Monday, 23 March 2009

Belle's Blog - Puzzling on the Picturesque

Captain Ahab’s Word for the Day: ‘The Caldon canal is reputedly the most picturesque in England.’

And very pretty it is too. The lack of rain helps, as does the occasional glimmer of sunshine. But what puzzles me most is that every trip we undertake reputedly takes in the most picturesque canal in England. At Easter, the Llangollen canal held this title. Last year it was the Peak Forest. Another time it belonged to the Kennet & Avon. This year it was the reason we were heading to Stratford. Before long I anticipate the whole of the BCN will have this honour bestowed upon them. But then again, maybe not. Regeneration has come along way since Captain Ahab’s days as a Cabin Boy when dead dogs were found floating in Gas Street Basin but picturesque may be stretching things too far even for him. Perhaps it’s a title that should be awarded annually, a bit like Britain in Bloom? Interesting concept. But possibly misses the point. I suspect that this award belongs firmly in the head of Captain Ahab and is his attempt at luring me back for yet another week as galley slave and ornamental figurehead aboard the Wand’ring Bark. Well I’m onto him. There’s no fooling me. Besides as temptations go, it’s fundamentally flawed. It rests on the assumption that I can differentiate between different stretches of canal. This I can do only up to a point. I notice when we’re going through stretches of dismal urban deprivation and decay. I notice when there are trees and bits of green stuff. That I notice the difference is largely because in the dismal places we get rocks hurled at us. And that makes me look up from my books. If it’s really bad I even lose my place. As for the other bits, to be honest, they all look much the same. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate them. I do. They’re lovely. If the sun is shining they mean I can read outside, all day, and sit at the pointy end in true figurehead fashion. See? I know my place.

4 comments:

English Blogger said...

I really enjoyed the Caldon last year, and it was our first ever long trip...crikey where do we go next if we have already done the prettiest?

Captain Ahab said...

Ah Mr EB, the prettiest is always the next one..... The Shroppie wont let you down.

English Blogger said...

Your a definite Canal Salesman are your not Captain. I am really looking forward to the 4 counties ring. Just added some pictures from today.

Captain Ahab said...

Good oh Mr EB - I was hoping for some photo's of your bottom!