lady smiling by the water Location: Kennet & Avon Canal

Meet Vicky

"Water always brings back happy, happy memories for me. These railings over the waterfront take me straight back to my youth when I worked on great cruise ships travelling all over the world.

I grew up in Bradford in Yorkshire, but when I was 24 I was offered a job on the 26,000-tonne cruise ship 'Ocean Monarch', Shaw Savill Line, and I went on Mediterranean cruises going into every port from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, and as far as Beirut. For the first few days of each cruise, my job was to sell the excursions to passengers – and after that, my time was my own. I was wined and dined and spoilt rotten!

I briefly worked on a Russian cruise ship in the Caribbean once too. That was interesting! For evening entertainment they had Russian dancers who were always on their heels going clunk, clunk, clunk! Someone thought it would be hilarious to teach them the Highland fling because that's on your toes - and I got commandeered to teach them. We found some tartan and did the show, but I was in so much agony the next day they had to send a 6ft 10” Russian physiotherapist to help me! He wasn’t gentle!

Isn't it odd that just looking at water can make all these memories just flood back!"

Vicky, Reading, Kennet & Avon Canal