The Doctor and the Killer Whale


It sounds obvious, but happy people are simple to work with. Nothing to hide so you can quote them on anything, easy to photograph because they like their life.  Lizzie and Andy fit into this box.

Their lovely Dutch barge is moored in one of my favourite places, swamped, at this time of year by an Eden of canal-side lilies. I go inside and its all big smiles, big hair (“Andy was supposed to get his cut for this”) and insanely big dog – Tourno.

He looks like Scooby Doo, and I ask if he’s a Great Dane, but it turns out he’s “a mixture……. of all the big dogs – Alsatian,  Ridgeback…….. he’s got them all in there somewhere.”

So there’s Lizzie, Andy, Tourno and the bump (who’s probably a girl.) That’s the family group. Wait though, what about “The Doctor?”


“Doctor fluffy Junk.” Lizzie points to the guinea pig(gy bank) on the table. I place him right at the front for a few shots.

“He contains LOADS of money, ” she says. “It’s amazing how much money you can fit in one guinea pig. Andy used to just leave piles of change all over the table, but now…. well, its just hours of fun and entertainment. ”

I suggest they swap places and she looks at me for a long moment. “With……….. Andy? Or with The Doctor?”

Just over three years ago Orca was a hundred year old hull with back cabin and a wheelhouse. “The rest was open for cargo.” Andy tells me. ” We had the cabin built but we’ve done all the rest ourselves……which is why it’s not finished.”

By now we are sitting down to some delicious homemade soup. Lizzie turns in her seat to pick up a breadknife. “One of the things I love about living on a boat,” she says, “is that you can generally reach everything without getting up.”

The evening is coming to an end. I’m starting to annoy myself by taking the same photo over and over again so I stop. Lizzie looks through the images on the camera.

“I like those cups, She muses. “they go well in the photo. I’ve never noticed how nice my cups are.”

Yet another thing to be happy about.


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This post was written by Vik

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