Having read it twice, I listened to Alice Oswald reading it in the car (well Alice wasn't actually in the car with me) on the way back from an Exeter airport trip with Offspringette.
It was a scorchio day and and I was left with little choice as to what should happen next as I travelled along past Okehampton, turned off at Sourton and crossed the western edge of Dartmoor, past Lydford, through Mary Tavy, past Peter Tavy (are you following?) How normal those names sound to me now but how odd I thought them when we first moved here, blame the churches of course.
Then along the road past Tavistock's premier public school Kelly College and usually on into town, but not so this day; all I could think of was this river made oddly human and given a voice by Alice Oswald, a river that seemed to have trickled into my consciousness all the way home and it was right on my doorstep, how could I not?
It was a a quick left turn and up onto the Princetown road past Merrivale where the granite for the original London Bridge (now in Arizona) came from, and thence via Two Bridges and left across to Postbridge. By the time I arrived I had a job to stop myself running to the banks like a thing strangely possessed.
This map shows the rivers nicely.
I didn't because a coach load of Spanish tourists were all running to the banks and the Clapper Bridge, so I did my best to look nonchalant and local ...no I'm really pleased they were enjoying it, Devon needs its tourist industry.
"Everyone converges on bridges, bank holidays it fills up with cars, people set up tables in the reeds, but a mile either side you're back in the wilderness..." Dart - Alice Oswald
The peaty-brown water was as clear as glass
and the cat dozed on over Reg's memorial seat outside the cafe.
Inflation has hit the cream tea...plain scones mind, nothing fancy and just an 1/8lb of cream now, not 1/4 and there's last year's £2.75 nestling under that newly-chalked £3.50
So I've used up all this post telling you how I got there, more about the actual book next time then.