A few years ago I started to keep a sort of diary about the day-to-day life of the Rideau River that flows its final few hundred metres through the park adjacent to our street, and I think it would make a good blog. However, somebody else has come up with the idea before me (not that the writer has updated it since last June). Maybe I should have a go in any case, for the river's character, like the sky's, changes every day, and I can't help thinking it's healthier for me to dwell on natural phenomena than on the ups and downs of the stockmarket or party politics or whatever latest news crops up about Nortel or whatever.
More rain has been coming down this month than for the last seventeen Julys, and Chris and I got drenched from head to toe during our late evening walk over the bridges last night. We might as well have gone swimming in our clothes. A vagrant on a park bench near our house was trying to sleep in the series of downpours, cocooned in plastic bags like an Egyptian mummy, with a cardboard box over his head. I doubt if he kept dry, but perhaps he prefered this to a bed at one of the usual shelters. I thought of the storm scene in King Lear.
...Thou think'st 'tis much that this contentious storm
Invades us to the skin: so 'tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fix'd,
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou'ldst shun a bear;
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou'ldst meet the bear i' the mouth. When the
The body's delicate: the tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else
Save what beats there...
This afternoon I walked home along the river banks from Carol's house fascinated by the unusually British-looking colour of the river water. It's not quite the great grey-green greasy Limpopo, but much browner than usual. A mother duck was leading half a dozen ducklings through the flowering rushes and in Stanley Park two black belt judo instructors were teaching some lesser belts to do somersaults on the grass.
Talking of water, I've been dreaming of buying a tug like the one in my last blogpost. I've found a website.
Well, it's no good my starting a river blog if I'm going to keep wandering off the subject as I've done here; come to think of it though, Jerome K Jerome did exactly that in his classic Three Men in a Boat.