Mary always finds being next to water relaxing. She has a friend who reckons that is because it is an essential for life and something in our animal hind brain takes comfort from the presence of flowing water.
Friday night Mary and I decided not to rush down to the cottage along the M3 with all the happy campers but have a relaxed evening in London. So we went to Ghillies on the River for an excellent meal and watched the sun set over the Thames, one of the great rivers of the world. That set me thinking about other great rivers we have dined beside:
• Old Father Thames. Of course. Ever since the Romans made it their principal crossing place, the river has played a vital role in the riparian history of Britain and, during the height of the Empire, the world. The mud postively oozes history.
• The Seine. As a courtesy to Paris I will include the Thames' sister river across the channel as a great river of the world.
• The Rhine. With me working in Basel in the past it has given us the opportunity to dine next to the Drei Koenig bridge watching the river - and the people - flow. Once a year the canton does a collective swim down the river; strange to spend a meal with hundreds of bobbing heads drift past.
• The Nile. We have dined beside (and on) this river during our honeymoon and again for our tenth wedding anniversary.
• The Mississippi. Dat 'ole man ribber. Maybe this is the river Bob* had in mind. I would not be surprised. We have been to the Jazz Fest twice and New Orleans is my favourite US city (Apologies to NY,NY).
What does that leave. The Ganges, the Amazon, what else...? I don't really fancy the Ganges. Holy it may be but it does not have a reputation as the cleanest and most hygenic of rivers. The Amazon is a different matter, I like the idea of a Latin-American trip and a Brazilian bank-side dinner.
* Watching the river flow by Bob Dylan
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