Monday, 5 November 2007

Getting wet

Two rivers, two minutes from two very different homes. I have found myself unexpectedly submerged in both, but that's about all they have in common.

The Wey

This stretch of the Wey is about 800m long, and two minutes from yesterday's home. There's not that much in the way of river traffic, the odd passing duck perhaps, and the occasional swan. In summer, there are usually a few narrowboats moored along the length we ironically call "the straight", but at the time of the day inhabited by rowers, they're usually stationary and emitting wonderful, promising smells of bacon and eggs. There are only a couple of places wide enough to spin the boat in, but seeing as there's only 800 rowable metres of river, spinning happens every few minutes, anyway. It is rather picturesque, but not much cop for rowing. Not that I was doing much of that, having chosen to spend my leisure time sitting on my posterior on cramped trains. Reading. Getting lardy. Commuting. Not making an awful lot of use of having a river two minutes from home.

Today, I'm living two minutes from here:

The Thames

Miles of river, and (being now located twenty minutes' walk from work) pots of leisure time to row (or, at a pinch, read) in. It's not quite as pretty as the Wey, and smells less inviting, and has greater risk of colliding with misplaced and confused whales, but I'm rather excited about the combination of having proper water to row on and the necessary time to row in.


trousers said...

Not the same perhaps, but I've always appreciated the links between certain roads, due to the connections they make both metaphorically and literally. And, perhaps more to the point, where I am and have been in relation to them.

I love the phrase "yesterday's home" too: two words that together can suggest a hell of a lot.

Wayfarer Scientista said...

Congratulations on moving! And presumably new things like a job and all that. It's always funny the thing one misses, isn't it? It's not always what one would expect. That said - I hope you get out rowing more now (I used to row, in a different lifetime).

But Why? said...

My favourite legwear. How are you? Roads, yes. I like those, too. Very useful things. I do remember having a bit of a lightbulb moment when I realised that most roads actually do go somewhere. It might not be worth going to, but they originally served a purpose. Rivers have that wonderful, accidental quality about them - product and sculptor of landscapes.

As for yesterday's home, well, it was a wonderful place, but it's time to enjoy all that good stuff that London offers. Like the Thames. And theatre. And walking distance to work.

Wayfarer Scientista,
Welcome. Thankyou. It's the same job, but it seems so much better now I have a twenty minute walk instead of an hour and a half of battling public transport to get there. It is odd what I'm missing - I'm finding it rather disturbing that I can't actually compost my teabags anymore, and find it rather an imposition to have to put them in a bin for landfill. The compost bin was not high up my list of things I expected to miss...

DJ Kirkby said...

The Wey looks gorgeous!

Pixie said...

There are some fantastic pubs by the river Thames, great for sitting and watching the world float by. I envy you. The life and the energy down by the water. wouldn't want the rest of London though.So maybe I'l just hang around here for a bit longer.

But Why? said...

It was (is) a lovely little stretch of river. The sort of river I'd happily let my grandmother loose in... It just didn't make for a fantastic bit of water for rowing on. Great to walk alongside, tho.

I'm very much looking forward to discovering the riverside pubs with rowing buddies. Or any other buddies for that matter. I just need to find some now... I'm with you on not having that much to do with the rest of London, except perhaps the theatres, and the necessary evil of work.