Tales from the river bank and beyond

I’ve written before about Bugged, the mass-eavesdropping in the name of art project, designed to prompt flowerings of fiction from overheard snatches of conversation.

On Bugging day, I was afloat on the Kennet and Avon canal. So what did I overhear, and was I inspired? Much of the day was peaceful and lovely. We were making our way from Bath up to Bradford on Avon, through some lovely countryside. We saw plenty of wildlife, prompting this mini-fictional musing, Still.

But first, there was the Bath lock flight, and the associated social shenanigans.

Something I noticed on my trip, with no little sorrow, was that most boats are driven by men. Women, therefore, get the heavy work of shifting the lock gates around, while the men stand around on the boats criticising. HMS Bluestocking, naturally, was an equal-opportunities narrowboat, but during my turns on the locks, I noticed more than a little friction between couples.

An exchange on the Bath deep lock, where a very boat-proud chap yelled at his wife for letting someone else wind the paddles for her, too fast for his liking, inspired the following short story, They Mate For Life, Don’t They?

At the end of our holiday, the Gentleman Caller and I couldn’t settle back on dry land. We decided to have a final day out, before going back to work on Monday. We chose Rochester Castle, where I was convulsed by a little boy giving his dad the run-around, while the father tried in vain to bribe him to leave. So Rochester Castle, a foray into poetry is my final piece.

It was a fun project to take part in, and prompted a few pieces that I’d not have written otherwise. Why not go over to the Bugged website and see what others did with their overhearings?


1 Comment

Filed under Books

One response to “Tales from the river bank and beyond

  1. Lovely picture – nice story. I am slightly embarrassed to admit I eavesdrop all the time!

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