It's not good when I think, "Crumbs, is it only day 4!". So you may already suspect that it hasn't been a cheery day for me. The truth is, that today's walk was a bit of a trudge - head down in the rain with few people out and about.
In wet weather I share the towpath with joggers isolated in their Ipod worlds and the odd (one or two odd, not odd odd) angler, who mostly resolutely stare at the canal, refusing to catch my eye as I glide past, considerately, not wishing to frighten off the fish. "Is it 'cos Ize a backpacker?" I wonder. Or is it their fear perhaps that if they look up to say "Ow do?", (or preferbly a greeting with the letter "u" in it - I like the Lancashire accent) the waiting fish will seize the moment, nick the bait and leg it (or should that be fin it?).
I just checked that; swung head sideways and upward, saying "Ow do?" with the head returning to face make-believe water before completing the word "do". Takes less than a second I reckon. It's just possible to carry out the same exercise but swivelling the eyes, straining at the sockets, to keep watching the water. Hurts a bit though. Looks weird too.
Listening to Blackburn Cathedral bells (as I circle the building, searching but failing to find a good spot to take a photo) lifts my spirits for a while but they sink again slightly when wandering around another familiar-looking town centre, all mall and no soul (searching and failing to find a good pub or restaurant).
What chance the next two days - Chorley then Wigan. I can deal with the rain so fingers crossed for a friendly pint, a hearty meal and quality accommodation.
Image: Entrance, Blackburn Cathedral.