Around London in 80 days
In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.
Day 42: Canals
You only need to step out of the park to be transported into another London. A quiet, almost provincial one, a London of alternative lives, cyclists and canal boats. Take your time, have a proper look at those boats, they each have their own story to tell. This one’s a home, that one a bookshop, this one an improvised coffee shop and in that one, over there at the back, people sometimes meet to play jazz.
Every couple of weeks the boats have to move, shaking up this fragile local life. Then a sunny day comes and from deck to rooftop new neighbours get to talk, new neighbourhoods are formed.
You can walk along those canals for miles,all the way across the city. And when, exhausted, you get to the other side, look out for a bright red and yellow barge. If you’re lucky there’ll be a show on that night at the Puppet Theatre Barge.