We went to England for a birthday party. My Mum’s 80th, not that you would believe it, she holds down three part time jobs and is active with the U3A too. I wish I could be half as fit at 45 as she is at nearly twice my age.
On her birthday she sailed the Lady Daphne down the Thames to the Thames Barrier and back which meant stopping traffic as the Tower Bridge was raised as we passed by in both directions. Marvelous.
When I say she sailed the Lady Daphne I don’t actually mean she did it – she hired a crew too – she’s not super woman.
Lady Daphne is an 87-year-old barge and very down to earth she is – with no frills and no sophisticated veneer – I rather liked her for that. Like my Mum she is a spritely old bird and is still raced every year.
There were 8 kids on board , a few of us middlies and a fair number of Mum’s contemporaries and I’m telling you I was far more worried about losing a tottering 80-year-old silver-haired party goer overboard than a kid. Especially as they can knock back the old vino with the best of them.
My Mum comes from a nautical background, sailors and sawyers and dockers – we have the lot in our somewhat dubious family tree and nearly all of them from Cornwall. My Dad was a cockney and his sister was on board – it was fascinating to hear her talk about the places we sailed past and her childhood in London. My cousin can remember riding horses over the docklands as a boy. How wild is that?!
I love London and I loved seeing London from the river. Happy Birthday Mum xxx