Tuesday, 23 February 2010


It’s been a bit quiet just lately – well, it’s that time of year I suppose. We did wrap up well a week or so ago and drove over to Stoke Buerne to look at the canal. Even at this time of the year people were messing about in boats.

One such character at the tiller of a barge offered shouted remarks, ostensibly to his slightly embarrassed wife but in truth, for the benefit of us assembled spectators. She was opening the lock gates to let the boat through. As the doors came open to allow the craft through he bellowed in his best Brian Blessed style “Light, I see light!” I think his wife had probably seen the “light” well before but she loyally put her back to the door and bit her lip. As she heaved on the huge timber gate she surveyed the two dozen or so of us spectators and in a long suffering voice informed us “He’s always like this when he’s got an audience.”

We followed the towpath for a few hundred yards until it ended abruptly at the gaping black maw of Blissworth Tunnel. It was cold and damp and we could hear the receding, echoing voices of the folk on a barge which had just been swallowed up in the darkness of the tunnel.

I turned to wife and remarked that the place had a certain spookiness about it. It was only later that I discovered that the tunnel was a very well known “haunt” of various paranormal entities.

Up to Birmingham today to have a look at the Caravan & Boat Show. Not as good as last year. There were fewer exhibitors and fewer punters as well. Found a decent looking sort of craft which I fancied so we bought it.

However, I have never been one for taking unnecessary risks so we went back ten minutes later and ordered a second one just in case the first one breaks down :)

Have you ever tried to write a story? I find that trying to write creatively is like constipation – I know it’s inside me but getting it out is agony. So I am quite pleased that after a lot of effort I have managed to squeeze out the first chapter of my first story. Read it  if you will and pity my pain!

Being Little – Chapter One

The gathering gloom of dusk descended over the trees but some light still remained. A small human-like figure stood on a tree stump at the side of the track that wound its way through the darkening wood. Patiently he waited. From the ground the smell of rotten wood and mould rose on the cold dank air. It seeped into him like an icy finger. He shivered; but he shivered even more in anticipation as the sound of a ghostly shriek drifted on the air over, and through, thickets of oak and beech.

Again, and nearer now this time, came the wail; a sound which caused the little creature great excitement. He jumped from one foot to the other and clutched himself tightly as another shriek (now closer still) quivered through the cold, misty air. He wrapped his cloak closer round his thin, shivering body and waited.

Straining, his eyes searched for a sign of the source of the noise. He did not have to wait long. His heart missed a beat as he caught a glimpse of silvery vapour wafting over the tops of distant trees. “She’s coming, she’s coming”, he whispered under his breath; he farted nervously and his bladder threatened mutiny.

There was no mistake now; something really was coming, something large and noisy. He could hear the barking chuff-chuff as it got nearer.

A beam from a powerful lamp sliced through the gloom and a loud shrill “shweeeeee” echoed over the woodland. The twigs and leaves at the distant bend in the track were suddenly and violently swept aside. The little creatures face lit up as the most beautifully illuminated showman’s engine this side of Isambards kingdom, burst into view.

The throbbing, straining monster resplendent in maroon and gold towed a matching romany vardo equally fantastically decorated. The driver of the engine, a young woman clad in wind tossed flowing silk, brought the pumping, panting, shunting, hissing machine to a shuddering halt beside the tree stump and hollered loudly and plumily, “ Caccus m’duck – get up here and give us a kiss”

Almost unable to contain his excitement Caccus farted again….noisily, “nearly a trouser event there” he thought. His two inch tall body, big for a Nan, rose on a small cloud of glowing pink plasma to land fragrantly on the palm of the womans hand. She planted a warm kiss on his cheek and the little Nan blushed furiously. “Look at you”, she teased, “the glow from the firebox is making your face red”. His heart raced for her and her kindness at saving his embarrassment. Her nose wrinkled though as she caught his whiff and she wondered, not for the first time, how such a charming little fellow got to smell like a flatulent ferret.

She looked fondly at the little chap and he lowered his gaze shyly.” Now then you little bugger, take me to your leader”. She laughed happily and he giggled excitedly as he squatted down beside her onto a folded potato sack. She opened the steam regulator on the giant Burrell Dreadnought 3211 and yanked on the whistle chain. The magnificent chugging monster lurched forward and away they went in a clatter of spinning steel and swirling swathes of steamy smoke “shreeeeee – eeeeeeeee – eeeeeeee!!!

© Grampy