I went to the Henley Traditional Boat Festival this summer. I skipped the rowing Regatta and music festivals which preceded it to enjoy this quieter celebratory moment in the meadows by the river Thames. Still colourful with champagne flowing and musical delights but less pomp and ceremony. If I had my way I’d rename it the Henley Vintage festival because it’s so much more than boats.
Doing what they love I met ….
Lynden and his family of amphibious cars that he lovingly collects and restores then cruises down the Thames or drives along beside it, whichever takes his fancy. And not forgetting to mention the other folk who paraded their lovingly-restored treasures previous owners had abandoned.
Mary Jones who travels all the way from Liverpool with her gorgeous pre 60’s vintage clothes. She buys them in the north of England where "they just don’t get it” and sells them down south where they do. She was here by special invitation from Lady McAlpine who clearly appreciates the genuine item.
Queen Bee is an ecology teacher who uses her Punch and Judy platform to communicate her ecological concerns in a funny and memorable way. Judy had taken sick that afternoon so I stepped in as her understudy ... that was before my encounter with the Dalek.
Richard with his fleet of vintage Rolls Royce chauffeurs people to his vintage boats and then cruises them along the river to a salubrious eatery for lunch. So passionate was he about these leisurely days out, he didn’t stop talking even when my eyes had disappeared into the array of homemade cakes in the tea room beyond.
Glorianna the Queen’s boat came close to receiving more right Royal visitors as we trod her broad walk and admired her gold leaf façade while other boats passed her out. But in the end it was Rufus who stole the throne.
What’s your view? Are these people just wacky with nothing better to do? I don’t think so because what they all have in common is they love what they do. Their heart and soul is in it and the activity absorbs them. And in sharing their love with others they enjoy an unexpected freedom themselves.
The African Dagara believe each person has a certain cargo to deliver during their time on the earth. I like that - and nothing provides more meaning and fulfilment than delivering this. I'm sure that’s the reason there was such a vibrant vibe at this Festival - there was a lot of cargo being delivered.
What do you love to do? Really its worth musing on because for sure that’s when you’re most vibrant and alive – whether you’re providing a product, creating an experience, entertaining people or restoring something to its former glory. It doesn’t have to be the thing you do for a living; the word ‘amateur’ comes from the Latin ‘amare’ and means to love.
Lost touch with your amateur? That’s understandable when we have allowed outer circumstances to impose its will upon us and steal so much of our attention. If you'd like to remember what cargo you're here to deliver, please join me to make a Vision Board on one of my workshops and all will become clear. The images you chose for your large inspirational collage will have jumped off the pages at you shouting ‘me, me, me’. You won’t be able to resist them. By embracing what they are nudging you towards you will be irresistible too.
Irresistibly yours, Mary