Canalsidelife

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Canal
Canalsidelife

IT was one of those days when you could sense the spring in your step and the feeling that: ‘Hey, it’s not such a bad old life after all.’

The sun was shining as usual, and there was a cooling breeze that was just enough to make our morning walk along the canal perfect.

A cyclist came hurtling towards us; a man of about my age, so no age at all really, clad in a spectacular outfit.

Hat, shorts, shirt and even socks were a kaleidoscope of colour. He looked as if he had been decorated with Quality Street wrappers all stitched together by Stevie Wonder.

As he got near, he waved at us in an enthusiastic way which had the effect of him partially losing control and bumping off into the overgrown area to one side.

But with the big smile still on his face, he hopped back on, chortled ’Ooops’ and pedalled off like a streak of psychedelic lightning.

The pair of ducks that sometimes patrolled that section of canal – Romeo and Juliet we christened them – had not been seen for some time, but there was Juliet with six fairly large, healthy looking ducklets.

She and Romeo it seemed, had consummated the partnership and found a safe haven away from the dark intentions of any cleaver brandishing Chinese chef looking to increase profits.

The luxuriant weed growth providing food for the carp, swayed seductively in the current and it’s a pity that the periodic dredging destroys this stuff, driving the fish away.

But it’s only temporary and here they are again, not that big by normal carp standards, but up to a kilo or two in weight if I’m any judge.

Yet more temptation for unscrupulous restaurateurs, fed up with the escalating price of merluza.

We exchanged pleasantries with other walkers and cyclists along the way, but there’s always one exception.

An athletic looking lady with muscles on her teeth and blond hair tied back resembling a plaited loaf, approached. Pumping two ski poles and staring purposefully ahead, she was a formidable sight.

With a glare that would have frozen lava and looking as if she wanted to singe off our hair before skewering us on her poles and spit roasting us, she charged on.

And all we had said was:‘Hi, lovely morning’.

All in all though, one of those days when everything seemed right with the world.

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