In this heat the canal is the place to be. In it, beside it, or on it. Even the geese, which usually gather in the rough pastures on the eastern bank are floating on the water in a loose, silent gaggle. A fish flips lazily up and sinks back down again. A moorhen stands in the shallows, grooming her charcoal grey plumage with an orange-red bill. Mallards bicker in the shadows.
House martins swoop low, hunting down insects and occasionally skimming the surface of the water to take a drink, their tiny beaks agape. All except the martins look tired and scruffy. the martins must be used to temperatures up in the high twenties, but for the rest of us, it's getting too much.