Our Easter holiday event was a trip to Oxford, to punt down the Cherwell and then to wander round the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

The weather seemed to be holding up, and we got to the Cherwell Boat House without a fuss. Olly was the first to step up, having punted before he duly gave a first-class demonstration in the art of pushing-a-long-thin-boat-down-a-river-with-a-ruddy-big-pole. He even gave an educated answer to my insolent question of why we were using a pole rather than oars or other propulsion device (something to do with fishing in swamps, but ask The Master of the Punt if you’re interested).


Barwell was next, and managed to necessitate the use of our emergency paddle. Andy got us to a point where we could turn around, and our esteemed events secretary then took over. Showing great skill and dexterity, he was able to move us in the opposite direction to that which we had been moving hitherto, and then handed the pole to his countryman to guide us within touching distance of our destination.

Having shown scant interest in being in the boat, let alone taking control of said craft, Phil suddenly decided that it would be rude to not at least have a go at the helm, thus snatching the pole from Eggy’s fingers and planting his feet squarely at the back of the boat. Having always appreciated the aesthetics of trees that overhang a river, Phil’s piloting of the punt gave all a chance to gain a deeper appreciation of their beauty by punting into them at every possible opportunity.

We ate lunch in an old pub on the high street, and it being St George’s Day all ordered steak (except Phil, who opted for some gastronomic abomination). We then went to George and Davis Ice Cream Café for dessert, and from there on to the museum.

The rest of the day involved getting the train home as isn’t worthy of note, but many thanks to Nat for her suggestion for the social, and we’d recommend it to anyone who wants a relaxing day out, or feels the need to expend huge amounts of energy with very little return.