Jane and I are now in London on the Regents Canal, which is part of the Grand Union Canal. It is the same and different from what I expected.

The Harrow Road
Clematis growing wild beside the canal

I was expecting a lot more evidence of the industrial age. The backs of factories and industrial buildings. There is very little of that. However we have seen double decker red buses going over canal bridges, and an aqueduct goes over the North Circular Road. We traveled up through 11 locks on the Brentford arm of the Grand Union, then we entered a very long pound, 13 or 14 miles along the Paddington section of the Grand Union, and it changes name to the Regent Canal at Paddington. Lovely to just cruise along with no locks. What was not very pleasurable was the state of the canals. They are full of plastic, and junk. So so much. And the poor birds (I couldn’t help feeling that, and wishing that they knew there were clean canal elsewhere) were using the plastic and rubbish in their nests.

They are building their nests, are sitting on eggs, and there are now chicks. So exciting to see. We are seeing coots, which nest in the river on floating mounds next to the bank, moorehens, swans, Canada geese, Mallards and other brightly coloured ducks.

We are also having to clear the propeller regularly. We found this in the weed hatch yesterday, completely intact. I was gob smacked as they say here.

Jane worked at Dingwells Night Club in 1973 when she was in medical school. Back then Camden Lock was undeveloped and the night club was a bit if a gamble. Now Camden Lock and Camden Market are a hopping trendy place, full of food kiosks, hand crafts and breweries. We provided entertainment for the crowds hanging out there when we went through the lock and I was able to get this shot

During the summers of 73 and 74 I worked at Marine Ices, an Italian ice cream parlour serving gelato before it was called gelato in the UK. It is just up the street on Haverstock Hill Road, opposite the Chalk Farm Underground, and the Roundhouse Theatre. Theatre goers would come over during intermission and get ice creams from our window service. If you ordered a coffee you got a cappuccino. You could choose from 6 kinds of filter coffee served in an individual filter. Knickerbocker Glory, Chocolate Nut Sundae, Banana Split, Vesuvius. The Mansi family were from Amalfi. It has moved and changed hands but I still visited. It is a real blast from the past being here.

Yes, that is a person asleep in a hammock beside the canal