Adrift: A Secret Life of London's Waterways by Helen Babbs

By Helen Babbs

From deep iciness to overdue autumn, from east to west, Adrift takes the reader on a travel of the folks, politics, background and flora and fauna of London’s canals and rivers. mixing nature writing, social remark and memoir, Helen Babbs invitations you on an eye-opening trip right into a assorted aspect of town. From Walthamstow Marsh within the east to Uxbridge within the west, Helen Babbs trips alongside London’s waterways on a canal boat known as Pike, placing down roots for 2 weeks at a time sooner than relocating on. Taking within the River Lea and the Lee Navigation, the Regent’s Canal and the Grand Union, she explores the London panorama in all its guises: marshland, desert, urban centre and suburb. Adrift charts a 12 months of Helen’s existence on Pike, exploring the adjustments wreaked via the seasons in addition to via builders, and recounting the sensible trials of dwelling aboard. it's a tale of mapping and discovery, of get away and opting out, but additionally of creating connections and discovering domestic. simply because the coots and cormorants avert the detritus of a giant urban, so too does Helen wend during the good looks and the airborne dirt and dust to bare an intimate and weird portrait of London and of existence.

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Extra resources for Adrift: A Secret Life of London's Waterways

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62–63 SOMERSET LEVELS REGENT’S PARK LANGPORT, SOMERSET LONDON [SE] Head for Swell Wood in the West Sedgemoor RSPB reserve to see not only nesting herons but also dainty little egrets; look down to see primroses and other early flowers. 54–55 Reed warblers, mistle thrushes, and pied wagtails chatter in the trees in spring, while around 20 herons can be seen nesting by the boating lake. 54–55 BLACKTOFT SANDS NORTHWARD HILL HUMBERSIDE [N] HOO, KENT [SE] Set off early – not only are there water birds to be seen, but the dawn chorus here is rightly famous: reed and sedge warblers, reed buntings, and bearded tits all greet the new day.

172–173). [W] The hills of the Lake District have provided habitat for rare fell herds for around 2,000 years. These stocky ponies are predominantly black, with full manes and tails, and “feathering” on the legs. [N] APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC 10/11/08 16:22:10 14/11/08 17:06:45 46 FEBRUAR FEBRUA RY THE HEART OF BROADLAND T HE NORFOLK BROADS ARE JUSTLY FAMOUS both for the beauty of their landscape, with their intricate system of waterways graced by sailing boats, motor cruisers, and windmills, and their abundant wildlife.

You need to apply for permits to access the better, northern half of the reserve; otherwise take binoculars to the causeway. [M] SEP OCT NOV DEC 13/11/08 16:22:03 14/11/08 11:55:04 40 FEBRUARY Y WINTER STARLING ROOSTS S OME WILDLIFE EXPERIENCES ARE SO EXTRAORDINARY that they defy comprehension. A broad swathe of wild flowers may dazzle the eye, or the leap of a migrating salmon make your heart skip a beat, but you can understand why or how these things arise. The aerial ballet of starlings going to roost is of a quite different order.

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