A walk is always a good way to start the new year. So yesterday, despite grey skies, we headed out. Along the track leading down to Bablock Hythe, the fruits of the old year cling on as the new year’s flowers come into bloom.
Hidden among the trees is an old physic well, similar to St Margaret’s Well at nearby Binsey which is said to be the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Treacle Well.
A little further and we reach the river – still Isis here, becoming the Thames (Thame-Isis) only when it meets with the River Thame downstream at Dorchester – and after following it for a while we turn off to the reservoir; a bracing crossing of the causeway that cuts across it blows away the last, lingering cobwebs.
With evening closing in, we climb the fields that run down Tumbledown Hill, and are back home by dark.
Attend Dame Isis downe to Dorchester,
Neare which the lovely Tame doth meet with her.
There Tame his Isis doth embrace and kisse,
Both joyn’d in one, cal’d Tame or Tamesis.
John Taylor, “The Water Poet” (1578-1653)