The start of Autumn   1 comment

On the London Loop in September. Hayes & Harlington to Uxbridge. Along the canal at Hayes bums and bowsies, beer cans and junk.

Then as the town and noise are left behind, dragonflies, butterflies, magpies, blackberries, hips and haws, starlings and squirrels. Burnt grass  and hard ground. September scorching hot but with a nippy start and end to the day, a hint of Autumn in the air and a promise of what is to come.

My secret London, hidden under and behind the big arterial roads and train tracks. Rivers and streams, fishermen, children diving off bridges into frond filled fast-flowing Fray and Little Britain lake. Little Britain’s children, burnt in unexpected sun.

And then the grand entrance into Uxbridge. A canal lined with barges and dry docks. The General Eliott pub, half empty overlooking the canal. Massive leather sofa on a big verandah, the pub itself looking like something straight from Victorian times.  Tiny windows, ivy covered, full of working men with names like Clive, on their day off.  Barges chugging down the canal.  On the other side of the canal in the working dry-dock, a radio plays.  The ripples of the canal water are reflected in the large galvanised sheds painted a wonderful shade of green.

The chugging barges show the personality of their owners. Some, the day-tripper/weekender boats, are neat, pretty and tidy. Men with shades sit on the top self-consciously. Others, the real survivalist types, are decorated with barbecues made from cut-open gas tanks, bits of washing machines, blocks of wood, bikes and washing decorating the top and sides.

It is so peaceful and quiet, the only noise, the radio across the canal, the chug of the barges and the low murmur of the working men.  I fantasize about dropping off the edge of the world, buying a barge and staying here forever.



One response to “The start of Autumn

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  1. love the fantasy!

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