I've had a good afternoon, this afternoon, making the most of some well-prescribed relaxation time. A refreshing walk along the Oxford Canal near Burton Dassett (think of a less impressive Ayres Rock, covered in grass and sheep). Although the weather is still convinced that its still mid-summer in Warwickshire, the trees are beginning to cotton on that this is no longer the case, and have started to replace their summer fashions with the yellows and browns from the autumn catalogue. It was so quiet and very beautiful, and we found some much-needed peace.
I've been hanging around waterways the last few weeks like a drug-dealer round the school gates. The other weekend took me to the Warwick section of the Grand Union canal. People just seem so much more friendly if they're on, or beside, a canal. People peer at you expectantly in order to instigate some brief form of communication ("Hello"; "grunt".) You feel bad if you don't jump up and down to greet passing barges. I end up manically grinning at passers-by like Tony Blair on speed. I'm just not used to it! Maybe its that the people living on the canals have found a better life - they can take their floating homes the length and breadth of the country at their whim. The pace of their chosen life just hasn't changed over the years. And even when travelling through the middle of the most built-up cesspit of a city, the cut of their canal lies within its own swathe of relatively-undisturbed nature that could be anywhere.
Yup, I think that I'm boring enough to live the boatman's life. A boat for christmas, please, rich philanthropical readers.