“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
“And don’t I know it Rat!” was my reply ……… And off we went!
That’s what it was like this afternoon when I set to the oars, or should I say ‘sculls’, in view of the renowned company I was in. The objective was to row towards Battlesbridge and to have an interesting time. Hopefully we would return to Hullbridge before sunset - better still, in time for tea. There was very little wind, and because it was relatively calm I had deliberately left the sailing rig at home. Rowing would be fun. Indeed, it was, and with Rat and Mole beside me, what could go wrong?
As I got into the swing of things I listened to Rat chatting to Mole, “Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.”
Before I knew it, three hours sped by, and there we were back at the slipway. I said goodbye to Rat and Mole, and thanked them for showing me the importance of NOT being earnest and of not being bothered if objectives are not achieved. In fact, why have objectives at all? – Far better to have happenings. Without trying, we merrily made it to Battlesbridge, only once drifting into reeds and surviving in the wake of a speeding motorboat and not colliding with a silent dinghy or being attacked by angry swans.
Tea was absolutely delicious.
As for Pike and me, we would do it again any day with Rat and Mole as our companions.
Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Importance of Being Earnest