Sunday, 19 April 2009

Walking the Regents Canal - again

Zero and I enjoyed a very good day yesterday, completing a few more miles along the towpath of the Regents Canal, in London. The weather was sunny and, later on, quite warm. We started at St James' Spanish Place for Mass again and then adjourning round the corner for a second breakfast.

Don't worry, I was going to be walking off the cholestorel later in the day. Perhaps a venial sin rather than a mortal one? Zero was so virtuous - no marmalade on her toast ....

We started at Camden and walked east towards King's Cross, where we diverted slightly to the London Canal Museum. I had managed to leave the instructions for our walk at home, but, you might think, it isn't possible to get lost walking along a towpath beside a canal. This is true - except when the canal disappears into the Islington tunnel, which has no towpath and along which narrow boats were navigated by two men pushing with their feet against the wall of the tunnel and "walking" their boat through. We then had to cross Islington (very hip) asking for directions along the way (Zero does this so well!).

We called in at St John the Evangelist Church just before returning to the towpath as the canal emerged from the Islington tunnel. A set of paintings inspired by the last seven words of Christ from the cross is to be found on the left hand side of the Church. They would make a lovely focus for a time of prayer during Lent or on Good Friday, though they are not displayed in a helpful way for this. The sanctuary of the Church is quite beautiful, though some of the side chapels need attention.

As we left St John's, I felt that a set of booklets displayed at the back of the Church - "NHS Islington: Your essential guide to health services in Islington" - with its sections on (1) sexual and reproductive health including promotion of contraception and abortion referral services and the telephone number of Marie Stopes (2) safer sex, promoting access to free condoms - deserved a more appropriate home than the porch of a Catholic Church! One wonders about this - I suspect sheer naivety on the part of those responsible for agreeing to its being on the table along with Catholic literature and I suppose it only fair to point out that there was a poster displayed above the table advertising LIFE. But one of the priests in the parish is a Catholic NHS chaplain .... go here and scroll down.

Some sections of our walk were beautiful, others less so. There are quite a few new residential developments along the banks of the canal. One development of low rise flats backed on to some gas holders - the nearest holder being literally some 20 m away from the back of one of the blocks!

Some of the local inhabitants were more friendly than others:

A guide to the remaining part of the walk that we did can be found here. We did not go quite down to Limehouse, coming off the canal at Mile End to get the Central Line back home. Engineering works on public transport links (no Jubilee line between Stratford and Green Park and, so far as I could tell, very little Docklands Light Railway) meant Limehouse was a bit cut off yesterday.

Trainspotting ....

Women and shoes ....

Diagonal parking ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

zero says
I hope your aching legs are better from the walk!Also, the only bird that looks like the tall bird in my guide book is a grey heron-could it be one? Are there any birders out there who can enlighten us?
Mentioning guide books I have just read a book called "A guide to the birds of East Africa" by Nicholas Drayson-it's a novel despite the title! A cheery tale suitable for all.