Southside | Start: 16:40 | End: 17:13 | Duration: 33mins
I saw a man.
I saw a man standing on the bridge.
I saw a man with a bottle of bleach in one hand, beer in the other.
The walker stops and then moves on, because it does not feel safe here. This might be the loneliest part of the river, the place where people can stop or hide or stare into the blank flowing water.
There is wading to be done. A whole stretch of the river is exposed mud, littered with plastic wrappers and cigarette butts. A forgotten piece of machinery is jammed into the bed, a lone black bird – a swan? A cormorant? – sweeps from its shade and lands on the distant bank.
A voice from above tells the walker to mind the silt: it gets everywhere, it’s slippery, be careful. He’s the seventh man today just sitting with a can, watching the brown river slide eastwards and away.