And so back to the Sheriff of Kidlington (see here
). I went back to my mooring that evening (see here
) and after lighting the BBQ Maffi moved his boat to the front of mine. I was busying myself in the kitchen becoming a domestic goddess, and the Sheriff appeared over the fence to his house and yelled with venom to Maffi these were 24hour moorings. That was certainly a turn up for the books; at least he spoke to Maffi this time, albeit across the canal. I was pleased he had re-appeared and came out to ask him why he fed me a pack of lies the night before, and been so aggressive towards a women, he re-started his tirade – focusing once again on me and not the man nearby. Apparently we didn’t respect his privacy by mooring outside his house (yet he had interrupted ours to tell us), and that we can see into his windows. I told him we weren’t interested, and by default he could see into our boats. He went on to say it was inconsiderate in summer with people running their engines when he is having a nice BBQ or sitting in the garden, which I can understand, but I did point out that I don’t run my engine and besides, it wasn’t summer. He reiterated his imaginary point about the imaginary sign that was on the tree saying it was a 24hour mooring. I know there wasn’t a sign because a) the tree he pointed to isn’t an appropriate tree for a sign with its overhanging branches, and in the past I spent many a time on that mooring and there was no sign, and b) BW say there wasn’t; why would there be on a 14day mooring! During this tirade he was threatening, said he wasn’t a good person to make an enemy of, and told us to watch our backs. I realise I could have walked away, but really he was shouting across the canal, and I just don’t think men should talk to women like that, nor threaten them. Being threatened didn’t calm my equilibrium and in response to something he said, I said “Do you have a teddy to throw out of the window, or would you like to borrow one”. Hardly a moment to be proud of, but that was the end of the “conversation” at least, and I maintained my calm dignity throughout. I was surprised our boats were safe that night. But I do wonder whether I will be safe if I moor there again, and I don’t like that.
Maffi sent a letter the following day to him apologising for any problems he might have had with boaters in the past, but suggesting it isn’t fair to tar all the boaters with the same brush. After all, had he been reasonable and asked us to moor up elsewhere, I might have considered it. (I did moor up for 4 hours to avoid going through some fishermen who were in a match after a ‘chat’ with them). The letter finished inviting him to stop for a chat and a cup of tea next time. I hope some reason has got through to this man.
The world is full of aggressive people, but this guy was in his 40s and I really think no-one should speak to a woman like that, and in these times of equality no-one should speak to anyone like that.
Why do people shout, scream and threaten when unprovoked? Why did he walk past Maffi on the first day to have a go at me (and I was busy winding down the stern gland)? Perhaps he has problems, and I am all for helping people with problems, but if that were the case, people have to help themselves and throwing a teddy out of the pram on impact is something a baby does, not a 40plus year old adult. Why do people think they can shout and scream at someone else, and expect the other person to listen, or even respond sensibly? Perhaps that is why he picked on a woman, and that sort of behaviour in society is unacceptable.
We moved on from that mooring the following day, not because he frightened us, but because we had places to be.