Friday, 12 February 2010

For one week in six I sit in an office that looks out onto a busy dockyard.
The job is not too arduous and gives me a little time to just watch the
world go by. It is strange, some of the things that I see from my window.
Today, for instance, there was a man stood by the road, just waiting. Then
a courier van pulled up on the other side of the road, the driver got out
and reached into the back of the van and retrieved a small parcel, walked
over to the waiting man, chatted for a few minutes then handed over the
parcel. Now that struck me as odd. Normally a courier would deliver to an
address, not to some bloke in the street. What was in the package? Was it
some dodgy drug deal, or something else just as illegal? Or was it a
message form the past, as in Back To The Future. A letter written a hundred
years ago and stored until a certain date in the future when it will be
handed to a man in a grey jacket stood by the side of a particular road.
Maybe the boredom is just getting to me.

Some of the funniest sights are when we have a cruise liner in the dock. We
get a steady stream of older people walking through the dock gate to their
ship. Most are dragging suitcases the size of the wardrobe that contained
Narnia. By this point most of them are on their way to a heart attack. They
get off the train at the central Station and can see the ship that they
will spend the next few weeks aboard, it doesn’t look to far. They can walk
that distance easily. What they fail to realise is that the ships are big.
Really huge in some cases, and look closer because of that. It is probably
½ a mile from the station to the dock gate. But from their it is easily
another mile to the quayside, along a pavement that is full of lumps and
bumps and potholes. By the time they pass me they are on the point of
collapse. Generally the woman is ok because the husband has, obviously said
“Don’t worry, dear, I can drag every item of clothing and pair of shoes
that you ever bought in this large wardrobe on wheels the short distance to
the boat.”
Strangely enough, when there is a cruise liner in there are generally a
large number of ambulances entering the dock, wonder if there is a
I am thinking of setting up a business replacing suitcase wheels from the
ready supply found scattered along the pavement.
These people have just spent several thousand pounds on a cruise. You can’t
tell me that their pension won’t stretch to the cost of a taxi from the

There is also a steady movement of brand spanking new cars through the dock
on their way to destinations, probably, more sunny than this. Hondas, Fords
and the occasional Jag. Every now and then, when there is no traffic along
the dock road, some of the guys that shift these cars like to have a bit of
fun. The car stops, then to a scream of spinning rubber and the
accompanying smell and smoke the car takes off at a significant rate of
knots. Jealous? Me? Yep!