Tuesday 9th October 2018, 9.20am (day 2,602)
One of the hi-vis army does his valuable stuff on the banks of the Rochdale Canal. A beautiful morning today, and a real ‘Indian Summer’ day. Fine by me.
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.
Often good for a photo, as the canal dry dock is about the last bastion of proper industry (you know, with sparks and grime) in the very centre of Hebden Bridge. It looks old, but was actually put in fairly recently, as I’ve seen photos from the 1980s that show it wasn’t there then.
A number of Hebden Bridge’s residents live on canal barges like these and I have sometimes wondered what it would be like to do so on a permanent basis. I’ve been on a couple of the boats and they are cosy, but I definitely don’t think it’s suited for anyone that has a really serious hoarding habit, which probably rules out me and (more especially) the wife. A sunny day today, but chilly, hence the stove bring run here at full operation.
Part of the reason I have felt uninspired lately is that I’ve been spending too many days at home, not going out. Also that the light has been very poor — I swear we’ve had half a dozen sunny days at most since the start of November. But both of those things changed for the better this very pleasant afternoon when I managed a stroll along the canal bank. Much of the towpath is still closed because of flood damage but this section, at the Callis Wood bottom lock, is still open.
Sweden makes it back onto the blog exactly two years after my last (and only previous) visit. With a population of just shy of a million Gothenburg is the second-largest city in that country. As you can see, it was a beautiful day. However, can’t say I’ve seen much of it (the day or the city), spending most of today in the building to the left, the city museum, for the seminar I’m attending here, hence Schiphol yesterday. The canal seen here doesn’t seem to have a name: Norra Hamnagatan is the street on the left side of this shot.