Saturday, March 24, 2012

AWOL again on the Leeds-Liverpool canal

I’m sorry to have left you in the lurch with no explanation. We went for a surprise holiday on a narrowboat on the Leeds-Liverpool canal with the family member who declines to be named. Sadly you won’t be seeing any photos of said family member because they also decline to be pictured.

Mar 2012 Leeds Liverpool with Jak 039

It’s thirty years since we were on that canal and in the intervening time the noise of traffic has grown, spoiling a considerable length of it for country dwellers like us, who live up a lane and whose favourite sound is the song of the resident blackbird at dawn.

Mar 2012 Leeds Liverpool with Jak 001

But there still are some pockets of quiet loveliness, namely on the Yorkshire side of the Pennines, west of Skipton. It was beautiful above Gargrave, and we hung around there for several days rather than venture further. There’s no county compares with Yorkshire – the countryside, the accents, the fish and chips cooked deliciously in beef fat.

Mar 2012 Leeds Liverpool with Jak 015

We had a great time (naturally! - we were on a narrowboat holiday!) despite the traffic and the frosty nights and the duvets with minus 3 togs, necessitating my sleeping in two pairs of pyjamas and a cashmere v-neck, a hoodie and a scarf. Dave wore even more than that: he is a true gent and insisted I had all of the inadequate duvet to myself.

Mar 2012 Leeds Liverpool with Jak 060

I cycled the tow path down to the Bingley Five Rise locks, built 200 years ago, and rang one of my sisters from there to say – I’m here! One branch of our family comes from Bingley, and one of my grandfathers had barges carrying coal up and down the canal.

Mar 2012 Leeds Liverpool with Jak 088

I am sitting here in bed with the cat and my laptop, wearing only one set of pyjamas. It’s warm. It’s silent. It’s magic.

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