Then I was looking for a bus stop, or else I had got off the bus at the wrong stop, and was walking around a north-western English town. I went up a steep hill and saw a group of middle-aged women washing their laundry in cold water in the open air. The water was in shallow stone pools which lay at the level of the women's hips. I thought I would be able to get past the women and back onto the road in the right direction, and so began to walk along narrow alleys with brickwork on either side, but found myself walking through cold water up to my waist, and I realised that I would not be able to get through that way and would have to turn back. Away behind the women I could see a great expanse of open water all the way to the horizon.
When I went to bed last night, I had not seen the news about the flooding of Venice. In fact I suddenly remembered this dream this morning only when a friend mentioned to me the images of people in the Venetian piazzas, walking through water "up to their waists".