My post was well and truly lost.
So here I am again giving it another go, although just why I started writing about rowing now seems to escape me. There must have been a reason, but do you think that I can recall just what that reason was? I think I may have been thinking about the times I spent down by the river Thame when I was a boy, but if it was then this isn’t what I wrote about I’m pretty sure. My lost post was much more lyrical than this.
There was often an old rowing boat somewhere along the banks and once, in an inexplicable bout of courage, I decided to ‘borrow’ it and take it out. Now I’d never been in a boat on my own before, let alone rowed one, but I’d seen others do it and my books and comics were full of boys my age who not only rowed but took sailing dinghies out on the sea. What could be so hard about it?
I jumped in the boat and cast off the rope. I remember thinking that the oars were heavy but that didn’t deter me as I pushed the boat away from the bank with one of them. What a great adventure this was. I felt just like Ratty in ‘Tales of the Riverbank’ as I was swept downstream by the current. It was then that I noticed that the boat was leaking and that the current was carrying me towards a large patch of reeds. I expected to swish through the reeds to the opposite bank, but I hadn’t reckoned on the submerged tree trunk. So instead of a swish it was a thump and I was pitched into the reeds as the boat slowly sank. Of course I managed to wade out of the river eventually, black with mud, soaking wet and shaking like a leaf.
Since then, on the few occasions I’ve picked up the oars they invariably decide to try to escape the rowlocks and even when I manage to keep them in place I do little more than go around and around in circles. I’ve even at times, when I have been rowing particularly badly, relinquished the oars to MCW who seems to know just how to do it. The rowing knack I have not got; I’m probably more of a pedalo man. But at least I've never sunk again.
I wonder who that boat belonged to?