Short Shorts

Shane has been wearing shorts for over a month now, regardless of the temperature. This week has been dry but went from an ice-cream friendly day one day to a chill wind the next prompting him to wear a jumper and fleece. Two days ago we were moored beside a field of sheep and some of them had clumps of wool coming off them (geese joined the sheep with their goslings and it was a very distracting view). I wondered that they might be too hot, but wool is quite good at being insulating and working in both the heat and cold, luckily when you can’t change your fleece through the day. The downy goslings must have good insulation too.

Sheep, geese and goslings beside us in the field at sunset
Geese and goslings returned to the water as the sun goes down

I have been wearing a knitted short sleeved top and been neither too hot nor too cold on the sunny day and windy day up the hill. The family we saw flying kites on top of the hill all had cosy hats on. I hadn’t ventured into shorts but have had thin trousers and exposed ankles for a week and been comfortable.

Yesterday was dull and even the promised afternoon sun did not appear and Shane was quickly asking for extra layers. Over the last couple of days we kept our eyes peeled for kingfishers and we saw one that seemed to be carrying fish in its beak. I imagine it may have babies to feed. We saw a brood of moorchicks, quite a few cormorants and even more red kites.

We are moored at Wallingford next to an impressive bridge. We have moved one boat length to a place where we can see a bit of sky at one side. The people beside us who helped us moor last night left early, as I thought they would. I popped my head up to wave and say I knew they would be off before we had breakfast. Nevertheless, as they left they repeated the offer they made last night, that if we ever are looking for mooring and see them, then we can moor up against them.

Today I managed at last to finish the stockings for Nye’s friend to wear with Tudor hose (trousers). He needed them by June so I assume I am in time. It has been touch and go with the wool quantities and I have had to make one slightly shorter than the first and used all the wool up. As it happened I had seen a picture of him in the hose more recently and realised they were longer than I thought, which meant I could get away with the stockings being shorter. The wool is also different shade from different dye lots and I am hoping that Tudor dyes were inconsistent anyway. I put on shorts of a similar length to the hose, to try them on.

Trying on the long stockings for short trousers

As Shane was photographing I went to pull the shorts up a bit to show more stocking and my fingers went through the material of the shorts on both sides. These have been well worn shorts but they are not going to manage another season.

We went to lunch and I had been thinking I wanted new shorts. At the lunch stop the very friendly man who served us was wearing grey shorts with little pink embroidered flamingoes on them. On the way out he was eating lunch with his partner outside and asked if we had enjoyed our meal. I said we had and that I also admired his shorts. He said he didn’t know where he had got them but his other half might. She said “three weeks ago at Didcot TK Maxx”. I thought it unlikely there would still be any left and not worth such a detour.

We visited the church in the main square and were struck by it being built of flint. I later found a few buildings here are. The buildings are pretty varied. The flint gives an almost bejewelled appearance.

Inside the church in the main square, there was a mix of traditional and modern. Shane remarked it made it nice and light that the stone was painted and there were a lot of adjustments for those with physical disabilities.

I approached the modern altar and found a notice on it telling people not to put anything on it, that was odd enough but evidently coffee cups had been there and I wondered in which had arrived first on the altar. It was already plastic covered but there were two cup rings, not marks left by sacramental wine. Shane had also found a self referential sign that amused him.

We visited the very varied museum where a lot is in a small space and also learnt from a passer by that this impressive tree is called a cornus. We had never seen one before looking so impressive. Our informant said it had a short flowering time and they would soon be shedding the petals.

Large white flowers, with a slight pink blush on the cornus tree

I had kept my eye out for shorts shops and found some that were shockingly short, for me, and I have in recent years sought ones that covered my knees. Then I looked in a charity shop I hadn’t heard of before “creating opportunities for people with learning disabilities”, pretty much my life’s work. In there I tried on three pairs all different styles and sizes and all of them fitted! I have decided that now I am retired and travelling I don’t need to be so self conscious about my appearance and all three expose my knees. Since the sun had come out, I have already boldly stepped forth to the supermarket in one of my new pairs of short shorts.