Today I took Mrs Bard boating with some friends. We watched a curious ceremony where members of an up-market river-boat club (blazer and tie/flowery dress wearers only need apply!) greeted the appointment of their new Commodore (boss, chairman or leader – not a 1980’s computer). The members either dipped their flag or saluted from their boat as they cruised past the Commodore and his ‘good lady’ standing on the inspection dais. To a non-boatee it seemed a curious display, one possibly only found amongst the remnants of a ‘Raj culture’. Perhaps to those from abroad it is, along with Morris Dancing, shortbread in tartan-bedecked tins and Royal Weddings, what they consider depicts our country…
We were invited for a day on the river,
I put on my blazer and tie,
Mrs Bard dressed like a sailor,
We were late, in a state, don’t ask why!
We arrived at the tumbledown marina,
Big Bob’s boat, was nowhere in sight,
When shown its place on the mooring,
We found it, what a pit, what a fright!
I think the first owner was Noah,
Or failing that, one James or John,
The hull was in need of attention,
The inside, was not wide, and so wrong!
Big Bob tried to start up the engine,
An exhaust cloud, engulfed near and far,
Mrs Bard had a fit and was coughing,
“Be better, to have left her, in the car”
We finally left the marina,
Mopped brows, from all with a boat,
Got sworn at with powerful language
By a ‘Sod’, with a rod, and a float!
We came across a procession,
Of posh boats, going ever so slow,
Big Bob said they were saluting,
“Be better, to let her, go below!”
We were passing an up-market marina,
Stocked with boats, I could never afford,
An en-blazered old man started waving,
We waved back, through a crack, from on board!
Our host started the shouting,
When told to “get out the way!”
Pushing and shoving resulted,
With a crash and a splash and ‘hooray!’
Big Bob has been banned from the river,
He is nursing, a badly broken arm,
I’ve decided to take my wife rowing,
We can bond, on a pond, on the farm!
© Baldock Bard
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