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So good to be messing about on the River Tees.

Byline: Dr Anya Heywood

THE other weekend we joined a gang of people for a grand day out. It was a beautiful hot sunny day for just messing about on the river. About thirty-five of us donned random swimming wear, bits of wet suits and life jackets and launched ourselves from Yarm on to the River Tees. We were in kayaks and canoes, so in theory this would have been a quiet way to paddle downstream, only we had a sizeable gang of teenagers with us, some of whom belonged to me. It always amazes me how they can take an event that is already a great idea and then just make it "more fun". They got the wettest by far, as it wasn't long before they were throwing footballs about and trying to swap boats midstream.

Anyway, for the grownups it was more relaxing, as we were in no rush. Gradually that slow pace on the water seeped into our bodies and minds.

How very be on the in the case in it). You'd know you We chatted on and off with each other as boats lazily passed by. But mainly we quietly just took in the sights.

There were all the riverside houses with lovely gardens right down to the river edge to inspect. We all chose which one we'd have "if we had to buy one". There were fields of content cows and red poppies. And there was calming greenery everywhere.

Normally the Tees is something I have to cross if I'm going somewhere. Or the river I can walk the dog up and down. It has shaped the towns we live in, different to Tees then (or of the kids, never were in flowing through the history of how Teesside came to be.

And I suppose I have come to link the Tees with that industrial heritage or at least a geographical border.

How very different to be on the Tees then (or in the case of the kids, in it). "You'd never know you were in Teesside" was the refrain through the day. And indeed, I would never have seen the river from such a vantage point if I hadn't thought it was (literally) worth a punt. I'd cancelled the usual Saturday stuff, got up early, made the picnic and marshalled all the kit so we could go. Sometimes you have to do something a bit different, out of your usual comfort zones, to get a different perspective. You could be very surprised!

the grownups more we lazily cows and red there was calming everywhere. Normally Tees cross the can dog down. shaped towns How very different to be on the Tees then (or in the case of the kids, in it). You'd never know you were in Teesside...

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Jul 1, 2019
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