Tuesday, 6 April 2010

THE BOAT RACE ..........

Before I start, I would like you to know that you are lucky, or not so lucky, depending on whether you are interested or not, to have got this post !! I'll tell you why at the end.
The idea for a rowing race between the universities of Oxford and Cambridge came from two friends - Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge, and his old schoolfriend, Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet, William Wordsworth) who was at Oxford. On the 12th of March, 1829, Cambridge sent a challenge to Oxford and thus the tradition was born, which has continued to the present day. This year's race was held last Saturday 3rd April. We have always supported Cambridge, as we live very near to Cambridge and my brother-in-law studied there.

The Oxford crew are always in dark blue and the Cambridge crew are in light blue. Cambridge hadn't won for the last two years, but are winning overall.

The race passes many London landmarks, one lesser known one is the Harrods Furniture Depository. It was built in 1894 and was the former warehouse of Harrod's Knightsbridge store. Today, it has been converted into 250 'posh' homes called ' Harrod's Village ', for the well-heeled.

Well, this year's race was very close but, Cambridge were victorious. They are now winning 80 to Oxford's 75. The race in 1877 was declared a dead heat. Apparently, the judge, 'honest John Phelps' had fallen asleep under a tree, supposedly drunk, so the race was declared a tie !!

This year's victorious Cambridge crew.

This year's devastated Oxford crew......... and, it is devastating, as they give up everything to train for this race and, most of them never get the chance again.

Tradition dictates that the cox of the winning team is thrown into the River Thames !!
An estimated quarter of a million people watched the race from the banks of the Thames with an overseas audience of 120 million, making it the most viewed single day sport in the world.

Right, now here is my post script. I have suffered the wrath of one of those slippery little devils called oysters. I love them but, over the weekend, one of them didn't like me, and I am writing this post in agony !!!!
I just wanted you all to know, mainly for a lot of sympathy, but also as an apology for not commenting much over the last few days.

I hope that you all had a better Easter weekend than I did,, and enjoyed yourselves.



  1. I'm so sorry to hear you are ill, this will teach me to not eat those rocky looking sea creatures with snotty insides (I have never had them raw). The first person to have ever eaten one must have been either starving or on a dare. Hope you get better soon. Lots of love, Heidi

  2. Oh dear, sorry to hear your misadventure with the oyster. I have never eaten them raw, but my brother blew half of his Uni grant once in Harrods stuffing himself with them and other delicacies and got in a lot of trouble, that what they always remind me of. Hope you are better soon.

  3. Bonjour Jackie,
    Fascinating story but then I came to your story...not good at all! I do hope you are feeling better soon. If the oyster was not fresh you could try taking a charcoal tablet, it draws out all the "bad stuff". That is not medical advice but it really does work. Don't worry about comments, please do take care of yourself Jackie!
    Wishing you a speedy recovery my friend!

  4. Oh, i´m sooo sorry, dear Jackie - how horrible!!!!! That´s the reason why i would never eat oysters!!!!!! Hope you will be well soon!!!!! And thank you so much for this very interesting post - great pictures!!!!!!

    Hugs and lot of love, Jade

  5. Oh so sorry dear Jackie -

    I hope by now you are feeling better. Take care. No worries about the posts. Just rest.



    P.S. Way to go Cambridge!

  6. Yipes, yipes! Bad oyster! Not good. Not good at all.
    I am so sorry!! If I were there I would place a cold cloth on your forehead and read to you aloud. Winnie the Pooh stories.

    Feel Better!!

  7. OH NO Jackie, poor you....bad oysters, how terrible :( I really really hope you get better soon, yikes!!!!

    Loved reading about the Boat Race, it's such a wonderfully British event....I didn't watch this year but I usually do.....awful to see the losing crew, all that work to come away with nothing.

    Interesting to read about the Harrods Depository, I didn't know it was now "Harrods Village"...love the name!!

    Really hope you feel better soon!!!! xoxo

  8. Great round up of the race and it's history. I love watching it.

    Sorry to hear you were ill eating oysters. I always used the lemon juice or shallot vinegar to check if they are alive. If they don't move, I don't eat them! Get well soon x

  9. OH! You poor dear! Curse those oysters! I could imagine how poor you feel. I have had food poisoning before and it is not fun. I hope that you are feeling better soon! You are my hero, being able to still crank out a lovely post with some glorious pics. Love all the history that you included too. I am so glad that your team won! I can just imagine you sitting on the bank of the Thames, wine in hand, some fabulous gown on with a large hat to keep the sun off.

  10. that's terrible!! at least you know it will pass.....but how awful!!! how amazing of you to still post -

    those men look so sad.....

  11. Oh My! I totally understand, it is awful and you've been the wonderful blogger we all know you are for being able to come up with this very interesting and nice post in spite of your conditions..! I hope you will be feeling better very soon!! I just tried oysters once and steered clear of them ever since ;)
    Take care!

  12. Oh, darling Jackie, there I was happily enjoying your post and then I reached the end and was first, so sad to hear that you were attacked by a vicious oyster, and second, amazed that you are writing such a fascinating piece when you must be in purgatory! I am so, so sorry.

