It's warm this afternoon - ten degrees in the sun. Today the river is low and murmurs gently over the rapids but, during the floods, in sterner mood, it re-cut its silty bank. At the foot of this low cliff a small wedge of a beach of cobbles and pebbles of sandstone has developed.
Loose columns of Winter Gnats dance by the edge of the path in the afternoon sun.
Small blue flowers dot the Speedwell. Five Wood Pigeons, as grey as wood smoke, fly up into the oaks.
A Great Tit calls from the thorns like a 'bullet from a bell' (as they said of Bix Biderbeck). A Blue Tit fluffs itself up like a soufflé
Three Jays fly over the canal at power line height, one after the other. A flash of colour and, like a butterfly, they have a rather stiffish manner of flapping their wings.
Two cyclists say 'Cheers!' as I stand aside to let them past along the towpath. They leave behind them a sweet-smelling scent trail of WD40; 'a miracle in a can'.
As I leave the canal there's a flypast by a few Long-tailed Tits. Their call would be more like 'a ping-pong ball from a door-chime'.
CultureAn e-mail arrives asking, in the context of local arts, what 'culture' means to me. This is what came to mind;
The word culture has an archaeological ring for me. What if a 'Time Team' of the future dug down through the strata of the early 21st century? I reckon that in West Yorkshire they'd hit a thick layer of discarded tyres. After the Mesolithic People and the Beaker Folk we'd be the 'Tyred Culture', or even the 'Over-tyred Culture'.