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December 2017

A sunny mild day is not to be wasted, and the big outdoors was calling. It was early November. I was dropped off at the top of the lane that leads down to the sea wall opposite Northey Island. My heart fairly somersaulted at the excitement of being where I was on such a perfect day and at the prospect of what I might see.

The hedgerows held Chaffinches and as I neared the farm gate the noisy chatter of sparrows. A herd of young cows were lying in the field though no rain expected today. The copse of trees to the far left in its Autumn robes, and lined up on the ridge behind it a number of geese, looking as Byrhtnoth’s warriors might have, when waiting to attack the Viking Invaders across the water.

I saw a mast moving down river and when I reached the sea wall identified it as The Sailing Barge ‘Thistle’. She was taking a party of small children out.

I sat on the bank just mesmerized by the blue water and the tranquillity of the place. There was a large flock of starlings which every now and then rose up, shimmied round then settled down in the grass.

Then they rose up and flew towards me and over my head, the only sound the whoosh of their wings……magic.

The next interruption came from the battalion of Brent Geese who had left their post up on the ridge and had flown down into the water, hardly a surprise attack as their constant calling to each other gives the game away. Waiting in the wings on the ridge were the Canadian Geese happy to nibble the grass up there.

Reluctantly I leave the river heading towards Maldon and the delight of a pub lunch on Hythe Quay. – Maisie –