Saturday, May 27

A chaser is

1. a person or thing that chases
2.  a drink drunk after another drink of a different kind,  
other things are chasers but they don't interest me, I was thinking of the first two when I agreed to go and help monitor a 'Submarine Chaser'*

I was expecting a sleek metallic shark-like beast, ageing gracefully on the river. Instead I found boat become river bank, a woody container of mud with prickly plants and a tree growing in/on it. 
Twelve women clanked across the river bed with buckets and brushes, following the Man-who-loves boats, struggling and sometimes failing to stay upright as our boots sucked us into the  stinky Thames mud. We located the boat's remains then arranged ourselves around it to wipe away mud from it's edges, mud that will be redeposited in a few hours - a Sisiphean parody of housewifery.

The Chaser served in World Wars I and II and was part of the Normandy Landings. For post-war civilian life, the big engines were replaced with a neutered set, someone added a dinky cabin, it became a houseboat, then abandoned, then moored up to die at a boatyard in Isleworth where it made a nuisance of itself banging around on the tide so it was holed to shut it up. Now it is visited every year by the Man-who-loves-boats and a cleaning lady army to stroke it lovingly, photograph that year's state of decay and then leave it for another year.

*as a newly trained foreshore archeological monitor. I need monitoring practise and also I need reminding how shallow and easily bored I am.

4 comments:

  1. " Sisiphean parody of housewifery."
    I may have to nick this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do, I may well use it again myself

      Delete
  2. Salute to the sub chaser and to those who keep her memory alive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. she is quite the thing - I'll give her a stroke from you

      Delete

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