They lifted the boat out today. It’s always a performance. For the last few days, men in fluorescent jackets (and they are all men) have bustled and flitted, clearing space, clearing the decks, preparing for the lift. Early yesterday morning, before the crack of dawn, the crane arrived.
It’s a monster: an itinerant beast that roves, i suspect every day, to lift something new. It rumbled down the canal path, before planting it’s feet: a few hours of ‘fussing’ around, and then it groaned into life, lifting the barge as it were a mere stick.
This is the pattern every year, here in the canal basin: the season draws in, leaves fall from the trees, the regular tourists dry up, leaving just dog walkers and the occasional intrepid canoeist. Then they come to lift the boat, regular as clockwork.
For two weeks they will spray, scrape, scrub and scurry, before the whole ceremony is reversed. There is a pace, a rhythm to life by the waterside.
Change has a temp: some moments are dramatic, pivotal, but it takes place against a backdrop of seasons. Life runs throughout the year, not just at lifting time.
Anything we do takes place against this tapestry, but it’s easy to miss it in the busyness of the moment.