Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Time and tide...

The river is constantly changing and there’s always plenty going on. Over the weekend, I wandered down to watch the University Boat Race between Oxford and Cambridge: an annual rowing event that’s been held on the River Thames in London since 1829.

I’ve been watching the crews training for the past few weeks, from the comfort of my flat overlooking the river. They venture out in all weathers – mainly strong winds and driving rain at this time of the year…rather them than me.

As I walked towards the start of the race at Putney Bridge, I checked out the form of the teams from a distance.

It was rather a gloomy afternoon, but that didn’t stop around a quarter of a million people lining the banks of The Thames to catch a glimpse of the teams as they sped past. Of course, we'd all have kept a lot warmer and seen much more of the race had we settled for the brilliant television coverage, but being one of the spectators at this hugely popular event is all about soaking up the atmosphere.

The assembled throng seemed to be more ‘beer bellies and baby buggies’ than the ‘blazers and boaters’ usually associated with rowing events. Typically, there were a few rather curious characters who stood out from the crowd.

London based Filipino artist, Chito Salarza-Grant (right) was wearing an extraordinary hat that he’d designed especially for the occasion.

He kindly let me try it on, but the handmade boat was so heavy that I had to stoop forward to prevent the hat toppling off my head – not such a great look for me.

Being by the water, I rather wished I’d worn some of Bebaroque’s stylish, silky sheer Saylor tights, which have just arrived at ShopCurious. They're totally covered with sailor inspired tattoo designs and perfect for after-race parties... though, unfortunately for this occasion, the screen printed pattern comes in a shade that's probably best described as Oxford blue.

In any case, I decided not to hang around and celebrate, as I had some visitors arriving.

The following day, we went for a walk along the river and it was altogether a different scene.

We could hear the chants and roars of Fulham supporters from the football ground across the river, but on our side things were pretty much back to normal for an Easter Sunday - with just a few people about, dodging the April showers, to walk their dogs and babies.

And so the river of life goes on…

As observed by the curiously appropriate motto on the clock of St Mary’s Church in Putney:

Time and Tide Stay for No Man.

Do you?


worm said...

I lived in London for quite a few years but never actually managed to drag myself all the way westwards to watch the race, and to be honest I was more likely to have been sat in some dark afterhours club all day anyway!

AFTER i've read Mailman(!), I've got Ackroyd's Thames:Sacred River lined up to read, which I must say I'm looking forward to. The river is a fascinating place indeed

Make Do Style said...

What a delight to go and cheer. We were away for the weekend but maybe next year!

Jill said...

You look darling!

I used to want to join a skulling team...isn't that what it's called? I'm not sure. I thought it would be an excellent form of exercise. But, it was one of those things that I talked about doing and never got around to fulfilling! Now, living in the desert, with no bodies of opportunities are gone.


How wonderful Susan!
This post makes me miss Marks & Spencers food dept!