Yesterday Clare and I walked at Wimbleball, to the dam and back in the welcome sunshine. Just one other car in the car park, but it left and we felt we had the place to ourselves. The lake is full after all the last few months rain and spilling over the dam in full flow.
But we were not alone; as we gazed over the dam on the lakeside a rowing eight appeared, then another and another until there were eight eights, by the look of them a university rowing club down for the weekend, three crews were women and five were men. With their coxs that was seventy-two souls, add in the coaches (is that the correct term?) and helmsmen in their power boats, it must have been some eighty people on the water.
Practising, racing heats even, the five crews and three crews covered the water at good speed. For a while we saw a strange white marker keeping pace with them until we realized it was a drone, no doubt with a camera, filming their sport, from the side, from above and ahead as it swooped around.
We were far from being alone – oh, and there was an intrepid cyclist on a mountain bike, covered in mud, who had completed the nine mile perimeter circuit of the lake and a bunch of runners going over the dam and down the the River Hadeo outflow. It is great to see this expanse of inland water in use. More than sixty years ago I spent my summer holidays on Hill Farm, its land now submerged deep under this water; happy memories.