    The one consolation is that Cambridge won! I loved reading the history and lore of the race. Thanks, Jackie, and I hope you are victorious over the evil oyster poisoning soon! xo

  13. Dear Jackie, My heartfelt sympathy. A bad oyster is not a good thing and I am so very sorry that you have suffered, as I am sure you must have. I do so hope that you are feeling more yourself now - these things take a great deal of time to get over.

    I much enjoyed following the Boat Race via your posting - my only regret that Cambridge, rather than Oxford, won.

  14. P.S. Thank you so much for posting good wishes to me prior to my recent break. It was such a kind thought and one that was, and is, very much appreciated.

  15. What a lovely post - I did not know the history of this post so it was very interesting for me. Soooo sorry you got a bad oyster...uggg! I am an oyster lover too, but have lucked out so far and never gotten a bad one. I hope you are feeling much better soon. Enjoying your site.


  16. Oh, I´m really sorry you got sick!!!
    I´m sorry, but I wouldn´t eat those , even if I got payed , haha. On the other hand, I´m not much of a seafood eater...I´m sure I love eating things, that you would never want...=), so we´re even.

    I hope you´re feeling a lot better, my sweet friend!

    Have a wonderful night!


  18. Poor poor Jackie! I truly feel your pain ~ I've suffered the horrible agony of seafood one too many times...I do hope you feel better soon! When you feel like it, eat lots of yogurt to fill you back up with good bacteria!

    Thinking of you...

  19. What a great story! I love your pictures. :-) SO sorry you're feeling so wretched! I hope your insides settle down soon.

  20. Hurrah for Cambridge, and a great deal of sympathy for poor you. At least blogging about that oyster should teach it a lesson it won't forget. Your followers will probably see to it that oysters are extinct within a year. And rightly so.

  21. feel better soon... yucky oysters


  22. Oh no, Jackie! I have been in your position with those awful oysters before and it is absolutely horrifying....I hope you feel better really soon!

    What an interesting post - it truly was fascinating to read about it, thank you so much!

    Get well, soon! xxoo :)

  23. euwww oysters I have never eaten one but the slimy.... ohh let me stop or you feel more sick! Get well soon have a tea and let the belly have a rest x desiree

  24. oh dear..i know how it feels when an oyster feels rebellious...Get better soon, dear Jacqueline !

  25. Loved reading about the Boat Race history, I somehow managed to miss it this year, so appreciate this post.

    Nothing worse then bad oyster aftermath, I have been there, and understand how truly horrendous you feel.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  26. I would so very much enjoy watching that race - great photos.
    I hope you are feeling better - I have never had the pleasure of trying oysters - I thought I might wait til I get back to France someday.

  27. I hear nothing but how bad a bad oyster can be...I have never had one seeing how many people seem to get sick over them sooner or later...Wow what a fab day out...sounds to dang cool.

  28. Oh Jackie...the perils of oysters and not even a pearl for compensation! Seafood poisoning has to be the worst there is I think, but thank goodness it hasn't affected your humour or we'd all be sunk...like that Oxford crew! Hope you're feeling much better really soon. P.S. I bought a old print of that race once for a friend who rowed there as a visiting schoolboy. And I LOVE Cambridge.

  29. Oyster food poisoning is one of the worse food poisonings ... so i can imagine how sick you are feeling, poor Jackie!

    I've always wanted to watch the Cambridge/Oxford race (my eldest daughter used to row in Sydney, so we love the sport) ... however we were in France over the weekend and missed it!
    Well, there's always next year ...

    Get better soon, my dear friend and thanks so much for sharing.
    Sending you hugs and xxxx

  30. You poor possum. This happened to me 3 years ago and I've only just been able to eat them again since. Felt like I was giving birth to number four with all the agony. Oh do get better soon you poor thing. Lots of love - and thanks for the courageous effort in giving us such a fab boat race. I love rowing...

  31. I like you enjoy the boat race for no other reason that it is just so English. I know just how you feel I just can't eat prawns but just keep going back and then pay for it later!! Love your photos.
    hope you feel better soon

  32. So sorry to hear you've had such an awful Easter - down with oysters, I say! Hope you're starting to feel just the littlest bit better. Loved your rowing story. Leigh

  33. Awwww I am so sorry! No fun but I must say those oysters look so beautiful!! Feel better soon Jackie when you hurt the world hurts with you:)

  34. Love crew--one of my girls rowed in college. There is NOTHING worse than getting sick on shell fish! So sorry!

  35. So sorry to hear of your misadventure Jackie! Despite my love of seafood, I am not an oyster fan. I don't know how you plucked up the energy to do a blog post while feeling so rotten. Hope things are better soon. xx

  36. Hello Jackie
    Sorry to hear you're under the weather with such an awful plight...nothing worse!
    Hope you are on your feet quickly and I bet that is the end of the oysters, I am afraid to say. I had a bout with smoked oysters years ago and haven't been able to look at them since.

  37. ouch!!
    i have had food poisoning from stone crabs just once.
    the cramps were unbearable.
    i home by now you are on the mend.

