Copyright Al Forbes
When was the last time she walked along the towpath? Six months ago? Maybe seven?
Strangely fitting that the destruction at her feet – the mud, the gravel, the lengths of pipe and wooden planks – reflects how her own life has been taken apart.
She smiles at the ugly surface, the rutted soil where a clean, compacted walkway used to be. The rushes and irises, the rose bay willow herb and arcs of bramble are gone, no doubt composted or tossed into landfill.
Other people might seen an eyesore, a sweet idyll destroyed, but not her – she sees a work in progress.
One day the irises will return, the rushes too and with them bees and butterflies and water voles. The canal will come alive again.
She holds a word on her tongue, tough as gravel, sweet as clover.