appledore – canal – sheep and sky

December 7, 2010

Driving out of Appledore in the late afternoon along the narrow road that follows the line of The Royal Military Canal, I was taken with the sky. It was quite something. The sheep, of course, are just glad to get stuck into the newly washed grass that’s been hidden under thick snow for at least a week.   The canal follows the line of the old cliffs when this land was connected to the sea. Now it forms part of Romney Marsh. 28 miles in length and 5 years to construct with the main purpose of keeping Napoleon at bay but also to control smuggling in the area.

My grandmother used to sing this to me a long time ago and her great-grandmother probably sung it to her. She also banged Bobby Shafto out on the upright piano. Now I realise they are both sea shantys. I’ll stop now as slightly drifting off the point!

Bobby Shafto’s gone to sea,
Silver buckles at his knee;
He’ll come back and marry me,
Bonny Bobby Shafto!
Bobby Shafto’s bright and fair,
Panning out his yellow hair;
He’s my love for evermore,
Bonny Bobby Shafto![1

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