18. Onward to Inlanding – 1989

Grand Union: 

This is the eighteenth in an occasional series of postings which should, over time, record the major ‘inlanding’ trips I’ve taken in the years since 1989. The archive of trips can be accessed via the Inlanding – Trip Reports tab at the top of the page.

Day 18. Kensal Green to Little Venice 

1 miles – 0 locks – 1 hour

And, this is where the last step of my journey  starts. Little Venice will be the last mooring before I take ‘Lily ‘ down to Islington to what will be our new ‘home by the tunnel’. I’m nervous, suddenly the whole venture seems nievely ill-planned. I’ve not researched the realities of living above City Road Lock at all – What was I thinking??? Is a new life, relocated from country to city really possible – or even what I want?

After a slow-paced, three week journey south, I’ve arrive. But, just now I don’t want to arrive at all. I’ve become used to travelling. I find travelling reassuring. It fills the days. It blocks out the doubts. I don’t want to stop. I don’t want the responsibility of stopping and the responsibility of then beginning a new life here in London.

It’s a gorgeous, golden summer-in-the-city afternoon. Friends arrive. We drink champagne, and splash a little bubbly on the bow.

I’ve dropped  my camera in the cut! Forget the camera, it’s the roll of photographs sinking into oily water that’s the real loss. I’m grief-stricken and a little drunk.

Perhaps I’ll stay in LIttle Venice for a few days? Perhaps I’ll be a tourist? Perhaps I’ll be the small town boy I actually am? I’ll walk about a bit, take the city air. I’ll have a think about what’s happened these last few weeks and how hugely life has changed.

Friends reassure me that I’ve made a positive, exciting and yes, a life-changing decision. And, you know what? After so many locks, so many miles, so much time spent alone reflecting on the way of things – I reckon they may just be right!

(above) The approach to last night’s mooring at Kensal Green, the gasometers marking the location of both mooring and Sainsbury’s

(above) The cemetery at Kensal Green

(above) the canal cutting through new developments…

(above) the gallery and puppet barge moored in the ‘lagoon’ at Little Venice

(above) moored boats, Little Venice

(above) looking back towards the lagoon, the Warwick Avenue moorings ahead of Maida Hill tunnel

(above) similar location…

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