Tuesday 1 May 2012

Broadly speaking

I didn't know whether I should be channelling Fanny and Dick today, or Titty and Roger, when we picked up our frighteningly large (8 berth!) river launch for a couple of nights on the Norfolk Broads. It's a classic thing to do, to cruise the rivers and adjoining lakes, or broads, tying up outside pubs and going ashore in pretty villages to buy provisions (lashings of lemonade! Or pemmican?). A wet blanket recently told me that the Broads were choked with badly-driven boats loaded with stag parties, and thoroughly spoiled - but the river was pretty empty for us, and the worst drivers were us as we manoeuvred in to dock at the end of our sail downriver to Horning.

We tied up (amateurishly) eventually, after some quiet panicking, white knuckles and frantic thrusts backwards and forwards [ok, no more un(ish)intentional double entendres]. Then we discovered that there's a lot of walking involved in cruising, as we meandered past masses of thatched cottages, a windmill and two appealing black-and-white pubs, from which we chose The Swan, which was warm and cosy and inviting, and of course had free wifi (free wifi is gloriously common in England now - pubs, cafes, hotels, hotspots - it's just as it should be).

Then we wandered all the way back again for a quiet and still night on the boat, disturbed only by trespassing ducks on the roof, rowdy geese, whistling swans flying along the river, and some post-cider snoring inside. This is a lovely way to have a holiday - once you've earned your captain's stripes.

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