Sunday, 2 November 2014

Being Entertained

There’s no doubt that moving to a property that sits on the riverbank has provided me with a stunning view and the opportunity to watch a large variety of wildlife on a daily basis.

However, the river has also been the provider of a much wider range of interest than I would have imagined. Depending on weather and tides, I often see boats of all shapes and sizes passing by, but on a couple of occasions they have provided a larger source of entertainment.

One Saturday morning, shortly after arriving here, we were sitting quietly in our new home (such as it is pre-renovation), when our peace was shattered by an almighty bang! I jumped off the sofa, and my son exclaimed, “We’re being shot at!”

The source of this startling interruption? A cannon. Not firing at us, but to herald the arrival of a kind of river carnival. A flotilla of assorted boats decked with flags, carrying a host of eager individuals frantically waving. Off course, we went outside and dutifully waved back, after all it was quite a novel sight (for us anyway).

More recently I wondered why I could suddenly here voices coming from the river on a Sunday morning. Not just voices having a conversation, but amplified voices. When I wandered out to the garden, I could see a number of rowing boats making their way along the river, some with a cox barking orders, not from a traditional megaphone, but via a kind of radio mic. 

In all, 28 boats congregated directly in front of us, then proceeded to start a race, back in the direction from which they’d come. The only problem was we didn’t get to see who won!

I can certainly view much more of life from my current home, than I ever could from my suburban dwelling that delivered nothing more than the sight of the odd pedestrian or car passing by and a few bedraggled starlings in the garden. The river itself is constantly changing with the tides and whilst their are some regular wildlife visitors, other creatures just seem to pass through.

And of course there are things going on in the village itself. There are two pubs which offer entertainment and the odd community event, and a recent sign in a nearby field heralded a forthcoming ploughing match!

The pace here is slower and we tend to stop and watch the more simple things in life, which give us as much (or more) pleasure than the bustle of town can often offer. It may not be ‘full-on’ entertainment, but for us it’s a great novelty!

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