Sunday, 15 June 2003

Sunday Stroll - OR - Boating Disaster Averted in the Nick of Time

Its safe on a sunny Sunday, to venture into Finsbury Park itself. Today noticed that the boating lake was once again open and boy were many people enjoying it. People queued to take a leisurely row around the lake. There were traffic jams and many near misses (not all to do with the actual number of boats out but more to do with people's rowing skills, or rather lack of). Not all the people knew which direction was front for a boat and were pushing the boat backwards around the lake (flat end, rather than pointy end, first) - needless to say they were not gliding gracefully through the water as it was proving to be somewhat of a struggle. In the end we were gesticulating what rowing technique should look like from the banks.

One of these backwards rowers was a poor put upon woman who was rowing her husband backwards round the lake as he leisurely ate an ice-cream. However once he finished his ice-cream he lit a cigarette and took over the rowing. He powered twice round the lake (rowing correctly but going at a rate of knots in racing fashion, with little regard for the rowing-lightweights all around him) smoking without removing the cigarette from his mouth once. Finally they came to a stand still under the boughs of a willow tree and just as they were about to engage in some conversation in the idyllic romantic setting his mobile phone rang and he had a long conversation on it.

Sitting for a while on the grass on the north side of the racing track we watched a family who had come for a picnic - it was no small event - they had a tent for the little boys to have some shade, a rug, two coolers of food, folding chairs, a buggy, a car...Dad was setting stuff up and didn't look terribly chuffed to be there, the minute the chairs were set up the little ones were climbing all over them...however finally they all found their rightful places and they tucked into the food. We thought they were young people looking like old people - overly prepared with chairs, crockery and cultery - but within 10 minutes two young women and a young man approached, the kids went wild for their mum, she told her littlest son to give a package to grandad. So shockingly while we had thought they were a young family they were the grandparents - very young they looked but doing what grandparents do best - being prepared for all eventualities!

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