Walking the hounds along the river the other day, and children had been playing. They had been fishing too, but fishing for the old pottery and glass shards that can be found like jewels in between the gravel of the bed.
I've no idea how long these pottery fragments have been in the river, but worn by water over the years, all their rough edges have become smooth, and the colours taken on a beautiful, muted character, more water-colour than oil.
I used to collect these shards myself, when fishing, and send them to a friend who made jewellery from them.
The irony is, if I caught someone now throwing a bottle into the river and breaking it, I would call it an act of vandalism. Yet after a hundred years of water-wear and grit, it becomes a thing of beauty, a jewel for a child.
But what a great way for a kid to spend a morning, and what a superb resource is a river to its town.