Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Down by the old canal

What better, on a warm spring day, than to stroll down the towpath on a canal, savouring the birdsong and the barges? This morning I did just that, walking the eight miles or so from Rickmansworth to Uxbridge along the Grand Union. A short distance out, amidst open countryside, I came across this strange hulk of a building.


I have idea what this ruin used to be. The map shows no road leading to it and there are no other buildings or roads nearby.

This stretch of the canal is very quiet – only two barges were moving during my walk, although a handful of cyclists and other walkers were also out enjoying the sun. Here is another view
canal 2
This is well within the M25 but could be anywhere in the country. The canal is fringed by many lakes designated as nature reserves and apart from the pinging bell of the overtaking cyclist, the loudest noises were the geese honking in the reed-beds and a swan thrashing its wings as it clumsily hit the water with a fountain of spray before it folded them back and stared at me as if to say “Who are you looking at?”

Chiltern Rail provided the transport to Rickmansworth and London Underground the return; both ran to time. Next week things will not be so smooth because the RMT union has called another major strike that will cripple the tube between Monday evening and Friday morning. Sod them. I have drama classes to go to in Belsize Park and the tube is the only sensible way to get there.

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