Saturday, June 2, 2012

P is for Punting

Remember that lovely, sunny weather that we've been having for the last week? Well, it lasted just that. A week. We're already back to overcast skies, sub-15C temperatures and humidity galore. In other words, welcome to England!

But while it was still nice out, tourists and Oxonians alike took to the punting in the river like, say, fish to water. (Or finalists to libraries, to draw from daily experience.) So what is punting, you ask? Well, from my limited technical knowledge, it consists of pushing a wide, flat-bottomed boat along shallow rivers using a long metal pole. In my head though, I equate it with leisurely sunny afternoons, quaint English countrysides and Pimm's. Not warped at all, nope.

Punts passing by our college grounds. 

 And under Magdalen Bridge, too.

2pm on a warm Sunday = rush hour on the Cherwell.

As for me, I have not yet had the pleasure of punting first-hand. I had every intention of doing so last weekend (and indeed I practically had one foot in the boat), but sadly a friend of mine got hit on the head with the punting pole and we ended up spending the evening at the A&E waiting room. (She's fine now, but did suffer a mild concussion.) I also know of someone who fell while punting on the same day and cut his foot badly enough to require stitches. And a tetanus shot. 

So let this be a cautionary tale about idyllic and leisurely appearances: please remember that punting remains a physical activity, one which involves a heavy metal pole and traveling over dirty, rocky waters which contains God-knows-what-has-been-languishing-there-for-the-last-800-years. 

No comments:

Post a Comment