Tuesday, 17 November 2015


Well this week's theme is 'canals', and you will already guess by my previous blog on 'locks' that I like the waterways.

When I lived in Oxford we had a boat on the river and the level for boating is controlled by 'cuts' , built like canals to include locks...hence allowing the river to follow a natural course. Often walks take me along canals...my most recent being when I walked the towpath alongside the Preston/Lancaster canal, following the " Lancashire Crumbly Cheese Way". Nowadays canals offer an excellent opportunity for quiet strolls in secluded avenues of wildlife. Whereas in times past they were the bustling highways that linked cities, villages, sea and  rural communities. I have been watching the excellent TV series about canal journeys - not only in this country...and really enjoying it! Of course I admire all early engineering work. I am fascinated by canals, bridges, aqueducts, reservoirs, tunnels, railways,buildings, walls...anything that Man achieved using his hands and basic tools- - and I often wonder if they realised that their achievements would last so long.

   Today's photo is of the Preston/Lancaster Canal near Garstang.

                 THE BARGEE'S HORSE

How I long to kick my heels up and frolic in the field.
How I long to scratch my back upon the rough ,green grass.
How I long to stretch my neck to reach a tasty tree.
How I long.......

But I must toil in yoke and rope to pull this barge from town to town.
At end of day I'm tethered still -
Such is my lot.

My master, though, is kind and places sacks across my back to keep me dry.
He rubs me down before he, himself sits down to eat.

How I long, though, to run in a meadow.
Feel the soft grass beneath my hooves.
Rest in a stable with others of my kind.
How I long....

But I must toil in heat and chill.
Taking goods from here to there.
A walking engine I am,
From dawn to break of day.

Kath Curtiss