Sunday, 2 September 2007

Messing about on the river



Last year in the summer holidays we went boating at Barcombe along the River Ouse. We had a great day and have been promising for a year now that we would do the same again one day. Well the last day of the last weekend of the hols and we kept our promise. Everything had to be just as good as last year, down to hiring the same rowing boat as last year. So number 13 it was (we should have taken the hint).


It's been a really beautiful day and we were joined at the beginning of our boat trip by a family of swans and babies - idyllic.

And then we saw this little chap who had to have his photo taken!


Really we should have known better than to hand control of the boat over to teenage girls who barely know what day it is, let alone remembering to paddle in the right decoration. ("Go left, no left, that's right, left!!!") These 2 girls who are so food-driven that on first sight of the blackberry bushes on the river bank made straight for them. All's well in this shot ...


... what they'd forgotten is that the boat didn't have a brake and that pretty soon we were all heading straight into the bigger blackberry bush in front of us, accompanied by screams of "I'm going to die!!" from the girls and cries from my youngest. We did emerge a few minutes later, having been completely buried in brambles, covered in blackberry juice and arms scratched, thankfully the Savlon came along for the day too. Not such a good start then!


Luckily for us (and for everyone else, judging by the level of rowing going on) we seemed to have the river more or less to ourselves. We'd almost forgotten the cows that we'd almost rowed into last year when they'd been standing in the river as we meandered around a bend. Until of course we'd turned that bend in the river and I had convinced my youngest that of course they wouldn't be there again, when ...


... and this time there was no turning back, we had to go past them and to make matters worse there were more of them, As we approached and my daughters screams grew louder, we saw five cows and calves in the river and we had to tackle the first of our many three point turns. Relaxing it wasn"t! We cleared the cows but had overcompensated in the rowing department and now found ourselves deep in the branches of a tree on the riverbank and my arm deep in a patch of stinging nettles (as I said, fortunately we were alone at this point).

We all slumped down in the boat and the girls and M had to row whilst laying horizontally across the boat.
Now you'd think having survived this, the cows and the brambles, they'd want to play it safe, But no - the trees were fun and we spent most of the return journey heading straight for the trees, shouting "assume crash position!" and lying flat on the boat - I'd given up by this point

We were on the home straight when my oldest crashed into the canoe that was straight in front of her - nobody was hurt - but how could you not see a canoe? She said she'd been distracted by the boy who suddenly appeared from nowhere swinging across the river on a rope in front of us, I said she might have been distracted by the dog who literally jumped over our boat a split second later to fetch the stick his owner had thrown, No it was not very hot, none of us was suffering from heatstroke and all of this did happen within a space of a few seconds. Too quickly for me to capture it on film, if you'd just seen this photo of the dog calmly swimming over to the other side having rescued his stick you would have no idea of what had just happened!


In spite of all this and convinced we were going to be handed an ASBO on our return it was a wonderful day. We thought everyone in the pub garden had had some idea of what had just happened as they all seemed to be smiling at us, It was only when we were halfway across the field that my youngest said - "Mummy do you think we should still be wearing the life jackets?!"

27 comments:

Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Kim, I laughed out loud! What a funny day out, I'd have liked to see photos of you all coming out of the blackberry bushes....thanks for sharing.
Gill x

Ali said...

That was the best chuckle of my evening!

dottycookie said...

Excellent! Sounds like the perfect family day out!

I have a friend who used to lure ducks to punts with packets of crisps. One day he tried it with a swan ... those birds are fast!

Gretchen said...

Ah, the joys of canoeing with children! :) Thanks for the laugh.

Kat-in-a-flap. said...

You know when you've been brambled !!!!!!!!!!!
It looked like a great day and a lovely place to visit,thanks for the laugh and the lovely pics Kat xxx

meggie said...

Lovely laugh for my morning!
Looks like it will go down as happy memories.

Heidi said...

Oh Kim, this was the greatest story to read. You had me laughing! I do think these are the days that bring us the fondest family memories later in life.

I hope your children enjoy their start to the new school year.

Amanda said...

oh gosh that is the funniest thing I've read in ages! It sounds like my sort of day out - apart from the stinging nettles and bramble scratches of course! Good job you had the savlon on hand!!

pink-petal-designs said...

lol, i have laughed all the way through your post, what a great day you all had, lol.
Sarah x

Alison said...

LOL Kim...You look as if you had a wonderful time!!!
Take care,
Alison x

Clare said...

Hi KIm

Sounds like you had a wonderful time messing about on the river! Will you be returning again next year for lucky No. 13?!

I recall a walk with my dad and sister, many years ago, when I slipped and fell down the side of a bank - straight into a blackberry bush. It's a wonder I wasn't scarred for life - luckily it didn't put me off blackberrying! The there was the time my sister was pushed into a huge clump of stinging nettles by the horrible Alan Barnes... You've sent me off down memory lane with this post!

Clare x

Nancy said...

What wonderful photos, and it sounds like a very fun outing!

Heidijayhawk said...

what an adventure!!! that sounds like my kinda luck!!!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

What a delightful story! I really think it should be made into a children's book! We've always wanted to spend a day on a canal boat... they are always featured prominently in our British mags. Beautiful photos you've posted, too!

Samantha said...

Hi Kim,
what a scream! Love the action shots!

Heather ~ Pretty Petals said...

Oh I am laughing!!! Such a cute post Kim!! xo Heather

andsewtosleep said...

Sounds perfect to me. Blackberry thorns included.
Mary

Lynda said...

I've had a delightful time catching up with you, Kim, and reading about your holidays with your family. The river story was quite funny and I'm sure you'll all be laughing about it for many years! Thanks for sharing these wonderful family times with us. ♥

Barbara said...

wow! so many beautiful picture! Its lovely to scroll and look at your blog! greetings from Germany Barbara

Kim said...

What a hilarious story! Bet this is one trip you'll remember!

cd&m said...

Brilliant day out!

Tracy said...

Oh, how fun, and how funny! Looks like a grand time! Thanks for sharing your outing with us! Happy Day ((HUGS))

ShabbyInTheCity said...

Oh gosh that was fun! What an exciting blog post! I feel like I rode down the river too. We have no water here...all summer no rain and the lakes are getting ecoli, etc. Yuck!

Thimbleanna said...

Kim, you're so funny! I laughed out loud several times. Sounds like you had a wonderful time!

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

Haha!! That really brightened up my evening!!

Rubyred said...

Boating ,cows,brambles! sounds like a perfect day out!You made me laugh!

Cowboys & Custard said...

I love this idyllic summer scene on the river.. it is what summer is all about and you can't beat a beautiful day messing about on the river in our sublime English countryside..