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A patch of mostly dull and cold weather is giving me ample reasons for continuing with the scanning of the negatives of the long walk of the rather hot July of 2003. Today we are again back on the River Thames in South Oxfordshire.
This was still near enough to normal civilisation for elderly couples to be out walking along the banks.
If there were any footpaths on this stretch, they lay beneath the ripeness of Summer requiring negotiation, in the form of wild flowers attracting bees; grasses in seed; plantains trip over; broad backlit leaves bearing shadows of other floral forms; and convovulous carrying tiny beetles.
One of the latter plants trailed over the river, reflecting on the murky water.
An avian trio perched on the coping stones of a derelict shed in need of replacement tiles;
a pair of peacocks entered into head to head negotiations;
a mallard paddled along ahead of her imprinted offspring;
and a pair of swans introduced their cygnets to further reaches of the Thames.
A flock of sheep grazed alongside what I took to be farm buildings of some sort.
The sun-baked natural world disregarded the two young men taking a leisurely row along the sleepy waters, passing a dangerous-looking weir, and negotiating a narrow lock.
Here, at home, dusk this evening lent a dramatic air to the looming skull of the virtually gutted North Breeze next door.
Shelly and Ron gave me a couple of very good Blason du Rhone Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2015 wines for Christmas. I drank a glass this evening with Jackie’s excellent chicken jalfrezi, and aromatic pilau rice, served with vegetable samosas. My lady finished the Coquimbo.