Swim the dump.

We are all potential Mountain Dwellers.

Last night I was heading up to my welcoming bed after a harassing 15 hour-work day when I stopped on my way home. I was standing on this bridge over the Thames and decided to glance down at the water turbulences. Yes, it is possible to leave in a Valley, and still to be able to look down to look at a different perspective...

I find it quite relaxing and it actually helps me clear my mind.

I was thus looking at the waves, the swans, the swirls, the foam, the wood pieces, the plastic bags, the floating tyre... Realising suddenly the value for money the people who pay a premium price to live with a Thames view are getting. I was suddenly picturing the flat adverts on the Foxtons' website: "stunning penthouse flat with view on London's floating litter".

The fool on the stream.

I smiled at this sudden burst of honesty from the Real Estate agents. And a second later I remembered that a few weeks from that I had seen someone actually swimming his way through the waters of the UK most famous river. A fool I thought at that time. A hero I should say now.

Father of three children, Andy Nation, 55, has swum an epic 13-day journey to cover the 236.5 km that separate the source of the Thames in Lechlade, Gloucestershire, from Teddington Lock in West London. Reporting his ups-and-downs, the HEN News mentioned:

A pleasure boat went past too quickly and Andy swallowed quite a bit of
water. He was very ill the next day and, in fact, he was so ill that we
thought at one point we might have to abandon the whole thing.

Surprising? You must admit that it would have been a pity. Andy was indeed hoping to raise £150,000 for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

Swimming Chirac.

Back in France we have our own Andy Nation. Nowadays he is even our President. At that time Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac promised that, as a proof of his commitment against La Seine pollution, he would have swum in the river before the end of his term.

As far as I remember, the only time I have seen our President wearing a bathing suit was during his vacations in the West Indies... His current successor at the City Hall, Mr. Bertrand Delanoe, found a way around it with his now famous Paris Plage event (Paris Beach), he decided to host some swimming pools by the Seine. It thus gives you the impression to bath among the Bateaux Mouche, a few strokes from Notre Dame.

By the way, funny name they have these boats. "Bateaux Mouche" litteraly translates in "Fly Boats", as if the tourists were a swarm of flies trying to escape from drawning on a floating excrement... Suddenly Paris favourite cruises become less romantic, doesn't they?

Anyway, this comparison between the two sides of the Channel led me to wonder: would our politicians be less daring than the British? I am to say that it is very likely...

But on the other hand, if you remember this analogy from Johnny Clegg's song: "you have to swim with sharks in the sea, you have to live with the crooked politicians", do we really want to come across any politicians while fishing in your favourite river?

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