A SOLID bank of mist hangs over the Chet Valley tonight, the dankest and clammiest I’ve seen in my eight years in Loddon. As ever the river escapes relatively lightly, it’s the marshes next door that really cop it. The damp exhausted my camera’s batteries within minutes, but I think this photo shows its density quite nicely: as though a huge eraser had rubbed out everything from the meadows to about 12 feet up. That’s the tower of Holy Trinity church just high enough to be seen. “I don’t like it,” shivered one dog walker emerging suddenly from its grasp. I did. Blackbirds chink-chinked their alarm calls continuously and the smell of wet autumn leaves hung heavy near the hedges, but it wasn’t cold. These are the last days of a wonderfully warm autumn. Winter will arrive soon enough.