Wednesday, July 07, 2010

How to Break our Hearts.

I’m back from working in France, and I had a much more positive blog entry in mind than the one I’m going to write, but that’s life I suppose. Having been back for over a week, I’ve been on board our boat several times since returning. But on arrival to work early Saturday morning I was greeted by the sight of this.

And this.

(I know, the bronze needs a polish)

Some poisonous vermin have vandalised Wendy Ann 2. My mind managed to flee through violation, shock, anger and resignation even before I called the police, which was more or less straight away. After speaking to them I let the Harbour Board know what’d happened and it wasn’t ‘til I got off the phone to them that I cried.

The little wankers- for I’m fairly sure the culprits are likely to be a group of males between the ages of say, twelve to fifteen (and we know what boys of that age like to do when left alone), smashed one of the engine room skylights and threw a shoe (??) through the hole, they also tried to break two of our engine room portholes, the ones we spent a fortune replacing glass on. Luckily the glass we used was 1/2 inch thick toughened stuff so although I think they used a piece of scrap metal bar which was found at the scene, they only managed to severely crack these. The engine room is absolutely covered in broken glass from the skylight, I’d only tidied the place up on Wednesday for god’s sake and I know the vessel needs ventilation but this is just not the way to get it. But the damage is going to cost money to fix and of course take precious work time away from real progress. Before you ask, of course we’re insured, but that’s not the point.
I mentioned tears falling already. What upset me was that whilst the authorities were sympathetic, a lack of witnesses and so on means that the likelihood of catching these brainless, selfish fucks and holding them to account is unfortunately close to zero. The police eventually called back and declined to visit the scene to dust for fingerprints or even just send a uniformed bobby down to show a reassuring police presence, a response which I was (shall we say) disappointed by, and I was eventually asked to take the items that may have fingerprints to the local copshop. So much for the community policing pledge boys.
Stupid thing is that apparently there’s an increasing problem with this sort of thing locally but the sergeant I spoke to tried to feed me the excuse that ‘it’s a long drive round to that side of the river’ when I suggested that a regular, visible police patrol just might begin to serve as a deterrent to idiots. It isn't, I do it all the time and it takes less than five minutes. I listened agape to this feebleness, before being subjected to a couple of horror stories (break in to yacht club and theft of distress flares, theft and burning of vessels etc) by the same sergeant. He seemed slightly mollified when I explained that this was really not what I needed to hear right now, before going on to politely suggest that maybe the local constabulary should try actually doing something rather than scaring the shit out of people who were already trying to deal with having just suffered a crime, but I doubt that I made any difference whatsoever. It’s a shame, because Littlehampton is a nice place full of decent people, but naturally now my faith in it all is severely shaken.
Inevitably, the upset gave way to anger and I knew I’d be in trouble unless I let the whole thing go pretty quick, for I found myself glaring accusingly at every gang of teenagers that wandered past the vessel on the way to the beach, which was not only unfair, but unhealthy too. The damage is so wanton and pointless that it near breaks my heart to think of it being done. I don’t expect kids to have any idea what it means to dedicate every fibre of your being to saving an old boat for over half a decade of your short life, but I would hope them to have enough basic respect not to smash it up for the fleeting, destructive fun of it. Call me naïve, but clearly I have hoped in vain. I keep telling myself that it could’ve been worse, and might be if it happens again.
The only thing to add is that we won’t be beaten by nasty setbacks like this, we’re tough, adult people who are blessed with the resource of fortitude; so all the upset and anger of Saturday will only serve to make us more determined to get somewhere this summer, I promise. It's only glass, and glass can be replaced, but unfortunately faith in oneself and human nature cannot.

Anyway, by the time the phone calls and so on were all done I’d lost a fair few hours. I decided to cheer myself up by doing something really, really satisfying- so I spent the rest of the weekend installing the oak ceiling in the wheelhouse, which meant working past ten at night for two nights. It looks brilliant, but it deserves to be unsullied by the filth of what’s written above, so I’ll give it a blog entry of it’s own, next.

9 Comments:

Blogger Tim Zim said...

Hi Seb

Heartbreaking - I agree.

I'm sorry to hear you have suffered so.

Even more frustrating is that it seems there is nothing that can be done.

Cheers

Tim

9:15 am  
Blogger Paul Shred said...

Utterly infuriating! I DETEST vandalism of any sort, but when it happens to me, the sense of outrage is completely overwhelming.

6:47 pm  
Blogger MFV Pansy said...

Its a sad testament to the society we live in and the generation of swine that is the progeny of the last 15 years. Sad to say but you not catching em at it was probably a good thing as I suspect you'd have been inclined to knock the living shit out of em as I would, at which point, the victims, get our collars felt, and at best if they were caught it would be a nice chat with a social worker and a "try not to do it again"
Based on the science of "been there done that" ( or rather been there and had it done), I feel your pain

9:49 pm  
Blogger rob said...

What comes around goes around. The sort of world that those sh*ts will end up living in will make sure that it does, mark my words! Sad souls from sad families, with little or no prospects. maybe a security camera hidden with a proximity switch set for such an incident and perhaps the police would have to visit if you had film of it actually happeneing, but unfortunately since they have been given stab vests and risk assesments to fill out they have realised that the job is dangerous (which it is) and so dont have the time for minor crime like vandalism which actually attracts nothing stronger in sentence than a caution, if they agree to accept it o0f course :o(( we have no real recourse really. sad so sad for all concerned including the police who seem to have their hands tied by the system they have to abide by! Not to mention the troops abroad in thetres of war that have to abide by, completely wrong so called "Rules of engagement" The Paras of Bloody Sunday, middle ages civilians who the government have allowed to get bitten in the ass by a terrorist act expedited a million years ago! where are we going I dont really know but it seems mostly downwards. ie England finished Mmmmmmmmmm I like to think not but what is one to really think with residents leaving at one hundred thousand person a year. we will end up akin to the American indian by the year 2020 with the gambling rites to a couple of casino and maybe a Lotto licence, living in boats in waterway that are leased to us because the owners of the water rites of the whole of the UK will be worth more that the oil wells and the lease will include for a fully repairing and maintenence clause!!!! Sad so sad!!!Rant over sorry about that! :o(England my England) ? Like Fcuk!not anymore

2:06 pm  
Blogger IsmilebecauseIhavenoideawhatsgoingon said...

Thanks for your kind words guys..
.

8:16 pm  
Blogger Jamie said...

So very, very sorry to see the damage to dear Wendy Ann 2 and to your hearts.

6:43 am  
Blogger bowiechick said...

Rat bastards. Went through a similar thing when we had the Bowie a few years back except they weren't kids but people we "knew." RCMP said the same thing to us. Really they are as useless as a bag of hammers sometimes.

9:30 pm  
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