Monday, September 04, 2006

Messing about in Boats

Seeing The Wind in the Willows next to Coniston Water in the Lake District recently was really very appropriate, because I’ve always enjoyed messing about in boats.

On Coniston there are plenty of boats to mess about in.

There are lots of little sailing boats:

There is the beautifully-restored Victorian steam yacht Gondola:

Gondola moves about the lake almost silently, producing clouds of steam: she is a very peaceful way to travel. Although I prefer to sit outside and see the fells, the interior, with its leather seats, is lovely too.

But the rowing boat, below, was the boat that caught my eye, because this is what I consider to be a Proper Rowing Boat, of the kind you can mess about in for ages. When I was a child we did just that, until the boatman called “Come in Number 12, your time is up!”

And here I am, in a photo taken a little while ago now, messing about in a boat very like the one on Coniston. I’m not sure where the photo was taken, but I’m sitting next to the Communist, though few would recognise him without the beard he’s had since about 1970.

I was four, and blind as a bat, though nobody knew at the time, including me, because I didn’t have my eyes tested until I was five. This is why I am peering at the camera with well-meaning incomprehension.

I loved it! I still love it. Hurrah for boats. I'd like to point out, though, that I gave up the ribbon in my hair as soon as I decently could.


Blogger John said...

you seem to be doing all the rowing too

12:29 am  
Blogger flybabydizzy said...

Is there an age before which it isn't decent to give up wearing a ribbon?

12:06 pm  

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