Up the Audlem flight in reverse wearing only y-fronts and a foil hat. This is a tale of the insanity arising from weeks and weeks of dreary cabin-fever, too many emails from CaRT, and an interwebnet full of the most horrible news.
It’s about a quarter or so of the usual length, and aside from the canal, the storms (Ciara, Dennis, and Jorge), and – tragically – the pandemic-in-progress, is fiction.
For anyone with a British School System reading age of sixteen or higher it ought to take no more than a year to read, provided that a finger is run along the lines of text and the lips are allowed to mumble.
The humour, if any humour there be (and it is moot), is dark and unsubtle.
There is mild swearing and an awful lot of disrespect for “authority”. Other than simple mention of the pandemic there is no gore, and the limited violence is on the level of Tom & Jerry. It is a bit rude in places, although never explicit.
This is not a sophisticated story with any great philosophical argument to impart. The best that the author can hope for is that you recognise some of yourself in among the jumble – and that you are spared by the very, very serious virus (because I have other books that I’d like to sell to you, too).
Click on the image below and read the free sample while the world lasts.
Then click on the “Feed a starving writer” button and buy it.
Hopefully, Amazon will lead you to your “home” Amazon website.
I do have to say that the wind is back and as I type it is, once again, lashing down with rainy-pops. Ruddy weather.
If you’ve ever cruised the Shropshire Union in the Calveley – Audlem area you may think that you recognise some of the landmarks mentioned along the way. The canal is real, the storms were real, the pandemic is, utterly tragically, quite real (and at time of publication possibly yet to do its worst by far), but the people, businesses, boats and organisations are all quite fictitious, merely fanciful items fly-tipped in the author’s brain. Any and all similarities to any persons living, dead or in nominal charge of a non-profit NGO are purely incidental and are all their own fault, not mine.
Living on a narrowboat on England’s canals is a phenomenally enjoyable way of life. Tucked up in your bunk at night with a steaming mug of rum and a torrid paperback on your e-reader, feeling the boat rock, the wind howl and the dog barking outside because you have forgotten to let him back in can be pleasingly atmospheric. Winters can be frosty and white and sprinkled with plump red robins in green holly hedges. Winter of 2019-2020 was mud-brown. It was windy, it was wet. February 2020 was the wettest February on record, ever. Entire locks were washed away, floods brought havoc on horseback and, which is worse, for weeks it just wasn’t possible to get out for a good frolic and gambol. Then, hotfoot on the heels of three wild storms in quick succession, came the dire news of a possible pandemic and of many infections and deaths. I do not in any way belittle or disrespect the seriousness of that, and my heart goes out to all affected (which may be All of us by the end).
However, I wasn’t exactly grounded in staid and solid sanity to begin with, so it’s no wonder that I then went for a quick aerial jaunt over the cuckoo’s favourite crow’s nest.
At time of publication I am back on the boat, sans canvas jacket and surrounded by more multi-packs of toilet roll than you could shake a small stick at. No idea why, I don’t even know how to use toilet roll.
Gibber along with me if you will on this slippery, feverish, politically-incorrect slope.