OCCASIONALLY– usually in the heat of summer, which apparently does exist – someone will ask me whether I’ve ever been swimming in the canal, as opposed to simply fallen in.
It seems like a great idea, right?
It’s a boiling hot day (again, apparently these do exist) and I’ve just got back from work all gross and sweaty: it would be so easy to just get changed and take a quick dip in the cool, blue waters lapping against the side of the boat.
I’ll admit, I’ve thought about it. Then I quickly remember that once I saw a dead rat floating down the canal, not to mention a dead dog and an aforementioned dead deer.
I also glance out of the window and remind myself that rather than a tropical turquoise lagoon, the canal is in fact brown.
This doesn’t stop some brave souls, however.
One day a couple of years ago I heard shouting from outside. It turned out to be three just-about-adolescent boys, who had decided to clamber up the big black gas pipe that runs along the side of the bridge by my boat.
They then plunged dramatically down in to the water with gleeful yells, before clambering out on the bank.
I was leaving the mooring and had to step around one of the boys, who was sat dripping on the concrete. I frowned at him.
“You know that water is disgusting, right?” I advised, wisely.
“Yeah.” He said, before splashing back in. Kids, eh?