The Uneducated O.A.P

Autumnal Walk

Muddy boots splashing muddy puddles

Memory rewind of scalding mummy complaining muddy trousers

Collecting, crushing dispersing crinkly multicoloured leaves

Their grip released from summer lodgings

Same child, different times

Grassy banks, swan feathers, flora,trees, falling away over iron sided waters

Lily pad stems, fishes, zig zagging through spokes of a long submerged mud encased moped

Hopefully minus it's rider

Nature and mans stupidity conjoined in underwater art

Low October sun ricocheting through trees bouncing off still waters of Gloucester to Sharpness Canal

Blanketing the sad souls forever swimming the murky depths

Accidental and intentional

An image of future father in law, non swimmer, hanging from a boat

Frantically searching, and finding his drowning son

Bringing him to the surface, By his hair

Brightly painted narrowboat, Roses and Castles stained from the long burnt remnants of billowing smoke from a black hooded chimney

Bridgeman rests his steaming coffee, cheerfully waving the boat as he turns the iron handle, closing his newly white painted bridge for the final time of the season

He logs the boats name

Unsinkable 2










  • Lorna

    What happened to Unsinkable 1 - did it sink? I loved this jaunt to your canal... thank you. The moped in the water reminded me that the BBC has made canals many times over murder scenes but then they portray Oxford as a slaughter house as well and don't we have fun warching!

    • The Uneducated O.A.P

      Unsinkable 1 probably joined the Titanic, lol yep canals always popular with murderers, saves em digging holes! Oxford is defiantly a busy place, for all sorts of reasons! Beautiful City to use as a backdrop though.
      Thanks muchly for stopping by. Greatly appreciated.

    • dusk arising

      I really like this. How a familiar sight can evoke all those memories you give us snatches of here and on a stretch of water i'm a little familar with. My ex lives in one of those narrowboats along there. I used to live in gloucester and work by the canal just below gloucester docks. But wow has it all changed there over the last 20 years. My son lived right next to the canal opposite the timber yards along bristol rd. He's just moved out to the forest where he loves it.

      Funny story, coming home over the old swing bridge from watching the bore at stonebench we saw two old dears stood by the canal looking worried, we asked if they were OK,... "we're just waiting for the severn bore, we heard it's a good one today".... that's something of a memory of your canal which i shan't forget.

      Yes, I enjoyed reading your piece today for many reasons.

      • The Uneducated O.A.P

        Small world dusk, I tried to include more photos but the system wouldn't let me. Our business was in merchants Road, just a few steps from the lift bridge in Glos Docks and our narrowboat was often moored near that bridge. We were there for nearly 20 years.As you say, a lot has changed but in some ways not for the better.Its just another shopping centre now, once you've seen one you've seen them all. Still a beautiful place though, here and there and the canal is stunning, whatever the weather.
        Regular visitors to the forest, only about 20 minute drive from where we live, another lovely place, your sons a lucky lad.
        Thanks a lot for the read and comments.

      • Michael Edwards

        A super read - must visit our local locks - Foxton Locks (13 locks I seem to recall) - only a short drive away and a beautiful part of the world.

        • The Uneducated O.A.P

          If you like canals and beautiful scenery then Foxton Locks the place to be, the longest and steepest in the U.K. We called in last year, it rained, a lot, didnt spoil the enjoyment though.
          Thanks for reading, means a lot, when people comment.

        • orchidee

          Good write and pic Bill.

        • Neville

          This is super mate ... there's nothing quite like a slow meander on one of our canals, is there .. My folks used to live on one on the Trent n Mersey it was called 'The Nightjar' .. and featured once on the front of some posh magazine

          .... I just love your sense of fun and irony and nostalgia my friend .. plus your incredible eye for detail ....

          • The Uneducated O.A.P

            I've only been doing this wordy stuff since Christmas, takes me mind off things going on around my family and I, have tried all sorts from the ridiculous to the silly and bonkers, and the comments ( or lack of them) gives me some sort of direction that I should, perhaps be going. One thing I should do though is take a note book on my travels, ( hopefully soon ) and jot things down, cause this old sods brain does not store information
            Thanks for calling in for a read and the great comments
            Trent and Mersey added to our places to visit.

            • Neville

              No problem my friend, my pleasure entirely .... and write on ....

            • Romantic Bloom

              Beautifully said! Looks like a fun trip

              • The Uneducated O.A.P

                Yes, it is lovely around Gloucester, here and there.
                Thanks for calling in R.B, makes it all worthwhile.

              • Goldfinch60

                Fine words Bill, I have been to Gloucester Docks but not walked along the canal and I don't live far from Gloucester and my daughter used to live there until fairly recently.


                • The Uneducated O.A.P

                  It's a nice cycle ride of 3 miles from our house to the docks along the towpath, used to do it semi regular before lockdown, can't seem to get back into it since, muscles seems to have disappeared.
                  Thanks for the stopover.

                • Fay Slimm.

                  Seeing the clear and colourful picture brought back some memories Bill and your well detailed piece of writing makes the whole scene come alive. Many thanks for posting this verse that now goes into my favourites.

                  • The Uneducated O.A.P

                    Thanks Fay, for your words of encouragement, gives me some inspiration to keep plodding on and sort out the direction I want to take. And a fav too. Thank you very much.
                    Enjoy the day.

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