Henley was filled with an air of tepid expectancy. The whole town was in the grips of discrete pre-regatta fever, and we saw lots of activity. People with clipboards were gadding about, looking for things to supervise. Boats and bleachers were being quietly hauled out of trucks. A bandstand was getting a fresh lick of paint. Large marquee tents were going up with silent ease. Guy rope tightened. Unopened, dark green ticket booths were getting a cleaning and etched gold letters were being retouched.
We had scones and tea in a small restaurant with a view of the bridge at Henley and its endless stream of heavy traffic which, like the river below, seemed to flow in one direction. Away from Henley. The locals, it seemed, had somewhere better to go. And so did we. Suddenly we both missed Windsor and realized how much we enjoyed it. We checked the map. Happily, Windsor was, as the tarmac flowed, less than half an hour away. Forty minutes later, we were happily strolling around the old castle town again.
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