|This morning, about 6:30|
It's changed over the years, and I've changed too, so each year is different. This year seemed quiet again, like last year, in terms of the number of boats there and the public footfall. The marquee had a very different feel to it without the HNBC bookshop and the brass bits stalls, now mainly being occipied by commercial trade stands. We spent most of the time on the boat (partly because of the dogs), popping over to the beer tent just briefly on Friday and Saturday evening for a quick pint (and the traditional beanburger) before the music got under way.
But this year was brilliant because of the weather and the people. If you're going to have a really, really hot day, what better day to have it than the one day of the year when you don't have to do anything but sit on a boat all day. We had a fantastic spot by Butchers Bridge again, with plenty of shade for Jim and the dogs (who were, in the end, remarkably sensible about laying down in the hold in the back end rather than on the deck) but a constant spot of sun for me, and so many people came by for so many brilliant conversations, including the Moomins, the Ducks and Duckling, Bones (with Boots), Pete Harrison, Jane on Clypeus and Richard, Victor Vectis (to pick one of his many aliases), Jim and Sue
|The classic view from the stern end, 6.30 am, with a very smart Cepheus behind|
So many people now seem to be saying that they prefere Alvecote to Braunston, but I just don't get it. Alvecote is great, but it's so full-on. At Braunston there's trees and shade and (usually) some peace and quiet. At Alvecote there's one pub; at Braunston a choice of four, and at Braunston there's the village and the bottom lock shop should you need provisions. Even though it invariably clashes with exam boards and creates all sorts of logistical difficulties, Braunston will always be the 'can't miss' event of my boating year - as it has been since 2006.