Down by the riverside

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Lately I have been reading Waterlog, by Roger Deakin. It’s a bit of a cult book, and it’s easy to see why. It is humorous, idiosyncratic and inspiring, a tangle of understated joy and sadness, and the language is so lyrical that it verges on poetry in places.

Back in the late 90s, Deakin set off to swim along the coasts, rivers and lakes of Britain, in search of what he called a ‘frog’s-eye view’. His routes are whimsical and illogical from a geographical standpoint, but then you realise that he is tying together stories, stretches of water, the currents of the natural world and the tiny details of his surroundings to create a map of his own devising.

I borrowed the book from a colleague, and by way of thanks I have drawn him a little bookmark that I’m going to leave in it when I give it back.

Just by the by, the fellow who lent me his copy of Waterlog is Chris James, who also happens to be an award-winning poet. His blog is great.

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