One of the greatest attractions of inland boating on the English canals is it’s anachronistic pace, it’s deceleration of life. A friend has a theory that our souls can only travel at walking pace and that canal boating is a perfect mode of transport to try to re-connect body and soul because, in travelling at less than a gentle walking pace, a long boat journey offers the possibility of your soul finally catching up with your carcass!
A walk from Cropredy to Varney’s Lock along the valley of the Cherwell past the 1664 battleground and between distant low hills that provide glimpses through tall hedgerows of the villages of Williamscot and Wardington, Clattercote and Claydon.
We ‘5-peas-in-a-pod’ on a rare afternoon out together.
The next part of the journey had a bit of an early 80s sound track to it, a combination of Dexy’s Midnight Runners ‘Come on Eileen’ and The Clash ‘Going Underground’... The reason being that the Boys overheard someone call ‘Come on Eileen!’ as we passed – a common enough experience if truth be told – and they were eager to hear what the song sounded like. It became something of a ‘Too-Rye-Ay’ soundtrack to the days away… and ‘Going Underground’ well that was all to do with going through, and then back through, Braunston Tunnel…
The weather’s showing its typically wry English sense of humour by turning with timely predictability from balmy June/July to barmy July/August to coincide with the start of the kid’s Summer holidays. Still, it just wouldn’t be English inland boating if it didn’t tank down on us on a regular basis!
So, with the likelihood of the weather turning into ‘one of our Summer’s’ with a fair drop of water expected here’s a few images of the latest leg of our slow-journey-without-destination.
As I mentioned in the previous post, in typical British Summer fashion, the Sunday after a glorious Saturday dawned Autumnal wet and grey. However, here are a few more images of a much quieter parade and rally.
‘Making time’ – the more I look at those two words the more they imply a challenge. How on earth do you ‘make’ more time? By stepping off the gravy train perhaps? Or slowing the merry-go-round of work-life and home-life demands? Well, perhaps that too, but I guess the best I can realistically hope for is to ‘make better use of’ my time? To achieve a greater sense of balance and proportion.
Twenty four hours after leaving the Winter mooring and things were clicking back into place. Though the route was as familiar as the back of my hand, it was different too. In fact, it’s never the same. Life isn’t. Is it possible to revisit the same place as the same person twice? I doubt it, life rarely has the synchronicity for that.