I’m a regular on the tow path running throughout the year between Barnes and Putney Bridges generally early in the morning.  So I’ve got to know the tides, being out in all weathers and experiencing the changing seasons, the ebb and flow, river life, the wildlife – always eye catching.  Just occasionally I’ll stop to take a photo, though it doesn’t translate. Neither did my attempt at painting the view. 

Anyway, this weekend I joined the flock of crowds who were basking in the sunshine with their picnics and Pimms, swigging from their Corona’s and wolfing pizza and this time I WALKED my usual route and watched the people.  So interesting, quite different from the 6 am view.  It was the Varsity boat race on Sunday; we woke up to hear the news that a WW2 bomb had been discovered on the banks so would it even go ahead…  Anyway, the all clear came and so did the throngs of people, the walls were lined with the keenies, cameras at the ready, there were the families – the guardian of the picnic and children, dogs heaving on leads, carefully marked out territories, barbeques and every dining scenario from people sitting on plastic bags to a table complete with a candelabra at the river bank, with waiting staff for full dining experience!   I nearly missed the races – they are over in a second and there was some particularly energetic and dizzying dancing going on by the band stand. I think it had been a long afternoon for some.

Age old problem … what to wear?  Some were sporty chic, older gents were particularly smartly turned out with their university ties and boaters – it had the Henley regatta ring to it.  Then at the other end of the scale, wild face painting, very IOW festival, flag waving. Of course being 16 degrees meant an ideal opportunity for stripping back the black garb and bringing on the flimsy barely there look – so rather a lot of sun burning soft flesh – for the 2nd of April is this a record?

 Cancer Research sponsored the event and the men’s race was won by Oxford and the Ladies by Cambridge.





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