diamond geezer

 Tuesday, May 03, 2016

The full Regent's, Limehouse to Little Venice
Nine miles end to end, that's three hours
The towpath threads between and beneath
Maybe my sixth time, maybe the seventh

A defunct Water Bus stop in the basin
Stream of joggers, stream of bikes
One hired canoe, hauled out at every lock
Graffiti, bluebells, contented ducks

The dogwalker has a cello on her back
I remember when all this was warehouses
The Hertford's sealed off for how long?
Bank Holiday crowds fill Vicky Park

Pair of gasholders still stand, for now
Ding ding, make way, make way!
Those flats weren't here last time
Looks like the architects took the day off

Cycle hire jam, picked the wrong day for it
Pause to snapchat the tiny ducklings
Hackney seems to go on forever
Waterside views, would suit second time buyer

Pigeons perch atop an arched water pipe
New planters, poetry, a fish-shaped bench
Narrowboats two abreast, for seven days max
Sweaty lycra, barely faster than walking

Up into Islington past Boris's pad
Sofa.com coming soon, Chapel Market shuttered
To the far tunnel portal, blossom droops
The book barge is setting up for the day

Astroturfed steps herald New King's Cross
Those with no sense of adventure linger here
Negotiate the rocking floating walkway
Tiny balconies surround Gasholder Park

Fewer bikes now, families a-stroll
Twists and turns, Costa on the towpath!
Slo-mo crowds at Camden grid-Lock
Guzzling noodles and falafel from trays

A better class of towpath rambler
Bijou back gardens, the waterbus chugs by
Bluebells ablaze in St Mark's churchyard
Zoo traffic overhead, storks fly 'free'

Lush gardens, one public, the rest private
String of villas with manicured lawns
Trotting dog, hesitant Santander riders
Dip beneath trunk road and railway

Pristine moorings with hanging baskets
Step carefully over the electricity cables
Maida Hill tunnel power cable repairs
Towpath closure until further notice

Climb up to street level, cross with care
Crocker's Folly is serving pints again!
(Well, mostly wine, a bit posh really)
Final approach to Little Venice

The crowds thicken, the narrowboats throng
Canalway Cavalcade is in full swing
The sun comes out, much bunting flaps
Meticulous manoeuvring afloat

Every space on the bridge is taken
A riot of colour around the basin
Programmes are free, donation expected
The Parade of Historic Boats is starting soon

Stallholders hope to sign up volunteers
Or sell handicrafts, or flog fudge
Morris dancers thwack, a jazz band plays
A 'Posh Hot Dog' will cost you seven quid

IWA man glides by in hat made from balloons
Walk past the parallel parkers one more time
Several boatowners are heading for home
Same again next May Bank Holiday?

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Life viewed from London E3

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