Thursday, January 28, 2010

Narrow Boats on London's Regent's Canal


I am not being a good friend right now. With print & book deadines, blogging, website design, attic clearing, Posetta Baddog wrangling, sister prodding, 250 emails & comments on a gd day, and all the fallout from my parent's re-enactment of The War of the Roses (the movie not the battle), I am all over the place. (But mainly in the depths of the country, which does not aid a social life.) I have so many unanswered emails & Facebook messages, and missed invitations that I am surprised anyone still talks to me.

Last Saturday I was determined to see people who were falling through the net. I started with an early breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien in South End Green with B, a lovely friend I met in the early days of the blog, who runs her own successful fashion empirewith grace and style.

Then I had some maternity clothes I found in the attic to drop off for one of my oldest London friends, fabulous Flora, newly married, pregnant with her first child, and living ( & blogging) on a narrow boat on the Regent's Canal in Islington. (I went through a stage of buying Topshop Maternity empire line frocks as they were the only things into which I could shovel my bosom.)


A talented actress & musician, she has an album out at the moment, but the thing I really admire her for is living on the canal in the winter, with just a wood-burning stove and hugs to keep her warm. But the trade off for having to wee in a bucket (chemical loos fill up too quickly otherwise) and shower in a shoebox is having ducks swimming under your bedroom window, herons perching on the stern and the knowledge that you are successfully combining country & town. (They are just minutes from the vast King's Cross railway station.)


*The Regent's Canal runs from the Paddington arm of the Grand Union Canal, just north-west of the Paddington Basin, in West London, to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames right over in the East End. I used to bike along the towpath from Camden Lock to Miss P's old flat in Shoreditch, one of my favourite things to do in the summer in London.