Attending a music festival by boat transforms the experience. No queuing for toilets or showers, sitting in a tent in the rain or cooking on wonky calor stoves. This year I took my home afloat to Womad (world music and dance) Festival at Reading and moored right outside the venue. There was a long row of boats moored along the bank, including many narrowboats who’d travelled from Oxford, London and the Kennet and Avon.
I threw a rope ladder over the side of Bristol Fashion so I could easily get in and out of the water and went for my first swim in the Thames. On a hot day it was lovely, the water was clear and the weeds tickled my feet. There were a lot of other swimmers around. A couple of ladies asked if they could use my rope ladder to get in and out. They were rather large ladies but I didn’t want to say no, so stupidly I said yes, and one of them snapped the ladder in two.
A helicopter flew low overhead every day to land on the opposite bank, churning up the water, turning neatly on the spot to fit onto a landing pad in between two houses. Yes, Thames-side properties are a bit on the expensive side.
Didn’t spend much time in the actual festival. It was more fun to just sit on top of the boat with a cold beer and watch the world go by.