Nov 15, 2014


Down at the river we all paddled a while before bidding farewell to the fly-by-nights. Marion had her sunbrella deployed, with the pointy end of the shaft shoved into the soft river-bed sand by the side of the denuded flow.

Man it was hot but being in water was nice. A Jack Russell Terrier drifted by on a Boogie Board and Lyra took this as inspiration to steal someone else's and use it in a similar fashion. Generally we just, you know, utilised the specific heat capacity and thermodynamic properties of the water in which we were immersed to enhance our thermostatic capabilities.

After a while Nicole and Lyra retired back to camp for something to eat and a nap.

A steady breeze was blowing up the watercourse and as Eloise, Hannah and Lyra frolicked and I "supervised" along with Marion, the ability of the sand to hold the sunbrella in place against the gentle gusts of wind carrying it away, Mary Poppins-like, was put to the test.

We ended up fastening it with little pegs that came from somewhere or other with guy-ropes at finely attuned angles to maximise the load distribution and set about the business of floating neck-deep in the water with my sun-smock acting as a filter for the fine dust in the water stirred up from the bottom of the river (or as it is technically referred to, the "river-bed"), its white material slowly turning more brown.

I had my hat on, but some of us didn't, and so eventually we sought shade and snacks before we too returned to camp, to find Lyra sound asleep under the only open-air shade to be had, the camping table.

When she woke up and we had had something to eat, we all went into Kenilworth to locate ice cream and cold drinks. Faces were looking pink, some (one) with a bit of sunburn due to possibly injudicious application of sunscreen. Some of us were flagging in the heat. Personally, being, you know, a man and all, I didn't mind it too much. I mean, it was hot, but that's OK, right? I can take a bit of discomfort in the name of outdoorsy adventure. But others, particularly the young, were looking a bit flushed and, is their wont, moaning about it. We found ice cream, and we found cold drinks. I found coffee. We hung around in the shade. We chatted to a few folks. If there was a statistical analysis of the content of the chatting, the word "disgusting" would feature predominantly.

As the heat of the day started to abate, we returned to the river and as shade crept over we figuratively exhaled as the temperature at least seemed to drop a bit.

With just us Gs and the Js and Professor Joan left, we ate pasta and once more sat around the campfire attempting to keep Lyra in check.

That night's nocturnal Lyra-denza was somewhat more subdued than the previous night's but still we elected, with the weather forecast predicting an even hotter day to come, to return to the throbbing metropolis where at least we had fans to move the air around.

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