I didn’t take my advice and I decided to take a walk along the canal at night in pitch darkness. I wanted to see how I would react to the perception of danger. The narrow towpath and the lack of illumination did nothing to alleviate my nerves. There was a man standing in the darkness smoking a cigarette under the railway bridge. I did not see him until I was 5 metres away. The only thing visible was the going embers of his cigarette. You’re heart beat rises, is he going to jump out at me? The occasional passer by hastily went by as if thinking exactly the same as me: “I need to get out of here”. The canal by night is certainly not the safest place by night.
The diagram above shows the mapping my heart beat at various points walking along the canal. The fastest rate was under the Curzon street railway bridge, a long and curving tunnel with little light when I passed the man with the cigarette.