Messing about in boats

July 24, 2014


And the Water Rat said:

“If you believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing, half so worth doing as – simply messing about in boats!”

(Wind in the Willows)

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The phone rang. Robert asked,

“Would you like to go out in an Edwardian Canadian canoe launch with Geoff and Dawnie around 2 PM?”

I must admit I had to get my mind around that one; Edwardian, Canadian, canoe, launch?

R explained: a 1908 restored launch form the Edwardian era, made to resemble a Canadian canoe, down the backwaters of the Thames, to the lock at Henley on Thames, and back.

Are you kidding me! 😀

You know, sometimes in our lives we just have to stop and take stock. I remember one of the first times R was at my cabin with me and he though, “here I am, in the middle of nowhere, backwoods Canada, with bears and coyotes all around. Surreal… 😀 ” I must admit this was one of those times for me.

Geoff had arranged to borrow the Beazie, a beautiful, wooden, fanciful, canoe-type boat with a super quiet, electric engine, from his friend Richard. Tulip, Richard’s dog, was really pushing to be allowed to come along. She jumped into the boat three times and three times she was very gently but firmly evicted. Poor Tulip. You can just see her disappointed, little, mushy face.

So off we went, under the willows, past swans and cottages with roses, thru the little backwater channel, to the main stream of the Thames and huge mansions. There was a lot of boat traffic on the main river. Lots of children in summer camps and people paddling, camping, swimming, having all sorts of fun, in all sorts of boats. We came past some boys who were tired form their paddling and gave them a tow much to their delight.

I so wanted to see a kingfisher. More than anything. I kept looking for one but there were none to be seen. Then, a blur of blue, and Geoff turned the launch around, and just there, on a small branch above the water, sat my kingfisher in his azure waistcoat and orange socks. He held tight to his fish prize and, as we got closer, flew off.

Could a day be more perfect than this day?

Sharing with the WordPress weekly photo challenge: Summer Lovin’

An art day
Practical class: Medieval Manuscript Illumination

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  • Reply chloe belanger July 24, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Absolutely lovely post! Gorgeous photos! xoxo

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

      Thank you so much sweetie. 😀

  • Reply Patty/NS July 25, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Magical and surreal, such a lovely way to spend a day.

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:30 am

      It so was Patty. We were so lucky. 😀

  • Reply michellepond July 25, 2014 at 3:36 am

    Absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for taking us along.

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:29 am

      I know Michelle!!! Now I need to figure out how to afford a $2 million house with a boat garage on the Thames and a $20K Edwardian launch. 😀

  • Reply Molly July 25, 2014 at 5:02 am

    How magnificent! We live on a lake, much rougher and wilder than this idyllic bit of the Thames (and our kingfishers are smartly black and white), but there is just something about boating isn’t there?
    I do envy that tent/camp/mansion set up!

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:28 am

      Hi Molly! You have B/W kingfishers in Africa? Too cool. One day I have to come visit and paint them. 😀 I mostly live near the ocean or right beside this river. Love water and boating too.

      I have to pop over and catch up with you now.

  • Reply Bungalow Hostess July 25, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Love messing about in boats and those Edwardian boats are gorgeous!

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Hello fellow 49th parallel girl! (Although now it looks like I’m not because I’m in E at the moment) How lovely for me to meet you. 😀 Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your addy because now I can go find out more about you. Could you tell me your name? Perfectly ok if you’d rather not.

  • Reply Marisela July 25, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Amazing place and lovely pictures

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:20 am

      Thank you so much sweetie. 😀

  • Reply daryledelstein July 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

    no nothing could be more perfect … and the wind in the willows was the first ‘grownup’ book i read .. i was 6 …

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:19 am

      Was it? I love that book. I actually can’t believe that R read it for the first time a couple of years ago. I felt so happy for him that he got to discover the magic of that book. 😀

  • Reply mysoulfulhome July 25, 2014 at 9:58 am

    You have it on the perfect day…your photo of the hammock under the willow was enough for me, but all the rest too?! Veronica ~ magical moments to treasure. Thank you for sharing & taking us along with you!

    • Reply Veronica July 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Thank you so much Kelly. I KNOW! Now I want a couple weeping willows to string my hammock under. (sigh) next house. 🙂

  • Reply Cardinal Guzman July 25, 2014 at 11:18 am

    It’s so relaxing to be out on the water. Wonderful summer activity.

  • Reply 2geeks3knots July 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Yup, a perfect day for sure! Keep on enjoying your summer 🙂

  • Reply Why?Matters! July 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I love your Pictures! The tent looks so wonderful set up.

  • Reply sustainabilitea July 25, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    What glorious fun, Veronica! We were able to spend a little bit of time on a barge/houseboat in France with friends a few weeks ago and I can’t wait to blog about that. I love the photos but the dog is my favorite as she appears to be at least part pit. Love them!


  • Reply Lynne Ayers July 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    One of my mother’s favourite quotes – we did our share of messin’ in summers passed.

  • Reply Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua July 25, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I don’t think you could have had a more perfect summer day. The cottages and landscape are absolutely gorgeous.

  • Reply suyashchopra July 25, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    What an experience it must have been…!!! Feels so jealous of you some times but very glad that you had an amazing time. Great photos. Summer could not have been captured better than this. 🙂

  • Reply restlessjo July 25, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Where better, Veronica? Happy Summer! 🙂

  • Reply cynthiamc1 July 26, 2014 at 2:02 am

    How delightful! I feel as though I’ve been on vacation.

  • Reply Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’ | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice July 26, 2014 at 4:31 am

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  • Reply Gerry C. July 26, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Bravo! Your photos depict the exuberance and the absolute summer fun that this theme has called for. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply lauzlau July 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Such beautiful photos, the boats, landscape, all of it. Thank you for sharing several photos, I did not want this summer trip to end!

  • Reply Connie Hanks - July 27, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Stunning shots! Sounds like an amazing day!

  • Reply greenmackenzie July 27, 2014 at 9:59 am

    What a wonderful trip….and so utterly English, beautiful. I love the old boat house, the boat itself and all those wonderful sights you passed, including that rather lovely looking glamping tent 🙂

    • Reply Veronica July 29, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Oh my gosh, wasn’t that glamping tent something else? It reminded me of that Harry Potter camping at the quidich match scene. 😀

  • Reply Arl's World July 28, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Nice pictures! Looks like a wonderful summer time. 🙂

    • Reply Veronica July 29, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Thank you so much Arlene. 😀

  • Reply Renee Dowling July 29, 2014 at 9:04 am

    I have to totally agree with you! Life couldn’t get any better than messing with boats! Stunning photos…the day seems oh so grand!

    • Reply Veronica July 29, 2014 at 9:24 am

      Oh my gosh, it was the best day! Now I want one of those boats. 😀

  • Reply Love is in the air | Words & Pics July 31, 2014 at 12:43 pm

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