THE CRUEL SEA

Carpworld - - EDITORIAL -

‘When night-time came I was in a dilemma. I knew the tide was at its low­est, but also knew that I faced a mile-long walk through creeks, mud flats and quick-sands in the dark. But ei­ther I risked it or faced an­other 12 hours on the fort wait­ing for the morn­ing low tide. I couldn’t face a night on the fort so I de­cided on the most danger­ous op­tion, ne­go­ti­at­ing my way in the dark. My torch bat­tery had long since died. I had only the lights from the shore to guide me.

At the first creek I en­coun­tered I nearly drowned! On my way out it had been knee-deep: now it came over my head! I had mis­cal­cu­lated the tide: it had yet to reach its low­est point. The sheer ter­ror I lived through that night I will never for­get. I hoped, I cried, I prayed. I forced my cold ex­hausted body on­wards, think­ing of my fam­ily, of the things I still wanted to do in life. Only sheer will power and the hand of my Maker took me to safety.

When I walked through the door of my house and saw Sue play­ing on the floor with the chil­dren I broke out cry­ing, tears flood­ing down my cheeks in sheer re­lief. I was so choked up to see them again that I couldn’t talk or ex­plain. I lay down by the fire to warm my frozen body. Tinker ran over as though she’d been sit­ting wor­ry­ing about me and licked away my tears.’ can’t even re­mem­ber get­ting paid half the time. Noth­ing changes there! But there comes a time when you know you’ve had enough...

I made my views clear to Dave, that I wanted out and that for me the next gig was the last one. I was jack­ing it in. Two weeks be­fore we had been play­ing big halls, av­er­age at­ten­dance I would guess at about 300 or more – big time! This time we were out in the mid­dle of the north Fens, play­ing to six blokes, two Pit Bull ter­ri­ers, and an old guy who seemed harm­less enough, sit­ting at a ta­ble on his own jug­gling his fer­rets. That may have been an il­lu­sion. He may have had only one fer­ret. He’d get one in his hand, throw it up in the air, catch it with his right hand, where­upon it would run down his sleeve and pop its – or an­other fer­ret’s – head out of his other sleeve. I was mes­merised by it, and never did find out whether he had one fer­ret, or two. Also in the au­di­ence was a lonely be­mus­ed­look­ing ham­ster, ob­vi­ously out on the loose for the night (you know the sort, bit of lip­stick on, the old eye­lashes mas­cara-ed up, and painted nails: she must have looked so at­trac­tive to an­other ham­ster – or a pass­ing owl).

I can’t even re­mem­ber get­ting paid half the time. Noth­ing changes there! But there comes a time when you know you’ve had enough...

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