Friday, 10 September 2010

Punting



Partly in the interests of recording all great literary events and partly because nobody seems to be posting anything at present, here is a picture of Eliza punting. Eliza and I and our respective families (though, after a certain amount of debate, not dogs) gathered in Oxford with the aim of punting upstream to the Vickie Arms for lunch. A clear plan and a good one but, in some sort of twisted allegory of the whole writing process, we had to revise our plot several times and the finished article looked a little different from the original intention. We arrived at the Cherwell Boathouse in the middle of a heavy rainstorm. The only punt on the river was occupied by a group of Japanese tourists, each carrying their own small umbrella. My assertion that "all weather is good for punting" was quickly dismissed, and we retired to the Ashmolean Musuem for a bit of Culture. The rain having cleared around lunchtime, and one lost writer having been located, we set out again. The original epic punt to the Vicky Arms was replaced with a novella of a trip downstream to the Parks (is this analogy really working? no, probably not). Anyway, we punted about for a bit, stopped for a Pimms under the shade of an overhanging bough, then dashed back home to check what the dogs had been up to in our absence. I think an annual punting trip could become an MNW tradition?

7 comments:

Eliza Graham said...

You beat me to it! I have a photo of Len punting, he was much faster than I was. My children were dismayed that we were 'beaten'. It was a fun day and the weather made no difference to the enjoyment. Next year we will do it again!

Len Tyler said...

Proficiency at punting is the sign of a misspent youth ....

Alis said...

Len, I'm shocked! How could time spent punting possibly be misspent? Glad you had a good, if not quite according-to-plan day. If it becomes an annual event I'm going to make the rest of the world fit around it next time!

Deborah Swift said...

Looks like a lot of fun!

Ann Weisgarber said...

I thought punting was something American football players did. Now I know that Eliza is the true punter, pushing the boat while everyone else coasts!

It does look like fun. Next year the dogs will be ready to stand guard on the bow. (Is that what sailors call the front part of a boat?)

Frances Garrood said...

I'm glad you all had a good time. How about a narow boat next time? Room for us all (and our books; we could sell them from the boat - why not?)and slightly easier to steer.(I have a vested interest. We live very near a canal, and there are lots of pubs along the way!)

Eliza Graham said...

I like Deborah's and Frances's suggestions for further refinements next year!