steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

St Stephen's Day in Romsey

Involved a walk to the Abbey Green. My sister-in-law was wearing the hat I gave her for Christmas, which picks up the Romanesque and Early English window arches rather well. Inside, most appropriately, the congregation was singing 'Good King Wenceslas'.

Romsey Abbey

We did not stop, however, but moved on, slipping and sliding, down the path towards Green Hill, through the kissing gate, and so to Sadlers Mill and its salmon leap, where frosted branch and water meet.

Sadlers Mill, Romsey

I must have walked here most days when I was a child. The noise and whiteness of the water scared me then, especially in their contrast with the placidity of the river behind the mill, which clearly had no notion of its fate. It still scares me, a little. I worried what would happen if I got sucked in on one side and shot out on the other in the general direction of Broadlands.

Salmonless Salmon Leap

Every October we would see salmon leap here as they made their way upstream - some almost as high as the top of the wall (though I took the stories of fish that had leapt directly into the spectators' arms with a pinch of dill). The archways would be lined with straw-filled sacking to protect the fish in their flight. But the salmon grew fewer each year, and in due course the river wardens stopped renewing the sacking. I cannot find a picture of a salmon leaping at Sadlers Mill on Google, or I'd show it. You'll have to trust me that they did, once, in profusion. To me, the arches still look nude.

Seven Swans a-Swimming

And finally, in the general direction of Broadlands... a little early, but here are Seven Swans a-Swimming.
Tags: real life
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