Monday, 29 June 2015

Light at the end of the tunnel and fish

Feeling quite lucky today, walking along the tow path back to my boat. 

This weekend we sailed from King’s Cross to this part of town, Angel of Islington, a nice part of town. To come out on this side of the canal however we had to drive through a long and treacherous tunnel, underground for what seemed like five hours to me riding on the back fending off the arse of the boat with a pole to stop it from scraping the sodden crumbling walls of the Islington tunnel; built over 200 years ago; lingering with the smell of stale sweat and the feeling of dead men. Crumbling walls, crumbling bones, cobwebs gliding over face and shoulders and my mind flying at the thought of getting stuck. There was light at the end of the tunnel - behind and up ahead - but there seemed little promise of making it through alive. Of course I’m being dramatic. My friends told me they enjoyed the ride afterwards. 

Today, sunny and mundane I stroll along the tow path back to my boat which we parked beside a small chug-a-long of a thing. There’s soulful American folk playing from within, the tinny twang of guitars drift through my cabin windows as I peek out to see a pretty lady with maroon-coloured hair painting her toe nails on deck. Summer has broken out in patches across the city. This part of town has rustic warehouse conversions, busy manic cafes that spill out on to the tow path and bespectacled clientele with vintage briefcases and art-student graces. People look rather beautiful here. There was a man who caught a monster of a fish when we arrived on the scene. I asked what kind of fish is it? He told me a carp. And the passers-by went up to have a look, to take a few photos. The two fishermen took a cool swig of their beers, looked pleased with themselves and let the big fat carp go. He splashed its face a few times with canal water before the carp looked lively enough, then the unfortunate grotesque aquatic creature flicked his tail and dove down in to the depths of the water to dissolve. 

Whilst in Orkney we were walking along a stretch of beach outside my grandparents’ home called Watersound. At the headland there’s a disused pier jutting out and there two kids, one with bright orange hair and the other with spiked white hair were playing. Being bored and shouting at the sea, mainly. When we threw rocks in to the sea the white-haired one copied us and got even bigger rocks until he held a minor-sized boulder and crashed it down in defiance in to the shallows roaring whilst throwing it. Feral kid. The other, who was hanging off the pier out of sight shouted back to his mate, I caught a fish! I caught a FISH! and they both scarpered and screeched through gritted teeth, excitement, anger and amazement.

Fish are exciting, apparently.