Wednesday, September 26, 2012


The Piddle

Tillerwoman and I are spending a few days staying up the Piddle River valley in the English county of Dorset.

Today we drove down to Weymouth, home of the Olympic sailing events in 2012, and headed over to the Nothe Fort, which I had read on some blog or other is the best place to watch the sailing. We arrived in plenty of time to snag an excellent viewing spot on the grassy bank overlooking the area where the medal races are held.

Place where crazy Aussie and Kiwi and Irish fans 
cheer on their Olympic sailors - honestly

We settled down and waited for the arrival of all those enthusiastic Aussie and Kiwi and Irish sailing fans I had heard about.

There weren't any boats out sailing yet, but the winds were light so I assumed they were holding the fleets under a postponement flag over at the National Sailing Centre.

Not a very interesting photo of the medal races
 at the 2012 Olympics in Weymouth

As we waited for the action I wondered which classes' medal races we would see today. (I had neglected to check the schedule on the Google.)  I hoped we would see some exciting action - perhaps one of those classes where there were 3 or 4 boats in with a chance of the gold medal, or perhaps one where one sailor had to match race one other to clinch the gold.

We waited for quite a long time.

Still no boats.

No other crazy sailing fans either.


After a while Tillerwoman got bored of not watching sailing and demanded to be taken to a local oyster bar for lunch.

Perhaps we came on the wrong day?

Did I miss the boat again?

Oh Piddle!


JP said...

Ah, the memories.......

Did you go round the fort and see all the mice?

Of course the Piddle is a very special stream

Tillerman said...

Thanks for drawing our attention to that post JP. I had forgotten about that. It is indeed a very special stream and a very special area. One which we had not visited before.

We had planned to tour the fort and the museum of coastal defence because the weather forecast was for a lot of rain. But it was drier than expected so we spent the rest of the day out of doors at various other local beauty spots.

Chris Partridge said...

You are sorely mistaken, Tillerman. The Nothe is no good for watching sailing - it is best for watching rowing...

Tillerman said...

I see no boats.

Not even rowing boats.

O Docker said...

JP's Piddle post profers this poetic snippet:

There has been beer drunk by its side for hundreds of years, the satyranic pipes of pan joining in with the solemn ringing of Church bells.

That leads one to wonder if the consequences of all that beer drinking may have perhaps influenced the naming of the river.

Were people paddling in the Piddle?

Tillerman said...

The name actually comes from the Anglo-Saxon word pidelle, which means boggy or marshy ground. Two of the areas, which supply the initial water for the river are Soggy Wood and Rake's Bottom.

A few years ago you could buy bottles of Piddle Water in the shops in the valley but this is no longer available. However, you can buy a pint of Piddle beer.

I did not see anyone paddling in the Piddle today. But I did drink some beer. Not Piddle beer however.

O Docker said...

The options for drinking Piddle are apparently far from piddling.

I see from this site that you can choose from beers named Piddle in the Hole, Piddle in the Wind, Piddle in the Dark and Piddle in the Snow.

BeachComber said...

I knew I wasn't too far off with Weymouth for an answer to the navigation quiz a few posts back. I was only off by a few days. Less than you, Tillerman!

Tillerman said...

Those are the Worcestershire Piddles. Not as classy as the Dorset Piddles.

Tillerman said...

Good point Beachcomber. I will have to have more natural navigation quizzes where you will have to predict where I will be three days later!

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