Approaching Leicester


Here are further images of the journey through England’s midland waterways taken by me walking alongside Sam and James in Pacific Pete in July 2003.

This stone stork beside the Cherwell section of the Oxford Canal seemed amused by the attempts of their mother to draw her offspring away from him.

Small bridges, narrow locks  and a few narrowboats on this section required careful negotiation by the rower. Navigator James looked quite thoughtful in the third picture.

The River Soar for part of the Oxford Union Canal stretch. The towpaths here were better tended than some. Willowherb thrived in the brickwork of this bridge.

Dragonflies mated; waterlilies bloomed; and a stone wall provided a backdrop for wild flowers.

An art group concentrated hard on a lock as we approached Leicester.

Nearing the city of my birth, we passed a derelict graffiti-bedaubed factory,

Leaf on waterweed

outside which a leaf lay on a bed of water weed.

Soon Pacific Pete was gliding through the city.


Fast forward to today, and we have a supermoon,

heralding in Jackie’s classic cottage pie served with perfect cabbage, broccoli, and carrots, with which she drank Hoegaarden whilst I drank more of the Chateauneuf.




  1. Wonderful shots, as always–from then to the super moon. I saw it here early in the morning.
    I particularly like the shots of the boat around the bridge and the way the light plays on the water, and the scenes are reflected there.

  2. I’m fully fascinated by the art of maneuvering through locks – it’s such a skill! We have a tropical storm currently passing over – it blocked the super-moon from sight but on the plus side made extinguishing a wildfire that had flared up in the heat and dryness (and had caused evacuation of 50 homes) quicker than expected. And it is significantly cooler! 🙂

  3. Wonderful photos. You know, I looked a the photos first, then went back to read the post. I thought it was a real stork until, I read it was of stone. Ugh my vision. Have a good one Derrick

  4. An amazing foot slog on your part. Makes all that rowing look the easy part. We needed to stay up till midnight to see our super moon eclipse, but since we were still tired and the skies cloudy, we did not make it.

  5. I spent a Summer semester studying Creative Writing at Oxford and also many afternoons punting. It is not as easy as it looks! But is great exercise. Beautiful photos! I like the stork and ducks:) Wasn’t that a SUPER moon!

  6. I am quite enjoying the pilgrimage of Pacific Pete, what with colourful bursts of images as a parallel story. Even I have started feeling nostalgic about the trip, talk of empathy!

  7. I especially like the photo of the Willowherb growing out of the bricks in the bridge with the curved underbelly. And the dragonflies mating…. Your photos are so full of life.

  8. Your pictures are really fantastic, love those Canals and Bridges, the whole scenario captured in the pictures really is a reflection of times of long ago, the brickwork must have been done back in the 1800’s if not earlier.

  9. Interesting series of photos – I’d be interested to see how things look now. I don’t suppose you fancy going back and taking a set of pictures as things are now?

  10. Leicester, you say. I grew up in Worcester (English name) in the state of Massachusetts (Native American name) and we were surrounded by a plethora of towns with English names, Leicester being one of them. And, yes, those canal locks were very narrow.

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