ADRIFT

Canal Boat - - News -

The au­thor of this month’s sec­ond book also lives afloat, but there the sim­i­lar­ity ends. Subti­tled ‘A secret life of Lon­don’s wa­ter­ways’, this is an ex­plo­ration of the cap­i­tal’s canals and rivers from the point of view of a live­aboard. The prac­ti­cal­i­ties of liv­ing afloat in win­ter; in­ves­ti­ga­tions of the re­mains of long-lost canals such as the Croy­don and the Kensington; forth­right opin­ions on the treat­ment of East Lon­don’s wa­ter­ways by the Olympic work (she re­sents the “cor­po­rate feel” which has re­placed a “glo­ri­ously wild” re­gion); the Lon­don boating com­mu­nity; and the flora and fauna of the canals are all linked to­gether by the au­thor’s cap­ti­vat­ing de­scrip­tive prose – and by the trav­els of nar­row­boat Pike.

Adrift, He­len Babbs, Icon, icon­books.com, £8.99, 978-1-78578-

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