Since we arrived in Hamble, we’ve been living on the river, save for our wonderful three weeks at the house sitting assignment. Tomorrow, we are moving ashore to live in a HOUSE!
This morning, after rowing Dan ashore, I began my morning meditation and felt amazing. I peered out the coach house window towards the eastern shore and realised I would miss my river house the She of Feock. The mornings are peaceful, the bird life diverse and the sunrises a new colour each day. Oyster Catchers meet to crack open their freshly caught mussels and sing their high pitched call before the sun peeks over the hill. The shore line is constantly changing with a double high tide. Low tide brings masses of wading birds to the river’s edge to feed.
We’ve been at four locations on the River Hamble and this is my favourite. The boat has become my ‘hide’ in the middle of the river from where I watch the birds and the human activity on the riverbank.
Walkers, Photographers, Twitchers and lovers amble along the riverbank each day displaying body language that I feel is not meant for my eyes. Nobody knows I’m there! It’s like being invisible so I’ll let you in on some of the things I’ve seen.
Families out for a walk with their happy kids dressed in jackets and brightly coloured wellies skipping along merrily behind. Families who do the ‘country walk’ thing and only the ‘Leader’ having a good time. You can spot the ‘Leader’ fairly easily, as he (invariably it’s a He) is usually dressed in full walker’s uniform – sturdy boots, gaiters, walking jacket and the most telling item of all – the rucksack! And, I can tell you what’s in the rucksack. Soggy sandwiches, apples, bananas, some chocolate treats and a bottle of squash. The ‘Leader’ chooses the spot where they are allowed to stop and eat the proffered sustenance, then they all march off again towards the beckoning people carrier. Binoculars. Yes. A fine pair I have indeed.
Lone photographers and groups of photographers laden down with tripods and lenses gather to test the light and capture a magical moment. Some pick their nose when they think nobody is watching and others take a toilet break.
And the sailing – well this is the Mecca of sailing, with nearly 4000 boats on the river, the traffic barely stops. Racing teams, Olympic competitors and complete novices all vie for sailing space. Rowing groups and kayakers practice their moves and little me, dodging between them to row the dinghy to the shore with my showering equipment.
I even joined a Bird Forum so I could find out a bit more about the birds of the area, but I’m not a Twitcher, honest, I’m not. Actually, I believe I am what is known as a Dude (that’s Twitcher vocabulary for a novice bird watcher) and as I’m NOT a Twitcher, I could have seen a Megatick or a Crippler and wouldn’t even know it.
But all that is soon to end, life on the set of Howard’s Way is over and my new view will be of the garden. I shall have straight hair and high heels once again.