Anna, one of my most treasured and regular swimming companions, is a district nurse and hears all sorts of stories about Dartmoor from her patients. One old chap told her how, as a boy, he and his friends, when swimming in the Dart, used to like using boulders to sink themselves to the river bed. The method: first you find a pleasing boulder; then you stand, poised, with it clasped to your chest; you then bend forward and let it pull you down; finally you place the boulder on the bottom with a satisfying 'chink'. This is something we've taken to doing, and without getting too "Totnes" about it, it feels rather special, like an offering to the river, or a prayer. A few days ago I said goodbye to my beautiful mother for the last time, and so we went to the Dart where we all offered stones for her.