While looking after our exhibition at the Turbine House today, Brian and I were surprised to spy a little boat chugging up the Kennet towards us. Now, the Turbine House juts out over a weir that spans the river; there’s no way past that weir on that side of the island (unless you’re a crazy canoeist going downriver, but that was a different incident on a different day, and yes, he survived unscathed). At first, we assumed that they were lost and would eventually turn round and pass on the other side of the island, through the lock. But the vessel, with its three occupants and a trailed dinghy full of gear , carried on and moored to one of the Turbine House’s piers just below a window.
The young men in the vessel produced rods and lines and began to fish. A resident of one of the riverside houses came to the foot of his garden to talk to them. Our windows don’t open, so it was a silent scene, but we imagined that the conversation was about fishing rights. The householder retired and the trio carried on casting and attending to their lines. It was quite surprising how active they were, but one of their number kept his position well enough for me to make a quick sketch before a couple of visitors arrived in the gallery.
As far as I could tell, the only catch that the boaters made was a bright green football that had been bobbing around that stretch of water for a few days, but I could easily be mistaken.