Caught by the River

Letters From Arcadia

John Andrews | 18th August 2008


Whilst you were being a la carted off to the stocks for the crime of poaching a forty one pound porker a brigade of backwoodsmen from the old country were brewing up the biggest riot since the hayrickers went off a few centuries ago. All the parts came together, a newly acquired Land Rover, the upstairs room of an unnamed pub, and within hours the plotters had created the first patent bait boat mine. A lethal concoction – half a hundred weight of parliament crumb immersed in a giant wooden barrel of summer ale and hidden in alder woods off the A287. Left to brew for a fortnight under a growing moon and on the fifteenth day dug up and loaded with a fuse made from patent pig nuts. Painted black with tar from the barman’s spit, numbered with a stencil from the stores and then swum into position by the brave heroes. Tethered to chains at the mouth of the Silverbeck in the dead of night using the snorkel map. Then at dawn one big boom makes bait boat bans obsolescent forever.

In the floating wreckage we fished and had a brace of doctors before tea.

The balloon was up, the wind was up and a shower of rain bought a promise of dusk. And then before we slunk away into the shadows a sergeant major for our troubles, three stripes for our shoulders and three cheers for our efforts.

God Bless Our Dear Dogs

God Bless the Partisans

On the Birdtable the eyes have it