Waterlog Reswum

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“I entered the river from just below the village, at a bend where there’s a gently shelving beach of gravel and bits of old brick. From here, I drifted downriver all the way through the meadows, by pollard willows in a row down the far bank, overtaken by the occasional punt.” There’s a keen breeze as we click through the footpath’s final metal gate and enter Grantchester Meadows. The long grass sighs… Read More

“The next thing I noticed was the brightly coloured rows of Rastafarian cubicle doors. Red, yellow, green they went, all along the poolside, and the colours danced on the water.” Tooting Bec Lido captures the joy of outdoor swimming unlike any other pool or pond in London. Hampstead’s mixed ponds might be more alluring thanks to their more rustic nature, but there’s something about swimming icy, 90 metre lengths at Tooting that’s… Read More

It’s two years since I first picked up Waterlog by Roger Deakin, having devoured Robert Macfarlane’s The Wild Places and become intrigued by Deakin’s impish love of the great outdoors in his cameos in that book. I’d only recently taken to going for dips in cold, outdoor spots, largely at Hampstead Mixed Ponds or Tooting Bec Lido, then just a 10 minute walk from my home. But after racing through Waterlog, I became… Read More