Caught by the River

Letter From Arcadia

John Andrews | 27th September 2010

Salt Park


thanks for your pj o’rourke style reprise, your notes from hell’s french vacation. whilst you were having your high summer week of forties and fortitude, of boilies and being boiled, we were up in north norfolk searching the salt marsh creeks for bass and being swallowed up by big skies. the days spiked by sunset suppers of w.i. pies, pigeon and ale on shingle steeps and at long tables, friendships made and renewed, walks across ancient harbours, byways and waterways, chasing the surf as it retreated out across the north sea to nelson’s desert, salt park, a place to get lost. the big estuary of the east, the map marking the difference between land and sea torn up like last year’s spent auction slips, a cloak of night drives along fifty miles of coast road, through 2am moth storms and sudden frets, tearing up the back lanes of a landscape long gone to the sound of church bells silent, their peals stolen by the drowned. a week spent viewing england through the bottom of a looking glass, the landscape unfolding like a betjeman poem written on barbiturates, a vision of woodcuts and wrecked ships, cod holes and roadside stalls, bass chasing phone calls and car boot makeshift shopping malls. a week of glorious days that flew, washed down with black tea and buckshee wine.

a longing to get back there on the birdtable


We began publishing the correspondence between Dexter Petley and John Andrews back in May 2007 making Letter From Arcadia the longest running feature on Caught by the River. It’s made for a fascinating archive and you can go back to the very beginning by clicking HERE.