Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Tide Is High

The Itchen, looking towards Northam Bridge

Pretty much every time in the last 30 years when I have taken the train to London I have noticed this view, which suddenly opens out -- after the St. Mary's Stadium, after the Hell's Angels' clubhouse -- where the railway line runs close alongside the shore of the river Itchen's tidal estuary.  Early in the morning, with the sun glancing off the pewter-coloured expanse of water and the glistening mud studded with marine debris, it's a brief reminder of the otherness of Southampton, glimpsed before the train glides on into the rolling green Hampshire uplands around Winchester.  Not exactly Venice, but not just fields and woods, either.

Every time I see it I resolve to go down there, and walk along the path that runs next to the railway, but somehow never got around to it. In March, finally, I did make it down there, only to choose a day that was overcast and misty, with spits of rain in the wind, and a time when the estuary was still quite full.  Oh well.  Another time, another tide.

The Itchen, looking towards Horseshoe Bridge


Kent Wiley said...

Is that a Blondie title reference?

Gavin McL said...

Tidal predictions are available Online. They make use of Doodson numbers (named after Arthur Doodson) and it's not too tricky to write a bit of code to do it. They used to do tidal calls with fancy brass and wood analogue "computers" which would probably be more fun. Enjoy your time away