  38. Very painful. Thinking of you!!!! xxxx

  39. my dearest Jackie,
    so sad to hear you're sick and I hope you feel better soon... wonderful post about the race. I dont't know Cambrigde, but two years ago we visit Oxford (in a very awful weather) but we liked it very much, perhaps next year we will spend our holiday again in London, so it would be a good chance to visit Cambridge.
    Warm hugs

  40. Oh Sweetie, I hope you are on the mend. The same thing happened to me in 1977 when I was moving States with That Other Husband. It was the longest road trip of my life, but I still adore natural oysters.
    Millie ^_^

  41. Jackie, what a fun time. (or would have been!) Feel better very soon!!

    Art by Karena

  42. I hope you're feeling better now! EEK! And I've always found crew boys to be quite yummy. Ah ha ha

  43. Dear Jackie,

    That so horrible. I hope you are feeling better now!! The boatrace is one of my favourites. My husband and I always watch on tv. We were both 'rowers' too about twenty years ago! My husband was in a Dutch university team 'SKADI' and I rowed for a 'normal' rowing club. I still miss it, the excitement, the team spirit, the river, the beautiful surroundings....the parties....mmm!

    Enjoy your new week!

    Lieve groet, Madelief

  44. Oh Jackie!
    I am glad that you are recovered and sorry that that nasty oyster had his way with you! This post is so interesting....my nieces boyfriend is a coach for a team at Cornell...and a good friend is still called the "Oarmaster"!
    Take care my friend,
    Laura :)

  45. Oh Jackie,
    I do hope you are feeling better.
    I don't eat the little monsters, not because I don't like them, but because I had a bad one once and oh noooo I don't want that again.

    So I know how bad you have been feeling.
    Here's hoping that you are better.

    much love

  46. Oh Jackie,
    So sorry you've been ill. Those darn oysters! but they can be yummy. I tried my first one when I was in France...I was so worried I wouldn't be able to eat it and have to spit it out. yuck! but it went down smooth.

    Anyways hope your starting to feel a little better ....what a trooper doing a post anyways...you are a BLOG STAR my dear!
    Now get some rest and don't worry about commenting. I've been doing very little myself.

    Ok take care of yourself!

  47. Opps forgot...loved the post. I used to be on a crew team in High School. Mostly I loved the quietness of the water as we raced through it.

  48. I enjoyed this post, Jackie, but am so sorry to hear that you were ill! Thats certainly no fun - hope you are on the mend and feeling like your chipper self again very soon. xx

  49. hi jackie
    thats a great shot of the guys in their suits!
    looks like fun
    BAD oyster :(

  50. and this too shall pass
    well I am not an oyster eater.. thank goodness.. too many horror stories for me.. and well.. just don't like the slippery suckers... hope you feel better soon.. xx Julie

  51. So sorry to hear that the oysters got ya! Bad seafood never makes for a good time. I loved reading about the rowing teams ~ it is big here in Canada too ~ must be that connection to our mother land! Hope you are feeling better sweetie. xo

  52. Jackie - I hope you are feeling so much better? I'm late with my reading your fabulous blog. I have all the best intentions to get some reading in & alas..life interrupts. I love oysters so much too, I just wonder if you'll be able to eat them again after this? I'm really sorry. / :

    Thanks for posting this story. I had no idea about the history of the famous boat race. What a slice of history to be present to watch in person. Maybe some day. Let us hope you are feeling 100% soon as your holiday is lurking around the corner. Yeah! Hope Laura gets off to Singapore okay & Daniel and Laura make it home safely. Can't wait to hear how Seattle was for them. The weather has been awful there, complete turn-around from their winter. Please take much care of your 'tummy' & sending you a big hug in sympathy. xxx deb

  53. Hi Jackie~
    Wanted to send my wishes and hope that your feeling better!!

    To mention on your pictures - those oyster shells are soo wonderful! I can taste the salt water from here.

    Thank you for your comment and sweet support for the event~ I wish you could be there!
    I will take lots and lots of pictures. :-))

    Have a beautiful day!


  54. O sweet Jackie I hope you will get well soon.
    Have a nice weekend,
    Hugs Gerda

  55. Jaclie, hope you feel better now. Great post, I would love to have been there. Seafood is dangerous. I buy off the Boats.
    Take care of yourself.

  56. Oh you poor thing & while I was pigging out on chocolate you have been so sick. I am soo pleased I am not a Oyster person. I love the rowing story...& really hope you are feeling better. I send you lots of smiles...Cate

  57. thank you for you to make me learn more,thank you∩0∩ ........................................

  58. I dragonboat race on occassion ;) Have a fab weekend!

  59. Oh Jackie, I'm only just learning of "The Great Oyster Poisoning of 2010". You poor thing. I adore seafood, but I've never been able to cross the line into oyster eating. Your tale of woe has not helped me change my mind! I hope your poor tummy has recovered.

    My husband used to row for his school and then his university and is quite the rowing tragic. I had absolutely no appreciation of what an incredibly difficult sport it is until I met him and he told me horror stories of how they train, how often and how strenuous it is. It really is the most magestic sport. The look on the losing crew's faces is devasting, isn't it? Such an interesting post....as always. Hope you are having a great week. Meredy xo.