Despite all the prevailing sadness, the retrogade policies pursued in too many member States, I’m still gunning – and running – for Europe.
It was an honour and a pleasure to raise nearly £4000 for The Inland Waterways Association by running the London Marathon in 2016. The objective in 2017 is the Paris Marathon, for children needing heart operations (Relais du Cœur). Please visit the Sponsorship page.
But as president of Inland Waterways International I also want to support inland waterways in my home country France, the rest of Europe and throughout the world. The waterway network is Europe’s common heritage, for transporting goods, boating or running or cycling beside them! And that’s what I plan to do.
Running the length of Scotland’s Crinan Canal starting at Ardrishaig sea lock before the World Canals Conference in Inverness gave me another idea: running or (more often) cycling along all 8500km of waterways in France over the next 2-3 years.
This photo is the Canal de la Robine (La Nouvelle branch of the Canal du Midi). I cycled that in 1988 during a survey of the whole canal ‘des Deux Mers’ from Sète to Langon. It will be interesting to do the same and record what’s changed in 30 years.
A mural painting beside the Canal de Roubaix proclaims ‘We respect our canal’. That’s what it’s all about: restoring, maintaining and using our canals. Here there was to be an express road; almost at the last minute, in the late 1980s, the threat was averted, then a long campaign began to restore the canal through this industrial town in decline. A complete turn-round has been achieved, and the canal is the pride of the town, of greater Lille and its population.