Growler is off to learn how to canoe in Wales. This day long course is his birthday present from me. I hope he enjoys it :o)
I wish I was going canoeing with him. Part of me reckons even if I was fit and healthy I would wimp out. But as it is I am quite envious of a day paddling serenely down river. Maybe it’s not serene when you’re learning though.
When I was in my teens and visited my dad every other weekend, sometimes in the summer, we’d take out a rowing boat at Walsall Arboretum. I loved to row. I loved everything about it. The wooden rowing boats and oars, the slush of the water as the boat skimmed by, the creak of the oars with each stroke. The practiced art of steering the boat to the jetty by adjusting the oars. The slightly damp wooden bench seat in the boat. The ducks hiding under willow branches. The talks with my dad in the middle of a lake (well, large pool really), the tales of his youth, the chewing over of life and the universe and the soft pressing of the creases in our fractured relationship. The wobble of the boat as you stepped in and, once time was up, out again – usually with a strong young attendant to take my arm.
But now – no paddles for me. Not if you want to actually go anywhere rather than just drift.
So while Growler learns to paddle I’ll be with my mum. Yes, it’s the turn of my 64 year old mother to care for me. It doesn’t seem quite right. I was always the one to do the practical jobs for mum. Now we can both sit on the sofa and be annoyed in unity at all the little jobs that need doing ;o)