Today we left Essex to go back to London and start our journey home. It’s been a lovely week with Kevin’s sister and family and I’m not sure how I will cope without a daily hot breakfast cooked by my brother-in-law Phil, bottomless cups of tea provided by my sister-in-law Sandra, and endless adorable shenanigans from my great-niece Eloise. Also, the River Stour. I will miss this place and all the many gifts it’s bestowed upon me.
On our way out of town, we stopped off in Dedham for one last swim in the river. I opted to end where I first began, because, as it’s further upriver, it’s not tidal here and I didn’t need to worry about timing.
This time there wasn’t the joyful bunch of Bluetits to welcome me, but I had a lovely dip anyway. The river was running pretty hard and I swam mightily upstream, toward the millpond and locks, that were famously memorialized in this painting by John Constable.
It was hard going, but not really because I knew I could always put my feet down and walk; it wasn’t very deep. Still, I swam, relishing the heart pounding; the cool, fresh burst of exercise, before getting back in the car and then hopping on a bus (the train workers are striking) for a long ride back to London.