walk 2: kingston bridge to teddington lock

13 Mar

Southside | Start: 13:06 | End: 13:57 | Duration: 51mins

The walker is in a hurry to see the lock, watch as she sidesteps cyclists and dogs to reach her destination. There she is, admiring the anglers’ persistence in the drizzle and wondering if the R White’s Lemonade bottles are filled with a stronger substance than fizzy pop.

A hazy day, smoke in the air, and an endless wave of rowers down and up the river. Cox calling in husky, desperate voices: Ten seconds – Put it in the water – shoulders lower. The rush of water towards the banks as the boats race passed.

Throughout the walk willow trees appear, cherry blossoms, a cold breeze, family outings and wild angelica. Stopping for an apple, the walker reads about Steven’s Eyot, the tiny island named after the only man who ever lived there. He had a cottage, a boat and a stretch of marshland. Maybe he treated the island as though it was glass and gold dust or maybe he just slept there.

The loudest sound today is not the speedboats, the shouting or the tumbling blast of water at the lock, but the beating of heavy wings on the river surface.

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