por Milo Steelefox, de Londres*
Round about once every month or two I escape London to go home and see my family and friends in Worcester, home of the classic Lea & Perrins sauce (molho inglês), about 2½ hours away by train. Not a lot happens, but that’s half the appeal, and I wanted to tell you about one of the best ways to while away the time there.
So there I was, getting up lazily one recent Saturday morning and who should call but my oldest and tallest friend. ‘Wanna row up to The Camp?’, he asked. This is a silly question. ‘I’m game’, I obviously replied.
I wander out into the garden and rouse my little brother, sunbathing with a book. He’s game too, and before we know it the three of us plus two friends are strolling over to the River Severn to a chap who hires out rowing boats. The lovely big one (called Munchkin) is already booked, so we get two small ones and set off upstream. The goal? A delightful old pub called The Camp!
It’s a perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon; you paddle against the current for a little over and hour, then sit back with sandwich and a cider or two at the pub, and then literally drift back downstream a couple of hours later. And of course, it’s all giggles and fooling around, taking turns to row, splashing water and waving at passers by on the banks.
I’ve known this pub since I was a little boy, and although some of the playground items have gone, it’s very much the same. And the best bit, apart from a lovely great big tree, is the fact that there are not just chickens roaming around in between the tables, but there are also peacocks strutting their stuff and wailing to each other – such bizarre and beautiful birds.
Back we get into the boats to head downstream, floating along, meandering, paddling a little and crashing into each other or low branches, but mostly drifting along and enjoying the sunshine.
There’s nothing better than being on the water in the warm weather, and don’t worry if you never make it as far as visiting Worcester – your best bet for a lovely day in a boat would be to check out Shakespeare’s Stratford, or better still do a spot of punting in the very scenic spots of Oxford and Cambridge.
- To while away the time: to spend time
- I’m game: I’m up for it, I’m keen
- Rouse: to get the attention of
- A chap: a man
- Strutting their stuff: showing off, parading as if on a catwalk
- Best bet: This is literally the best advice you can offer, the best suggestion
- Punting: a form of boating, like rowing but instead of using two oars you use the one, propelling the boat along by pushing on the bed of the river, rather like they do in Gondolas in Venice