Bringing a bit of colour to Henley!


Logging on to my blog I discover that my last article was 7 days ago. It has been nearly 10 years since this last happened. I have blogged on holiday, from hospital and from my summer holiday home Lady Lucy, but last week my new laptop refused to take a charge and I found no way to blog than through what I still quaintly call me “mobile phone”.

Instead of blogging , I delighted in “wild water swimming” , which is the lifestyle name for skinny-dipping in the Thames, I walked in the hills between Maidenhead and Hurley and I enjoyed preparing and (perhaps not so much) cleaning up after Lady Lucy’s 7 excursions in the last 9 days.

Thank you to all who came on the boat. It was good not to talk pensions to my friends who do pensions and to talk pensions with those who don’t!  My favorite moment? That was the look on Boris Johnson’s face when – looking on from the Royal Box – he saw Eton beaten in the semi-final of the Princess Elizabeth cup by a couple of feet. A couple of feet over 2000 yards is a fine margin but Australia beat Oxford Brooks , in this race by a couple of inches

Eton’s conquerors, perhaps exhausted by their efforts of the previous day, succumbed to St Pauls School in the final – the following day.

Rowing is a brutal sport – you can’t spin your way out of defeat! It was interesting to watch our prime minister’s reaction!

I learn a great deal from meeting new people and especially from meeting children. Lilly, a five year old girl who’s mother is Zimbabwean and father is Chinese, got very excited at the Eton crew “look Mummy, they’ve got a black man”. Eton’s stroke was a black man – we do well to remember that large parts of what white middle class British people regard as our “way of life” almost totally exclude large sections of the British population.

I am proud to say that as well as Lilly and her Mum, fifteen of my guests over this weekend were black or Asian. I hope that some of the children will feel a little more confident about their opportunities to be a part of this obscure but wonderful part of British sporting life!

Homily over!  I was lucky enough to row for a while at school and college and have rowed a little since then. Henley’s Royal Regatta kept me away from a keyboard for a week and many of my readers may be thinking that that is testament enough to its traditional value. I’d like to think that Lady Lucy added a little to its inclusivity – hurrah Henley!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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