Saturday, 28 March 2009

Walking on the Wild Side

The path by the river

Last Sunday, being Mothering Sunday, I rang Debbie at BBC Radio Berkshire as she was talking, in view of Jade Goody’s death that day, about children losing their mother at an early age. She hosts the show every Sunday morning from 9am to 12 noon and asked for people to ring and contribute. As my mother died when I was only thirteen we had a nice little chat. Afterwards, being at a bit of a loose end, I went for a long walk along the riverbank at Wargrave. The tiny path wends its way for a mile or so until it reaches the mouth of one of my favourite waterways – the Hennerton Backwater. (I’ll be rowing down there as soon as the little leak in my boat repairs itself.) Surprisingly I had the whole path to myself on that beautiful sunny spring afternoon with the trees bursting into life with their pink and white blossom. What a fantastic spring we are having this year – the best I can remember.

Blossom in the undergrowth

Pootle, my most faithful blogging friend, told me how to make it possible for anyone to add a ‘comment’ to my blogs. This is now possible.

In this country it seems we reward the guilty and punish the innocent! Last week a man was released from jail after serving 27 years for a murder he hadn’t committed. In compensation for his loss of freedom he will be entitled to a lump sum, but there’ll be a deduction for ‘board and lodging’ (his jail cell and food). However if guilty men and women are released early under a new scheme to end overcrowding, they are paid compensation of £35 a week for the loss of accommodation and food to which they would have been entitled had they served their full term in jail!

I was totally outnumbered the other day when I mentioned on my blog that I didn’t like the smell of popcorn right next to me in a cinema. No one seemed to agree with me, so I was amused yesterday when Max, one of my great nephews, complained that when his father takes him to the Cup Final next month he will be expected to take a meat pie and a cup of Bovril into the ground. Apparently it’s as much a tradition at football matches as popcorn, I am told, is at the cinema.

This morning a friend and I visited Timmy Mallet at his house in the heart of the Berkshire countryside. We visited his studio and Lynda brought us tea and cake. After a delightful walk round the large garden, we returned to the studio where Timmy pointed to the top of the surrounding walls. There he’d constructed a miniature electric railway. He’d also painted the backgrounds and ceiling. And being at eye-height, as the two trains made their way round the tracks, we had a good view of the wheels and pistons furiously speeding along. I’ll see if I can add a little video here. (Even if no picture appears, click on the triangle and it will play.)


Anonymous said...

Aha, so we can all now post! Let's see if it works. One tip - when you get to the bottom click on the Anonymouse button and you will then find that there is no need for a Google "identity".

I bumped into Bill in a little cafe in Henley last week whilst he was waiting for a friend to join him for coffee before he had his hair cut. See, Bill, you can't get away with anything in a small town!

Bill was as charming as ever to an all but complete stranger!!


Twinkletoes said...

What beautiful blossom! A hopeful sign that winter is behind us and warmer days are on the way. Timmy Mallet's garden sounds like a magical fantasy wonderland! I didn't know he was an artist too.

Mona said...

Bill, I'm wondering did Timmy mind Rolf revising the painting if it was Timmy's own work, or did I misunderstand your description?

I passed you a special award today. It's on my portrait blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
Thank you for allowing anonymous comments, and to Pootle for helping in this process!

I have been wanting to ask you about the dragon boats. I have spent some time in and around Henley and had never heard of them. Are they indigenous, or visiting from elsewhere, - and what are they used for?
Many thanks,
A. fan

underthemagnifier said...

Hi Bill,
What a lovely walk that must be going alongside the river, especially with all of the beautiful, flowering trees.

I loved the train video! Wes and I had a N-scale model railroad in our studio in Florida. It was 4 by 8 feet, and built in a cabinet with a glass top and viewing windows on the side. The windows were the perfect height for my little cousins and sister to enjoy watching the train go by, and they loved it. We hope to get it set back up someday, here.
Love and Hugs :-)
P.S. Ya'll sure eat a lot of cake over there...HA! If it's chocolate, I'm on my way!

Anonymous said...

The dragon boats are Henley's very own!


Anonymous said...

As I said in an earlier response to Bill's blog, you can't get away with anything in a small town and, as others may know, Bill is very friendly with Paul Daniels and the lovely Debbie McGee.

Well, I know you may not believe this, but I've just seen Debbie McGee trollied in Henley.

Not only that, she was topless too!

And two burly men were rubbing her down bare and in full view of the passing public!!

I couldn't believe my luck so I freely admit I took advantage of her and joined in, fondling her stern and rubbing her cleats for good measure.

Ah, you've sussed me out!

Yes it was in deed the "Lovely Debbie McGee", but it was their canoe of that name in the boatyard for pre-launch maintenance and a coat or four of fresh varnish ready for - hopefully - a jolly summer on the river when her top will be replaced and the real Miss McGee can recline gracefully in its shade!!


Pootle said...

Note that if you choose "Name/URL" instead of "Anonymous" when you post a comment, you can type in any name you want (as Twinkletoes did); and optionally link to your own website/blog if you want.

RG9, I hope you were gentle with the lovely Debbie McGee!

RG9 said...

Thaank you Pootle! I'll try it out.

Fogey said...

Thanks RG9 for the tip about the dragon boats, much appreciated.