Blog

What makes geology so beautiful is that  it hides its riches in the vastness of both space and time.

Canals of the North

September, 2016

 

29/01/2016The water of the canals is different to other water.  It is the water of the industrial revolution. Like the serfs who tilled the fields and loaded the grass on to Constable’s haywain in the rolling hills of England to be then, after a millennia, usurped by the seed-drill, and evicted from the land. To drift towards the towns and make them cities to be turned into utility, black, corrupt and diseased. The water would begin its life in the Pennines where a soft rain would fall on the short-grassed hills, to trickle through the limestone’s clints and grikes, into subterranean cathedrals with quires and tall organ pipes before springing hopefully back into the light. And into the burns and streams, cascading through small words-worthy falls and into torrents to be slowed on the plains of Lancashire; where it was diverted into the navvy-cuts and tamed usefully through the dark towns and mines of the coalfields. It is a butchered nature, going through the motions of function. It is the bad water, kitten-drowning, rubbish filled soupy brown gruel by which the north has fed its ungodly machines and cholera.