Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Messing about in Boats

‘This has been a wonderful day!’ said the Mole, as the Rat shoved off and took to the sculls again. ‘Do you know, I’ve never been in a boat before in all my life.’

‘What?’ cried the Rat, open-mouthed: ‘Never been in a—you never—well I—what have you been doing, then?’

‘Is it so nice as all that?’ asked the Mole shyly, though he was quite prepared to believe it as he leant back in his seat and surveyed the cushions, the oars, the rowlocks, and all the fascinating fittings, and felt the boat sway lightly under him.

‘Nice? It’s the only thing,’ said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. ‘Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing—absolute nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,’ he went on dreamily: ‘messing—about—in—boats; messing—’
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Last weekend we nearly settled for a day walk in the countryside. Country walks are better than sitting indoors, but we were rather regretting not having planned a camping trip or something more exciting.

Luckily, just in the nick of time Saha came up with an inspired idea. We took a train out of London, hired a canoe for a day and rowed nine miles down the River Nene in Northamptonshire.

It must be noted, however, that while Saha’s enthusiasm may be infectious, not all his weekend plans are equally appealing. From a recent conversation:
Saha: Man, we ought to learn surfing.
Me: Hm, I’m not all that interested in surfing. And I don’t think I’ll be good at it.
Saha: Just think about it! You on a beach, surfboard in hand, floral bermudas, bleached hair.
Me: *gags*
Saha (trying a different tack): Look, you know how to swim, right? What’s the next logical step? Surfing!
Me: Saha, that is not among the next one hundred logical steps.


Spin said...

You know, in the last photo, you can clearly tell from the look on the girl's face that she's really annoyed that you didn't help her carry her end of the canoe in the first photo and that you're still taking photos instead of trying to figure out a good way to enter the river.

Sroyon said...

You would think my friends are used to it by now!

relativelytruthful said...

but i think it might be the next logical step. i mean, what other steps ARE there? diving? drowning?

the wind in the willows has some really gorgeous passages on the theme of falling in love with Things [as opposed to People] - i remember this one paragraph where Toad is knocked over by a carriage and falls ends up falling in love with them.

maybe you know what i am talking about(?)

Amlan Mohanty said...

I am with Saha on this one. Except that:

Swimming -> Surfing -> Shark attack

Raktima said...

"You on a beach, surfboard in hand, floral bermudas, bleached hair."
Hey, why not? Go for electric blue when you recolor the bleached hair.

Indecision Personified said...

I envy you your weekend life!

P.S: Your WV has become impossible - but impossible. Do you know that?

Sroyon said...

@rtf: I need to reread the book.

@Amlan: In Australia maybe. But I doubt if there are man-eating sharks in the cold, cold waters of the North Atlantic.

@Raktima: It is a good thing I don't take all the advice I get.

@IP: Yes, I'm sorry about that... But it's a choice between that and disabling anonymous comments.