As I got nearer, it appeared that the river had erupted in pustulant sores, but when I reached the bridge it became clear that the crowds of folk out in the sun were watching a spot of duck racing out on the water.
I remember myself entering a duck race many years ago at the sailing club, before a local fishing club turned their home into a rather sterile lake. All the rubber ducks were numbered; some were orange, some were yellow, I think I had a yellow one. They were then summarily thrown into the water and allowed to drift across to the other side, like a moving carpet of jaundice. I have no idea where my duck finished. Knowing me, it was probably swallowed by a pike.
You see, Duck Racing is really rather dull. The ducks don't actually overtake each other, or fight for position, or indeed even stay upright. The ducks drift along with the current in exactly the same shaped blob they were dropped in on. If by some miracle you can identify which duck is yours, there's no point cheering it on, for it was 131st at the beginning of the race, it would be 131st at the end. Unless the race was held at the Niagara Falls, thrills would be in short supply.
But everyone looked to be having fun on a glorious day, although how the winning duck was decided after a rather random looking netting procedure I have no idea. And at least the ducks weren't putting any effort in to their racing, unlike a slightly overheated runner passing by.
All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 07.09.15
|The excited crowd|
|The netting of the ducks|
|FRom the bridge|
|The Sonning on a cruise|
|Looks like hard work|