Messing about on the river.

Holidays with young children are…interesting, to say the least. They can be wonderful breaks from the norm where you get to spend fun, quality time with the family or they can be hell filled weeks of tummy bugs, sunburn and sweetie induced mutiny. We learned early on that it’s madness to bring a baby to a hot country. When Leon was around eight months old we went for a short break to Spain. We spent our days wheeling him around in a buggy covered in blankets like one of Michael Jackson’s kids trying to stop him from being burned to a crisp by the sweltering sun and our nights stuck in a hotel room with an overheated, red faced, pooping machine, all the while serenaded by the sound of other, childless people out enjoying themselves.
So it was with this in mind ( and in a rather, spitting on a forest fire boost to our economy) that we decided to holiday here in Ireland and to hell with the weather.
After much scouring of the internet and poring over brochures that it was, typically, a casual remark from a friend that we ended up heading for a self catered house in Leitrim.
There was method to our madness.
It was the perfect solution.
A big, three bedroomed house with an open fire and all mod cons.
Think your own house, only cleaner.
It was not the house which was the main attraction however.
The piece de resistance?
The seven metre, diesel powered, pretty as a picture Shannon cruiser moored in front of the house and ours to use exclusively for the next five days. We had looked at hiring cruisers before but the insane prices and the thought of the four of us cooped up in a confined space for five days (think The Shining without the happy ending) put us off, but this was the best of both worlds.
What could possibly go wrong?
The evening we arrived we were given a lesson in how to drive the mighty “Clare” and stern warnings of river markings and river etiquette which being a man I half listened to while imagining myself tearing up and down the waterways like James Bond in the opening credits of my own private spy mission.
Our first mission was a complete success. A wee pootle up the river about a mile and home again in time for baths and bedtime.
So, it was with a confident air we set out the next morning for our first grand maritime adventure. We had more sandwiches and chocolate than an entire school tour and had even assigned crew titles for our journey.
I, of course, was The Captain.
Leon, first mate.
Sam, the cabin boy.
And my darling wife, much to her annoyance, became Swabby.
The journey went great until we were about an hour out and we realised that Leon was now below decks with his Nintendo DS, Sam was getting quite fed up of rolling on to his back in his life jacket and being stuck like a turtle, all of us getting cold and my wife and I both being heartily sick of chicken sandwiches that we decided to return to home port.
It was not long after that I began to wish that I had paid more attention to the river markings lesson.
Just as I was trying to remember if the red pole should be on your right or left when going upriver there was a sickening crunching sound and the boat stopped dead.
We were well and truly stuck on a sand bank.
Swabby screamed.
Sam fell over like a turtle.
Leon calmly paused his game.
While I swore like the seafarer I was.
While my now calm wife intelligently suggested calling the number they helpfully give you in case you are an idiot, I decided I could get us going again and began to try every moronic thing in the book, including getting everyone to run back and forth (Sorry, Port to Starboard) to see if we could dislodge it.
It was at this moment that the normally super calm Leon began to cry and wailed “We have no food or water and we’re all gonna die” that I began to see sense. Now despite the fact that we had enough food and water that I had been seriously considering waiting for global warming to dry up the Shannon, seeing Leon upset made me swallow my ego and ring for help. The boatman Robert could not have been nicer about being called out on to the cold river to rescue an eejit who can’t pay attention for five minutes and promised to be there in an hour.
While we waited for rescue, Swabby made tea on the one ring stove, Sam fell asleep on his shell and while Leon ate his weight in chocolate I gazed out over the grey Leitrim sky and realised there was nowhere else on Earth I would rather be.

3 Responses to Messing about on the river.

  1. Hekal says:

    Shoot, so that’s that one suopspes.

  2. Alana says:

    Xosh murosa ham qiidlk deylik,nimadan boshlaymiz,dadil bir rejangiz bormi?davay usha kuni hammamiz kuchaga chiqamiz deb uzbekiston butun aholisini kuchaga olib chiqara olasiz-mi?chiqara ololmaysiz hayotda?ammo Karimov bitta buyruqcha bersa hamma aholini bir soatni ichida kuchaga chiqara oladi,chunki SNB,Militsiya Armiya hammasi qaltiraydi Karimovni buyrug’idan,keyin siz qanday murosa partiyangiz bilan ularni murosaga solasiz,hazilashmayapsizlarmi ish qilib???Nazirov

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