Up the Leicester arm

It’s seven in the morning, the sun is shining and there is not a soul about on this part of the canal. Behind the hedge the land drops off to the valley through which to young avon flows. A lazy winged heron has flown slowly over to alight on a hgh dead branch to survey his feeding ground. Birds sing, chirp and caw from within the hedges. The wind hardly stirs the grasses it is so still.

I am on the Leicester arm of the Grand Union Canal, just south of Welford junction, and my first tea is cooling off as I type. I am on my way back homeward and only just getting around to updating this blog.

So here are the news headlines, thought for the day comes later.

Geese leaving for the night

Geese leaving for the night

remains of the boat lift

remains of the boat lift

Boated up to Northamptonshire, met lovely boaters, lost best windlass handle, (in a lock), biked and trained back home, trained and biked back to the boat, it had been badly remoored for me, lost a mooring hook, bought another and windlass handle, went to Welford, went to Naseby (by bike) went to Foxton locks and back to Welford junction. Been through 3 tunnels, 1 twice, seen battle field monument, Foxton incline, Watford locks (Northamptonshire not Hertfordshire), went aground, got off again, fender jammed propeller, lost mooring cable, got wet, got dry got sun tanned, ate in boat, ate in pub. Removed many spiders from boat, avoided wasps, got horsefly before it got me, watched buzzards, geese, ducks, kites swallows, terns, geese, herons, ducks, geese, grebes, geese, and ducks. Saw swan family in field, swan family in field heard boat, marched down to canal and tried to catch up for food, too late, I’d already gone, poor swans.

Are you still there? OK I’ll continue with a brief thought. I am no historian, in fact I did not like the subject at school, at least I told myself I didn’t because I don’t like to learn arbitrary dates and names, I am no good at that. What awful writing, I have just referred to myself 6 times in one sentence, oh, that’s another twice! Friday morning I cycled up to to the Naseby battle monument where Cromwells forces beat the army of one of the King Charles (visions of a brown and white dog in armour directing his forces come to mind). It was 1645, the year, not quarter to six in old money. The forces were the common people headed by the head of state against the common people headed by a revolutionary. The aim to change the established order, the excuse supposedly to install the correct religious doctrine. The outcome was civil war, destruction of families, property religious icons, beheadings, and a state authority that was not supported by all, not democratic and was held in power by fear and torture. It seems that we are 300 years in front of the middle east. Be glad for our way of doing things these days.

Naseby monument

Naseby monument

Back to more cheery matters. The sun’s reflections are rippling their way across the ceiling, and the canal stretches out both ways like a country lane made of mirror. The windows of the boat are creaking as the metal begins to warm in the sunlight and the call of a wren is urging me to begin to get outside and enjoy the day. So here’s a few photos of the trip.

Foxton flight of locks

Foxton flight of locks

4 thoughts on “Up the Leicester arm

  1. Such an interesting Blog seems like you are enjoying an idyllic life! Bet you aren’t missing work

    • thanks Lyn
      I don’t allow myself to miss work. Working with so many friendly and cooperative people, in an organisation doing so much good was a great privilege. I enjoyed it. My main motivations for working were that the team had needed me, they didn’t any more, and for my family. With both those gone it was time to move on. Not idyllic, but not bad sometimes. Best regards Steve

      • Hi Steve we’re just watching Timothy West and Prunella Scales who have spent many years on their canal boat called Drifter. Have you seen it? Superb programme on More TV. They also showed the canal Boat Poet Laureate but I have to say her poetry was not in my opinion a patch on yours. My brother in law lives in Canada but he has a canal boat called Lionel on the Grand Union Canal moored at Yiewsley – you may come across him some day. Keep on with the fascinating stuff. Best regards Lyn

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