Another Thames blob

Make the most of this. You are not going to be treated to swimsuit photos of me just any old day.

Bookwitch in the Thames

But I was inspired by the charity Thames blob I told you about, and wanted to offer up the blogger’s version. This one didn’t exactly take place yesterday. It’s more like 45 years ago, in Henley.

That’s where Mother-of-witch took us on my first English holiday. We’d never heard of it. Henley had a small ‘pool type’ swimming place just outside the town, where the pool was the river itself. Grass to sit on, huts to change in, river to swim in.

It’s where I bought my first packet of English crisps. By myself. (Which obviously contributed to my added blobbiness.) It was an important milestone. First I learned they are called crisps. (We call them chips. Good old Swedish word, that.) Then I learned they come in handy individual little packs. Had never seen the likes of that. And I went up to the counter and asked for them on my own, and handed over the three pence it cost. (Does that sound about right? Or was I swindled?)

I’m guessing this place can no longer exist. Not only would people be less interested in the dirty wildness of rivers when you can go to the Med and swim in a pool, but surely Henley property prices have made it an impossibility? Please put me right! I’d love for it to still exist.

As another history lesson, I need to mention that this was taken with my very first colour film. Expensive, they were. I was only allowed one, with twelve pictures. After some initial care, I wasted the rest on the penguins at London Zoo…

8 responses to “Another Thames blob

  1. Adorable.

    I remember Henley, as it was the first town we stopped in after London on my first trip to England. However, it was gray, and March.

  2. Adorable describes me perfectly. Yes.
    What year? We had to do Henley before London as the World Cup was on and no hotels were available at first.

  3. I think it was probably around 1980. We’d been staying with a friend who was going to the London School of Economics, and after imposing for longer than we should have, and without a very clear plan at all, we just headed out that way.

  4. Lovely old witch. Sorry, young witch. And the water didn’t even melt you.

  5. Probably would now. No doubt pollution has been improved on since then. And the swimsuit would almost be fashionable again.

  6. Happy days! Perhaps you still can swim in the Thames at Henley? There has been such a big revival in the last few years for swimming in real water, ie ponds as opposed to chlorinated pools, I would be surprised if the practivce had not been revived . And you do look sweet, Bookwitch, more like a merrow than a wise woman!

  7. I don’t look wise? Hmph.
    Yes, but do you think the Henleyans have revived this ancient custom? They could be too posh.

  8. I cannot find any refrences to leisure swimming in the Thames, but there is an organised Henley swim, http://www.henleyswim.com/, if you are feeling competitive. Although I think it would kill me. And no, looking wise at that age just isn’t possible, even for a witch in training.

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