Observations From The Riverbank

Posted by Matt Heason on Jan 06, 2021

A month ago I decided to start a routine of a daily dip in the river on my morning dog walk. Yesterday completed a full month of dips. Here are some observations:


Meditation and yoga just don't do it for me. Sitting for five or ten minutes on a gnarled tree root by the side of the river does. I have a rule that I don't get my phone out. 

November was relentlessly grey and dreary. I can count the number of mornings when you could see the sky on one hand.

Yesterday was one of those mornings.

It was also the coldest, with a hard frost.

I also broke my phone rule in order to take a selfie for this posting.

One morning I discovered 4 empty gin bottles nestled in a hold in the river bank behind some roots. Nice to know that the spot is a haven for somebody else. Nice if they left no trace though.

The dog has found his new favourite spot for squirrel watching, stood motionless ankle deep in the water. Perhaps he's having a nail manicure by the fish.

I've yet to see a kingfisher, but am hopeful that one day I will.

Despite the fact that according to the signage a local fishing club owns the rights to the river I've not seen one yet.

I ALWAYS feel better afterwards, despite often not wanting to get in.

In fact it's that knowledge that I will feel better that incentivises me to get in.

Shorts are easier than trousers to change in and out of.

Yesterdays pants get a pre-wash.

Sitting watching as the last of the leaves fell was magical.

An early morning routine feels like a very good way to set you up for the day ahead.

The water is shallow - too shallow and fast flowing to really actually swim - but that doesn't take away from the experience. 

I'd like to understand why there is so much water released from the dams up river; the levels can raise and fall nearly 12 inches overnight with no rainfall.

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