Sunday, 21 August 2011

"Don't I know you off the telly?"

Radcot Lock to Tadpole Bridge Swim 8 catch-up
Sunday August 21st

Platypus Pam reports on an eventful day on the river...

17 fishermen, two exceptionally hospitable boats, three very undignified exits and one rude, hateful landlady.  Four fabulous OSS swimmers in wetsuits and three supporters. (Tracy, Chloe, Paul and Pam plus Vicky, Silas and Bob). The first acknowledged use of training fins

The dreaded Swan landlady shouted at us across the river as we set off to the lock that
     "You can’t swim in the river”
     “Why not” (Tracy)
     “There’s a fishing competition today downstream” (Swanlady)
     “Does that stop the boats coming through then as well” (Pam)
     “Well in any case there was a sewage leak up at Faringdon yesterday” (Swanlady)
     Muttered “Nothing’s stopping me”  (Pam)
     “and you can’t leave your cars in my car park.”

Naturally we ignored all the above.  However, there were three fishermen near The Swan but they were from the Radcot angling club and not part of the competition.  Tracy made it her business to chat up every one of the 14 competing fishermen who were spread out along the riverbank downstream of the lock and even asked to inspect the organiser’s catch of tiddlers.  They were mostly very chatty and no one accused us of ruining the river. 
Swimmers fleeing sewage
While we were being abused at the Swan we saw a boat with a lady with very blonde hair.  The boat passed us and, later, was moored with another boat. I nearly fell off my perch when Tracy asked the blond lady to make us a cup of tea. On went the kettle, out came the mugs and biscuits on a plate and we spent a happy half hour chatting to them all about why they were cutting up the river bank with a rusty saw. Hiding bodies was my theory. No, they were trying to dig up worms to fish with!  Tracy refused to get out of the river and entertained us with a demo of aquaerobics and how to fall backwards off an underwater ledge holding a mug of tea without spilling a drop.  Photos will be coming our way.  She exchanged details with one of the mad sawmen. Tracy also uttered the unoriginal line "don’t I know you from the telly” to the blonde lady.
Would you invite these people to drink tea while you worm? (Note: evidence of fins)
Thus fortified, we were further cheered to find Bob, Vicky and Silas waiting for us near Rushey lock.  More tea and Mars Bars and choccy biccies. Fins put on by one swimmer (my lips are sealed) and a pleasant final pootle to Tadpole Bridge where we couldn’t find anywhere to get out. Eventually, despite intending to make a low key exit, we were so hysterical that the whole garden at the pub was watching as Paul helped three ladies heave ourselves seal like on to the jetty.
These swimmers are crazy (tap tap tap)
Lunch at the Rose Revived.

We were anything but fast but we kept together, saw the birds, the flowers, the cows, the reflection of the sun dappling the willow leaves and just had a wonderful day.


[Ed: allegations have been made that fin-wearing was widespread at this event. A steward's enquiry will take place.]

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