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.)