Caught by the River

Wardrobe Up The River Orne

Dexter Petley | 5th July 2008


so much for the glorious then, the tragic dawns of the heath robinsons, where no contraption ever made will bag an underground tench, if that’s where they’ve gone, flushed down sherlock holmes’s plot-hole or in a wicker basket round the back of a polish deli. fewer tench under gordon brown, more bolt-riggers on permanent leave to remain. modern britain sucks like a poisson-chat when your tench end up on e-bay instead of in the fucking bay. at least our osterley heroes found survivors who look as if they’ve been eating each other till food parcels arrived on the 16th.

i launched the wardrobe myself last week, afloat up the gorge, the echo of goat bells and the slap of waves. no more shit-pit tossers on quads or bottle chucking scum-bags. just this:

set up camp under gnarled oaks and sunken houses, baited up the old road home and one beside the bush once at the end of madame birkin’s garden, 8 feet of post-war flood over it now.

rying the sausages when i lost the only carp of the trip, a scout patrolling the weeds, must’ve gone back and told the legion to stay put because i heard them all night feasting in their flood halls, their revel magnified by the sheer escarpments, you could even hear their squawking gills like hot air balloons adjusting ballast. 4 am they moved away, burning the village behind them. in the morning the boat was chin up on mud where the sluices on the dam had generated the microwaved coffee for the haymakers and milkers. second night i ferried over the other side and the bream came, hoardes of pillage and slime, underwater forest of waving tails, stripping the mud of bait and tripping the buzzer lights all night till they’d made mincemeat and gone with the coffee drop. loaded the boat and headed back to the land of bolt-rigs.

it’s the only way to fish narnia:

the line, the hitch and the wardrobe on the birdtable