Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Water, Water everywhere, and not a drop to swim in

Still working at Radley College, there are floods all around. Walking down to the pub last night the air smelled of river - as though one were likely to slip down a bank at any moment. Ironically, it may be water that causes problems to the start of my journey. At the moment it seems impossible to get from Radley to my home before going to Jordan's.

I am thinking about the fields near Burford I visited with my parents two weeks ago - an oxbow bend in the river which Roger Deakin writes gleefully about in Waterlog. It was the most gorgeous hot afternoon, and we had a great walk through geraniums, cows, sheep, meadowsweet, swans and peacock butterflies. But the bend was fenced off. One of the fat pollard willows by the place where the bend comes in so far it nearly forms a circle has a sign on it saying 'Private Land - Go Back To The Path'. I was torn between obeying the landowner and giving in to the fast pull of the water. Now I think of those fields covered with water, the willows planted in them seemingly with no roots, mushroom-like, and all the prints on the footpath erased.


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