It’s my first swim in ages owing to a back injury, and I feel flat and fed up. Today is a grey day, slightly chilly. Honey and I amble down to the Tavy where my spirits are elevated by the scent and sight of bluebells, surely the most stunning shade of blue, set off by vibrant spring greenness. The river is shaded by the little cleave, and looks flat and dingy by comparison to the beauty nearby. There’s a transitory whiff of sewage, but it’s not from the water and there’s no obvious source so I decide to risk it.
The water’s cold – certainly no more than ten degrees. I slip literally on the silted rocks beneath and swim around till I feel warmer, staring up at the sky through abundant new leaves. Honey fossicks around Long Timber Tor, rather a grand name for what is a small conglomeration of rocks and gnarly old trees that barely rises above water level.
I climb out and change, transfixed by the little gardens of plants emerging from slender cracks in the rock. A warty, grey-green lichen covers the surface and lends a Hammer Horror monster air.
Walking back we’re followed and bleated at by a hilariously horned and close-coated ewe who I’m guessing was a bottle-fed, with an equally amusing lamb whose tiny pointed horns make him look like something from Narnia. Honey is utterly bemused. Anyone know the breed?