Friday, March 26, 2010

In praise of hard work (by someone else)

We always like to buy coal, diesel and gas, for Herbie that is, from the boats that travel up and down the canal selling them. In particular we like the young guys on Archimedes who despite their tender years, display all the work ethic of the old time boatmen. These lads cover phenomenal distances in a day - far more than we would contemplate, and still manage to off load dozens of sacks of coal and serve lots of diesel whilst they are at it. And what's more they always seem to remain cheerful and friendly. Quite often they set out at five am. One day they went from Camden to Hemel Hempstead, selling coal as they went. That would take us three days on Herbie. If we hurried.

In Paddington recently we got diesel from Archimedes which was that day without butty (Ara?) because one of the guys was on a break. (please excuse the poor picture, I got the camera setting wrong). Archimedes guy told us he broke his leg above the ankle in January and kept on working for a week, humping bags of coal and all that, thinking it was only a bruise. Only when he popped home to see his mum did she bundle him off to the hospital.

He didn't stay off work long. "It still hurts a bit on cold days", he smiled. I bet it does.

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