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)
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?
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