20 firsts to celebrate 20 years of healthy post heart transplant life; a personal challenge to do 20 new activities by August 2013 that I could not have done before my life saving operation.
In thanks to the family of my donor whose kindness changed my life and the staff who have cared for me at the Freeman and Papworth Hospitals. Raising money to support the Papworth Hospital Charity and the Freeman Heart and Lung Transplant Association.
`Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing,' Ratty, Wind in the Willows, K Graham
Gorgeous sunshine; a perfect day for "messing about in boats" and learning how to punt. We arrived early at Scudamores Boat Yard and collected our punt, choosing an aluminium pole for its relative lightness in comparison to the more traditional wooden one. A quick lesson from the lovely Scudamore staff and in order to maintain my dignity, I got my more punting savy hubby to steer us out of the yard so I could take my first few strokes in a more open bit of water.
A shakey start, where I punted from inside the footwell as I found standing on the till (the deck at the back of the boat) in the middle of a river a bit scary. Once I got the hang of managing the pole, I gathered the confidence to do it properly and stood on the till, punting for over an hour down the river towards Granchester. Hubby didn't take up the opportunity of bridge hopping, but did kindly take over the punting once my arms started to ache, so I could chat to my favourite travel companions for the rest of the journey up the river.
My favourite travel companions..
We stopped for a picnic on Granchester Meadow, enjoying sunshine and reminicense whilst the kids scrambled in and out of the punt gathering fresh nettle stings each time for their efforts.
The river was much busier for our return journey, with lots of canoes, kayaks and other punts on the water however despite a few moments of dodgy steering on my part, we didn't have any major bumps!
Fabulous day on a level with our wildfowl peers as we tracked the sedentary pace of the Cam, whilst being buzzed by dragonflies.
Thank you to all of those who have supported my challenge so far with your kind words and generous donations.
Thank you also to Scudamores who supported this challenge by providing a free punt for the day and a few coins in my collection pot.
I'm doing this to help raise funds for these two fantastic charities: