Tales along the riverbank…
When I was young and TV had just begun in my home town, I fell in love with a little show called Tales of the Riverbank.
It wasn’t the animals so much, it was life on the river, a secret life. Little animals tucked away in the long grasses and shrubs of the riverbank and even better, animals that had adventures.
In that once-upon-a-time, Dad would sit and read Wind in the Willows to me and Ratty and Mole became my heroes – particularly Ratty because of his love of the water and boats. I was a child of the water then.
And when my own children were young, we became devotees of the BBC TV production of Wind in the Willows.
Today I had my own Tale of the Riverbank. Nothing like those lovely rivers in the above links though. More a tidal estuary with the sea just round the corner, jetties and a wide spread of river water. It may not be English and overhung with eddying willows, but I think Ratty might well have loved it.
You see, this is my river…
… and this afternoon I went kayaking.
It was an escape from the week that was because “there is nothing, absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” (Wind in the Willows)
I floated amongst jetties, looking at the painted foundations of the bridge (both commissioned and un-commissioned) that spans the river.
I saw my close friends’ own little cottage ‘on the riverbank’…
… and my mother’s cottage with the red roof.
Eventually I paddled round the corner…
‘while the river still chattered … a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.” (Wind in the Willows)
And then floated in a circle past the 5 knot mark which no boatie takes any notice of, despite that so many of us swim right in the channel and live in fear of our lives.
I saw the sand couch that some clever fisher person built last weekend.
My husband and I sat in it and were impressed with its comfort – upholstered with cupholders and bait bucket holders on each side. More amazingly, despite high tides, the structure is still there!
Some of the local children had built THE best cubbyhouse!
Soldier crabs cleaned the sand – busy little things scrambling everywhere at low tide. They remind me of bees and ants with their energetic work ethic.
I watched an elegant heron and it watched me.
All in all, it was splendid hour of solitude on the water and I came home relaxed, happy…
… and ready to do it all again tomorrow.