Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

What's the difference between Denham and Harefield

One left turn.

At a guess I'd say if I did have an ear thing, I could blame my walk on Sunday. But it was so nice I can't feel bad about it.

I seem to have set a course south down the Grand Union Canal. Having already walked the Watford to Rickmansworth stretch, I decided on Sunday to carry on to Denham. That part of the canal is so beautiful, the only remaining industrial use seems like an intrusion. At the end of Rickmansworth Aquadrome, I found myself checking out places I could moor my boat. There's one amazing spot, at the end of a bumpy field the canal gently turns through a small valley. There's not a building in sight, except for the one at the corner, which is an ancient ruined warehouse. The roof and upper floors are beyond derelict- all that's left not is just a single horizontal beam, standing five storeys high above the canal. There's a few boats, even quite a big one, but everything is just dwarfed by the building. I'd just love to live somewhere with that kind of drama. There's a humourous touch too- someone's hung a giant stuffed toy monkey from the top corner.

Further on there's a former mill, being turned into exclusive housing. But the mooring remains quite inclusive, and there is an access road and an amazing view.

Two miles on is the largest sewerage filtration plant in the home counties. The view is still pleasant, but less enjoyable when viewed through a tightly tied headscarf.

Finally I left the canal at the Carp Pub, and had lunch and wrote some more of my story. And then I took the wrong turn, missed Denham, ended up three miles down the road in the wrong direction, etc. And by some amazing chance got a bus home.


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