This Sunday some friends joined me in Windsor to go boating, eight of us in all.
Bristol Fashion, being in a Dutch Barge style, has a wooden cabin at the back to keep the driver dry and warm, but today it was sunny so we lifted the roof off and folded the sides down on their hinges. It’s great to feel a cool breeze on a warm day as you drive along.
We drove slowly from Windsor to Boveney Lock, taking in some fine views, past the racecourse and into very pretty open countryside. There is a fine little church, St Magdalene’s, to the right, and big white houses with well-kept gardens to the left. At Windsor Marina we turned the boat around. I love that on the river you can turn right round in a single wide swoop; on the canals you sometimes have to travel miles to the next winding hole and even then you have to execute a three or more point turn. Filled up with diesel (I’ve only used Â£30 worth in six weeks) and water and then we headed back with one of my guests at the helm.
Back in Windsor I had some parking problems because the wind was blowing strongly. One of the kids on board thought he’d throw a line over a tree trunk, intending to hold the boat fast, only for the trunk to get pulled out of the ground and into the water. Oops.
On dry land, we put the tv on top of the boat, out came the barbecues and we sat on the accidentally felled tree trunk to watch the world cup final. Windsor Castle loomed under a cloudless sky. Opened a few beers. Perfect.