Sunday, January 22, 2006

A one-off

After Iris died in 1980, I never looked at another woman for about eight years. I had just bought a boat, a diesel-powered Seamaster and I was totally absorbed in cruising up and down the rivers and estuaries. At the same time, I was invited to join a boat club and I made quite a lot of new friends.
It was the usual practice when moored up in the evenings to join others on a particular boat for drinks and a natter. There was not always a pub handy so we made our own entertainment.
There was one woman who made a point of seeking me out as a partner when visiting other boats and helping me when I was entertaining on my own boat. She was divorced and had been a keen boater but it was her ex-hubby’s boat and consequently her hobby had been severely curtailed.
It is said that women go all romantic when on board a boat. I thought that this only applied to ocean liners but this one settled for a much smaller craft! She was in her mid-forties, attractive and most definitely man-hungry! Her name was V*******.
At the time, I had no intention whatsoever of starting a relationship but one evening, after the drinks were flowing and the evening wore on, I found myself sitting very close to her on a bunk on my boat. We were a little squashed for room, as there were about a dozen of us on board in the forward cabin. When all the other visitors had returned to their own boats, I found myself alone with her and we finished up in the aft cabin together where we spent the rest of the night. It was just a “one-off” and afterwards, I felt so terribly guilty as though I had betrayed Iris’ memory.
Over the next few years, there were one or two similar associations but none was to last more than a few weeks. By this time, I wasn’t getting any younger and members of the fairer sex were not actually queuing up for my attention! I wasn’t unduly disappointed; I’d had the best partner a man could ever wish for and nobody, not even Miss World, would ever compete with her!

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