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gypsy on the thames
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Kerplunk! The mast comes tumbling down
The forestay snapped and help’s required

But Ian’s in Eaton Hastings’s church
He’s left his shipmate in the lurch

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But then the welcome phone bell rings
To Kelmscott she runs - despite the stings

A monstrous willow tree looks down
As Ian ties a new rope on

much fun. The rig was flopping about, and I didn’t dare tighten anything up. Nor could I contact Ian, who was out of signal admiring the pre-Raphaelite windows in Eaton Hastings church. At last he called and we met at the Plough in Kelmscott, which I reached with much swearing along a thickly nettled footpath (not good in shorts). Though it was 3.15, they rustled up a fine fat ham sandwich. We walked back to Eaton Hastings along a lane and the

Thames path with several usefully strong bits of rope. A reassuringly fat piece was put into place and the rig shaken to test it for wobble (none). I was on my way again by about 5. Ihe wind was still right on the nose, but feeling confident in your rig makes all the difference, and at last I found I was really relaxing into the boat, looking at the river itself rather than nervously up at my sail. I admired fat yellow water lily buds, tall yellow irises, cloudy

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