I LOVE how creative our readers are. Today’s guest post is one beautiful extended maritime metaphor and I think its great!
I boarded my Local Government vessel several years ago filled with optimism for a long and trouble free voyage. Starting as a lowly deckhand, I had aspirations of becoming a trusty midshipman. The kind of middle ranking officer, that would be dependable in troubled seas and one day given command of a boarding party to capture a marauding Pirate Ship and win pride and bounty for my Captain.
To be honest, looking back the seas were a little choppier than expected, the food was edible (though riddled with maggots) and I still find myself scrubbing the decks and manning the oars but for a little forays up to the Crows Nest. It’s fair to the say that the ship has had a few leaks, the timbers are past their best and it’s had to be patched up on several occasions, with some fairly poor craftmanship. It is none the less seaworthy.
My ship however is now under attack, by a very large vessel flying the colours of the current Conservative Government and an Eric Pickles size hole (which is very large indeed) has been left in the hull following a recent exchange of fire. The crew has begun indiscriminately casting off cargo over the sides, in a desperate attempt to raise the ship high enough above the waterline and outrun the immediate danger. Despite desperate attempts, we are sinking.
The officers are running for the lifeboats and those more able swimmers have already jumped ship. Like most of my shipmates though, I am standing at the rail, contemplating my jump into the icy waters. Naturally I have a certain affinity for this old ship, it has after all given me my livelihood for the past few years and I believe in the fundamental premise of the voyage. I can’t escape the fact however, that the ship is still sinking slowly and the Tory vessel may emerge from the mist at any time and deliver another devastating broadside. For the time being though we have been left alone.
The crew knows what this ship needs; a quiet harbour and a competent shipwright to make some proper repairs and not those hurried, patch up jobs we have had to make recently. Scrape off the barnacles and replace the sails and our ship would be able to outrun even the most ruthless of Government vessels. Alas, a few months in a quiet little port is not an option right now.
And so, with the ship lying low in the water I am left with the decision to jump or to remain on board to try and save the ship. Looking to the upper deck, it seems that the Captain is procrastinating over what to do, meanwhile there is widespread panic on the lower deck. It’s every man (and woman) for themselves and whatever I choose, I intend to keep my head firmly above water.