Saturday, 25 July 2015

Lord of the Rings

When we first started travelling on Erin Mae, we quickly realised that boat names can reflect many different personalities, senses of humour, ways of thinking. You get plays on words (like "Narrow Escape"), you get boats named after somebody's mother, you get Irish, Scottish and Australian allusions, and references to historical figures. I've seen Greek words and Welsh words. The list is endless.

Among them all we've spotted Tolkien-themed names, and I began to draw up a list. It seemed to dry up last autumn, but coming into Skipton we saw a new one: Lord of the Rings.

Now that seemed to be a splendid name for a boat that had cruised the Four Counties, and the Cheshire Ring, and others old or new. Unfortunately, the way this particular boat was encrusted with floating fenders, not to mention the pristine state of its blacking, suggested that it seldom goes anywhere, let alone down the Rochdale Nine, which made me rather sad. Perhaps I'm being unkind, and the owners just had a paint-job done.

Be that as it may, the list now reads:

Arwen Evenstar
Bilbo Baggins
Earls of Rohan
Lord of the Rings
Many Meetings
There and Back Again

No one else has ever made any contributions to the list, so perhaps it's of interest only to myself. Ah me! But I sometimes wonder what Tolkien name I myself might choose. Treebeard, perhaps, might suit my hirsuteness and the pace of life. But Tom Bombadil rode the river, and yet seems to have a rather unusual connection with the world at large, as do many boaters. Those who have only seen the films and not read the books, of course, won't have any idea what I'm talking about.


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