Friday 18th October 2019, 3.00pm (day 2,976)
Yes, I would rather the box was not there. But one can’t have everything. Otherwise this rain/sun combination did catch my eye as I came home early from work — very early, but then again, it is Friday.
This canal — and its birdlife — have featured once before, in Slaithwaite. But whereas that’s a fairly rural spot, this picture was taken in the midst of the industry of Huddersfield itself. Still, it delivered a mallard so superbly lit it might have employed a Hollywood lighting director, which graciously posed in the midst of slurping up the nearby vegetation.
It’s nice to be reminded that the canal that runs through the very centre of Manchester still operates properly, a couple of hundred years after it was first built; and as ever, shots like these also remind me that this is the same canal, the Rochdale Canal, as runs through Hebden Bridge. So this boat could have been chugging through my home town a week or so ago. I imagine a few things about this scene have changed since the 1820s, however.
One of those highly uneventful days when even everyday scenes are hard to come by. Still, the sun shone, and on such a day, drifting along the canal has a certain appeal, whether you’re human and have to use artificial contraptions to do so, or a goose, who can just use what nature provides.
This is Clachnaharry sea lock, the northern end of the Caledonian Canal, completed in 1822 after a mammoth building project that finished years later than planned and way over budget, and so late that one main reason for building it — to protect shipping against Napoleon — had become obsolete years before thanks to Waterloo. Sounds like some modern infrastructure projects we could all name.
I did get another half-decent picture of the Old Town in Edinburgh this morning but having done that yesterday, let’s choose one from further north on the day’s journey. Taken through the window of the train as it left Inverness (which is my excuse for the grainy quality); but that was the way I saw most of the day.
The first four-in-a-row for Hebden Bridge since June — the 14th to the 17th June, in fact. Yes, I record these things. I did get a bit further away from home today than on the last two days.
Here, I like the way the red and blue theme is repeated both on the barges and the reflections of the windows in the water. The ducks are a bonus, really.
Manchester’s a big city and I only tend to walk through a narrowly-defined part of it when following the usual beat. Got off this track today however, and here I am on the banks of the Bridgewater Canal, built in 1761 and generally reckoned to be Britain’s first canal in the modern sense. A roaring success economically. And still operational — not long after I took this shot of the reflections under the bridge (not dating since 1761…) a barge chugged past. It’s a peaceful spot.
The story of how I ended up spending this afternoon in Amsterdam is a long one, and to spare you the details I will say only, ask Air France (more specifically their trade union). But I guess there are worse places to be laid over for a few hours, particularly when it was a pleasant, sunny day. Ample excuse to feature it on the blog for the first time since January 2012, thus, 6.3 years ago more or less. Time I came back here for a proper visit.
It’s dim, dull, depressing. I dislike this time of year. Even the Rochdale Canal has given up the ghost in Manchester City Centre. You’d think, as this runs along Canal Street, they’d make an effort. Doubt the bar whose barge-cum-smoking-area lies among the debris is benefiting from this business-wise.