Yesterday was a bank holiday here. Schools were closed and most people were off work. Some dear friends of ours, Giles and Nancy, invited us to go on a picnic in nearby Richmond. Rob worked extra hours this weekend and Monday night so that he could go with us. What a delightful day for a picnic!
Richmond is, like Durham, situated along a river. Richmond’s river is the River Swale. When Richmond Castle was built the highest spot along the Swale was selected for defense purposes.
Now the quaint “village like” city of Richmond sweeps down around the ancient castle keep. She is like the garment and train of a lovely queen with the keep as her crown and the river as her glass slippers.
The riverside proved to be a fantastic choice for an picnic lunch complete with entertainment. There was a bank holiday duck race taking place just as we began our lunch. What appeared to be well over 1,000 yellow rubber duckies were launched into the river. There were a few blue and a few pink ducks here and there as well. Each duck had a number on it and the duck making it to the finish line first would win a prize of 300 pounds. That’s right quid, smackers, or bucks people. Go rubber duckies!!!!
It took the ducks quite a long time to travel around the river bend and over the waterfalls. Many ducks were trapped along the way and kayakers had to be sent in to rescue them. At one point several labrador retrievers jumped away from their owners to join in the fun. They must have thought they had just won the squeaky toy jackpot!
It is was a lovely, fun filled day. After stuffing ourselves on the delicious picnic, we stretched out on some nearby rocks to rest and enjoy the end of the race and the duck rescues that probably went on for hours.
Tomorrow I will take you up to see Richmond Castle. It is also an English Heritage site. We are really getting good use out of our family card.