You do something to me

I’ve changed. At first the signs were subtle. There were very small, almost imperceptible, involuntary modifications to my behaviour.

Occasionally things would happen...

Like repeatedly mentioning to anyone who would listen every time I watched an episode of Poirot that David Suchet is, in fact, a keen Narrowboater.

I would stand bemused in a sandwich bar, digging the depths of my memory to recall that ‘BLT’ does actually mean something other than ‘boat licensing team’ to the rest of humanity.

Or the disproportionate indignation that boiled silently under my skin when someone asked me what I did for a living only to respond with “Oh, so you work for the water board.” 

But the behaviour widened, deepened and became more ingrained and now I know that I’m beyond help, of any kind, because:

  • My vocabulary has expanded beyond my wildest imagination and so, sadly, I’ll never again believe that the word ‘windlass’ could describe a girl who has been exposed to blustery weather, that ‘blue’ is just the colour of the sky on a bright sunny day or that  ‘hopper’ is a really excellent name for a Frog.
  • Though I’m not an engineer my bath is now always ‘dewatered’, never again to be emptied or drained.   
  • I require complete silence whenever any of our canals or rivers appear (or are even mentioned) on the TV or radio. Even more so when a colleague appears. Allegedly, my head will spontaneously nod in agreement with whatever piece of information is being imparted.
  • Regardless of the A-level I hold in geography my England and Wales is no longer divided by county, instead it’s firmly divided into eleven waterway regions.
  • I no longer watch the weather to decide which rugs to dress my horses in or what I should wear. I watch it because I need to know whether we could be dealing with flood or drought conditions.
  • I can’t even begin to describe the excitement when I see one of our vehicles going about their work. I find myself frantically waving as I pass, never mind that they have no idea who I am and most likely think I’m insane.

But, most of all, whenever I say ‘us’ or ‘we’ now I’m actually referring to me and my 1,500 colleagues, 2,000 miles of waterways, 1,583 locks, 55 tunnels, 2,963 bridges, 337 aqueducts, 73 reservoirs, 63 sites of Special Scientific Interest, 1,000 wildlife conservation sites, 600 miles of hedgerow, 2,700 listed structures, 49 scheduled monuments, 33,000 licensed boaters, many hundreds of volunteers who gave us 38,940 days of their time last year, over 5,000 Friends, 10 million yearly visitors….

You probably get the idea.


Last date edited: 28 March 2014

About this blog

Sarina Young

Sarina joined us in 2008 as our customer services co-ordinator. Among other things, she manages our national customer service team, complaints procedure and requests for information made to the Trust. She says that the most important thing to her is to be able to go home and feel as though she’s achieved something, however small that might be. Her job is hugely satisfying, widely varied, full of deadlines, immensely interesting, sometimes challenging and no day is ever the same, although some are surprisingly familiar!  

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