Updated: Feb 24
From Port Meadow, Perch-side, you can see the church tower of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. I see this tower from the other side from my tree-level room at work. Which is to say, it is short walk from Port Meadow to my work. How did the 'swim to work' start? A few years ago, I enlisted for the Dart 10K, which is what it says on the pack, a 10 kilometer swim in the River Dart, which swims of course across Dartmoor, and comes out at Dartmouth. Only the pronunciation of the English can strive to hide the obviousness of this - Dart River, Dart Moor, Dart Mouth - obviousness abounds. The Dart 10K is a great swim, and a Great Swim, so popular it is now, you have to register quickly. 10K was a long way for me - I knew I could swim 5, 6K, so the early Summer was taken with swimming longer and longer distances. And the issue with that is that it takes time, and when you have a family, time is the one thing that is short. How to square the circle / take the bend out of the river? Swim to work. I live in Eynsham - it is a 1K walk to the River Thames, then 8K to Port Meadow. I did this several times before the Dart 10K, and have carried on doing this once a year. Last year, Helen joined me a little after King's Lock. This year I arranged it for a Sunday, and was accompanied by Neil and Judy. It was a lovely bright sunny day, the pains aux chocolat and tea at King's Lock (halfway) were a perfect breakfast, and the people we met from Ireland curious and charming.