Yesterday I decided to brave the rapid current of the River Rhine using the floating fish my mother bought me when she was visiting last month. These floating fish are very popular here. Basically you put your clothes, towels and valuables into the fish-shaped tube and then roll it up seven times before afixing it with a strap. Then you are supposed to leap into the Rhine River and float down on the inflatable fish before paddling to the shore like a rabid dog. The rabid dog paddling is to ensure you don't accidentally find yourself in France where rumour has it that the water is murkish brown instead of crystal clear - a Swiss rumour you understand!
I can't say I exactly leapt into the water - it was pretty cold on the extremities - but once I got caught in the current it was actually quite fun. I even starred in a few tourists photos and successfully managed to avoid colliding with a bridge and a ferry full of people. It was only at the end that I realised how fast the current was going - trying to reach the shore line is quite a test of strength and I wanted to look cool and knowing - like I had done this Rhine lark before - but I ended up looking like a scrabbling rat or even worse a desperate frog who knows exactly where her legs will go if she crosses the border by accident.
Immediately after I got out of the water grey clouds appeared in the sky. Autumn literally arrived as I towelled myself down. Now the weather has turned and tonight as I walked home I felt a chill around my neck and a cold nipping at both ears.
Huzzah for autumn, Isay! I love season changes - all of them - but I love autumn most of all. Leaves turning brown, the smell of roasting chestnuts in the air, the chance to wear my orange coat which looks like it has been knitted out of muppet wool. Ah happy days