Wishing for a Calatrava

The battery of The Tank spluttered and coughed it’s last.

The AA man arrived, checked it’s pulse, then pronounced it well and truly dead.  He did, however, toss a few chicken bones and cast a few spells which allowed it’s temporary resurrection, enough to make it as far as my friend John’s garage near the canal bank in Falkirk.  FD and I abandoned the The Tank outside the workshop and headed off for a one hour amble along the final few hundred metres of the Forth and Clyde Canal, just before it outfalls into the River Carron near Grangemouth.

The Fatog was unimpressed by the noisy industry and traffic in this part of  the world but perked up once she reached the wide canal towpath.

This is not the most scenic part of the canal, this being Falkirk’s industrial heartland.

Sadly the building of this bridge was considered by the Falkirk Council publicity machine as one of our major achievements of that year.  We didn’t agree as I recall but they demanded each department put forward something.   I think it demonstrates the available budget for prestigious feats of engineering in the Falkirk area, if nothing else.  Sorry Stephen…but it ain’t a Calatrava.  It’s the functional best that can be done for the available funds which means that the most “artistic” thing about it is the graffiti.  Maybe now that Falkirk can attract such world class acts as Elton John (who will be sinking singing approximately 500m from here) we can persuade Santiago (Calatrava) to deliver us a proper looking bridge!  I await in expectation of a philanthropic benefactor and the appearance of penguins in Hell.

The Fatdog appeared massively underwhelmed.

However the local sewerage works shone magnificently against the snow covered, Old Red Sandstone backdrop of the Ochil Hills.

Things perked up a couple of hundred metres further on where the canal took a sharp left turn and headed for the little marina that marks its end.

Seabirds congregated on a little floating jetty, eyeing the passing Fatdog with great suspicion.

And near the tiny marina we discovered the pride of the Falkirk Council fleet, used for welcoming foreign dignitaries to our muddy and litter-strewn shores.

I saw a promising shot in the making…

…with the zoom turned up the wee Fuji did its impressive trick of hauling the hills towards the foreground – making this little haven next to the M9 motorway appear almost idyllic.  And they say the camera never lies…nobody told that to the wee Fuji!