Back when I was a young teenager, I wanted to be a journalist. I'm now a part-time blogger and office administrator, which I guess is as good as it'll get for the time being.
Still, I mention this because, in 2003, a geeky, overly enthusiastic version of myself wrote a newsletter called The Monthly Moorings, which featured the front page headline 'Factory Fire next to Canal!'
I remember this incident pretty well; it was genuinely a dramatic event, making it into the pages of the Gazette itself - see Gazette photographer Toby Vandevelde's picture below.
Helpfully, I can now refer to this (excellently written) newsletter when describing the fire which shook the stretch of canal between Cowley and Uxbridge that summer's day (July 21, apparently).
I was sitting in the boat with my mum and my cat when a sudden loud boom sounded from the back of the boat. We stared at each other, alarmed.
Poking our heads of out the door we realised that it wasn't anything to do with our narrowboat.Thick black smoke poured from the other side of the canal, about 100m away from us, and orange flames danced through the trees.
Other boaters emerged from their vessels and ran towards the fire, which was almost above the treeline by this point. They fought to untie the boats opposite the inferno and get them out of danger both their own boats and those whose owners were away.
My journalistic skills cant have been up to much, as the majority of quotes are from my mother, but nevertheless she said at the time that, battling to move a boat despite the smoke and heat swirling around her, she was 'terrified' and 'couldn't help thinking: I can't die like this!' Perhaps my mother shares my penchant for the dramatic.
The police dutifully arrived on the scene and moved on the crowd that had gathered to watch the blaze (why?)
They also told us that there were a couple of gas tanks in the factory which if they exploded would shoot metal and flames up to 200m into the air. How very reassuring.
I admit at this point young Tasha panicked and ran, leaving my poor mother to get our boat out of the firing line. They say that in times of crisis you learn whether you are a fighter or a flight-er. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with my result ...
Eventually the fire settled down, doused by the fire engines on either bank. My article ends on a positive note, and another quote from my mum, which I feel still stands: "It is a close community here on the moorings anyway and it was nice to see everyone pulling together and helping each other out.
"It was also quite funny watching the police, as they had no idea about boats."
Moving words, I'm sure you'll agree.