as part of an effort to record people living on boats on the Thames before they all get wiped away by property developers. Newspaper clippings from the sixties tell stories of louche living and bawdy behaviour but we'd heard that the rising cost of moorings had respectabilised boaty life and that we'd find none of that sort of thing these days.
As we got to our first mooring so did the police - to evict a conman who had got into a houseboat on the pretext of doing repairs then locked the owner out and refused to leave. Four years later he was now taking his belongings, one armful at a time, to a waiting car several yards down the road.
We continued on our ways and spent the next hour with someone who told a story about the police helicoptering over his boat one night, shining lights in at him and then finally knocking at his door because a burglar had been seen running into the lowtide mud, rolling around in it and then wriggling in under the bow of the houseboat.
As we left the boat we saw the conman, he had filled the car to bursting and was continuing to pile his bags on the pavement around it and having an argument with the driver about how they were going to fill the car and also get in and drive it away.
The Curse of the Diaeresis. - As I said here, Mary Norris of the New Yorker “has consistently irritated me with her stubborn insistence on every bit of peevery that has encrusted the ma...
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