RIGHT, England failed to win the World Cup, Andy Murray crashed out of Wimbledon and England lost the last two one-day matches against the Australians – everything’s back to normal, then.
So at least I can concentrate on spending some relaxing time pottering up and down the Thames on the old boat.
My wife, my brother and I took Terra Nova out for her first serious run of the summer on Saturday and what a joy it proved to be.
The Thames was remarkably quiet for a sunny summer weekend and we were well-organised enough to be out early so there were times when we virtually had the water to ourselves in the morning.
Which gave us lots of time to enjoy the sights and sounds of our beautiful stretch of the Thames.
As we passed Desborough Island, there were lots of families of mother ducks and their ducklings dabbling about looking for tasty tidbits beside the banks.
One duck was leading a flotilla of no fewer than 13 ducklings as we sauntered past – and mum was obviously getting annoyed that four or five of her brood were far more interested in exploring than following her.
They were constantly getting left behind as the others headed upstream and mum was having to resort to irate quacking to get them back in line. Who’d be a parent, eh?
Further on, as we passed Truss’s Island between Penton Hook and Staines, the dozens of swans who populate the river close to this popular spot had also been busy on the breeding front. There were cygnets galore in various sizes including one perched on his mum’s back while his siblings were swimming alongside. I wondered how he got preferential treatment…
It’s also a great pleasure to watch the local populace at its ease beside the river at the weekend. There were lots of folk soaking up the sun in their back gardens watching the boats go by and always ready to give a friendly wave to any passing skipper. It’s one of the true joys of life on or beside the river, that.
As we rush about, leading our busy lives there’s often not enough time to say ‘g’day’ to folk. But it seems that isolationist view somehow melts on the water. Complete strangers wave at you; people you’ve never met come up and chat as you wait in the lock and fellow boat owners are always ready to lend a hand if you find yourself in trouble.
It’s the way life ought to be lived.
As we headed back to our mooring having been all the way up to Staines and then back down to Molesey, the sun was glinting beautifully on the water.
We passed a grey heron, standing in a stately pose on top of a mooring post like an aquatic policeman on point duty. A lovely way to end the day.
Here’s hoping the rest of the summer follows a similar pattern.