Books Magazine

Punting on the Cam #BriFri

By Joyweesemoll @joyweesemoll

Punting on the Cam #BriFriWelcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish - reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!

Last week, I visited (virtually) the Handel & Hendrix museum in London. Mike honored Remembrance Sunday (what we call Veterans' Day) and Flanders fields with a post about the British in Ypres, Belgium during World War I. Sim enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express in spite of less than stellar reviews. Jean reviewed Sixpence House, a memoir about living in Hay on Wye, the town on the border of England and Wales that is famous for old books.

Many breezy travel articles about Cambridge claim that punting on the Cam is a must-do activity and imply that it's an easy thing to do.

Rick Steves, in a podcast about whether to choose Oxford or Cambridge, points out that punts are flat-bottomed boats. Without a keel, they are very difficult to steer. His experience is of going around in circles in a punt. That doesn't sound like much fun.

And, of course, the classic problem that appears in cartoons, is what to do when the pole gets caught in the mud. Do you stay with the punt or with the pole? The standard advice is to stay with the boat - there's a paddle to help you get back to the pole. Or, the pole may free itself when you let go and float down to you.

I think when we visit Cambridge we'll take advantage of punting with a professional - someone who knows where the muddy parts are to avoid them and has experience in steering.

Punting on the Cam #BriFri

About Joy Weese Moll

a librarian writing about books

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