wind: very light south-westerly breeze - falling
Sea state: mill-pond
Visibility: good

Crew:
In command: Cap’n John
Helms-person: Alex
Bosun: Nigel
Cabin-person: Penny

Passengers:
34 disreputable transportees, all of whom have been convicted of being associated with a subversive organisation known as The City Folk Club.
It was declared that all such reprobates should receive this mark: 


There should have been 35 convicts, but one absconded apologetically prior to departure.
The notorious ring-leader of this group, (widely identified by magistrates as Dogsbody-the-Dubious,) pleaded with the Captain to pardon Jane. In consideration of a gift of ship’s biscuits, such forgiveness was duly granted.

Details of voyage:

After departing from the wharf, the transportees decided that entertaining themselves with music and song might assuage their fears of a dangerous voyage to uncharted regions.

Indeed, their music was so enjoyable that it is worth documenting in this journal:

Claudy Banks/Speed the Plough: Bill & Colin
Spanish Ladies: Colin & Bill
Sunshine on my Shoulder: Les
Sailing to Philadelphia: Lynda
Haul Away for Rosie-O: Paul
Merrimack County: Lucy & Paul
A Klezmer Tune: Mick (Click khosidl to play)
Combing the Spanish Maine(?): Ken
Sydney Bernard: Jane W.
Warlike Seamen: Roland (Click warlike seamen to hear this manly song.)
Singing Holy unto the Lord: Angela & Roland
When the Ship Comes in: Mike
Among the Leaves so Green: Tony
Valparaiso: Laura & Colin
Barges: Dave
Safe in the Harbour: Jane & Dave
Corina: Anthony
Cutthroats, Crooks and Conmen: Anthony & Carrie

After a few alarming scrapes with the canal bank and a prolonged three-point turn, it was decided to moor temporarily at Hunston.
The convicts were allowed to disembark for exercise.
Here's a rather good photograph that Laura took:


Here's another taken from the bridge by Jane T. Witness the misty twilight:


Some had ephemeral intelligence that there was a nearby hostelry. It is reported that they were well received therein, but they mislaid their intelligence during an excursion that incurred only a slight delay in the continuing voyage.

Getting under way again, the aforementioned dogsbody announced the answers to an intellectual exercise that he had earlier distributed on paper. He called that ‘a quiz’.
Jane and Robin scored highest and were warmly congratulated for winning this highly desirable prize:


There was more joyous music as the vessel returned to the Canal Wharf:

Lady of Beauty: Eddie
Wild Mountain Thyme: Margaret
Manchester Rambler: Mave
Some Rival: Jenny & Bill
The Shipping Forecast: Robin
All I Want is You: Beatrice and Angela
Farewell Shanty: Paul & full cast

Here’s Margaret singing ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’:


During the voyage only four bodies were temporarily lost, intelligence diminished, there were no severed limbs, and such maidenheads as were present remained unmolested.
The transportees were declared to be exempt from further prosecution, and they were permitted to return to their homes.

Seriously:

Thank you to Cap’n John and his crew.
They have always proved so very friendly and helpful.


Thank you too to the Canal Society, and the booking manager, (Val and Denis,) who permitted us to come back.

Importantly, thank you to all who came along to support this club activity.
You all gave of your very best to our mutual entertainment.
A grand time was enjoyed by all.

It is a privilege to be one of you.

5 comments:

parkingspaceman said...

I have no quarrel with being lumped-in with those 34 he describes as 'disreputable', (I have spent many years achieving the reputation I now enjoy), but whether the other 33 would take kindly to being lumped-in with me, is another matter. (Legal note: in writing, it's libel; DBS&W should prepare himself to receive writs).

Dogsbody, Scrivener and Wretch said...

PSM's threat of litigation causes me no anxiety.

I repeat:
"The transportees were declared to be exempt from further prosecution."

"So there, m'lud!"

parkingspaceman said...

It is well known in legal circles, that a person who conducts his own defence has a fool for a client. Some would do well to take note of this.

Dogsbody, Scrivener and Wretch said...

"If the law supposes that," said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, "the law is an ass - an idiot". (1838: Dickens, C., Oliver Twist.)

parkingspaceman said...

Quoting the law might help you, but quoting fiction probably won't get you very far: still, do tell that to the Judge. I'd be interested to see if he doesn't fine you for contempt.