Now, I don't know if this is true or not, but punting in Oxford is traditionally carried out from inside the boat. Whereas Cambridge, my preferred Boat Race choice, stalwartly stand on the back. It's just that I've got a hazy memory of being poled down the Cam by a friend many years ago, who stood safely within the punt, and as we passed King's a chap in another boat shouted out "Oxford bastard!'. So I soon learnt very quickly to balance myself on the stern (?) and only once have I been left stranded mid-stream hanging on to a slowly declining pole. So imagine my dismay on Sunday afternoon to poke my nose over Magdalen Bridge in Oxford and see this. The 'boater' is not just inside the craft, but lounging back with a bottle of Oasis and languidly pedalling. What on earth's going on? The last thing I expected to see on these hallowed waters was a pedalo. What next? Lilos on the bank? Windsurfing? Pink Lycra? Loudspeakers instead of May morning choristers on Magdalen tower? Hurrumph, hurrumph.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)