I had a spurt of doing submissions recently, and happily can now announce that my story Greenlanders is being read at Liars’ League on Tuesday 14th June – a transport themed evening in which I take up the baton for whaling ships and emigrant steamers. I can’t be there as I’m teaching in another part of town, and even the fastest bus on earth isn’t going to get me there in time, so if any friends, relations or enthusiasts want to go along and cheer vigorously, that would be gratifying!
I wrote the story as part of a workshop I was running at the Metropolitan Archive, writing to live music from Sarah Lloyd & Ian Kennedy, and having just looked at an exhibition of Victorian photographs of everyone from celebrities to ne’er-do-wells.
Another chance to catch a live story, this time in Bath, at Story Friday on 17th June – a busy week! The story is Midsummer Morris Marathon, fo their Solstice theme. This time I’m reading it myself, so the encouragement to friends in the area is even more forceful – you will be hearing from me!
This story is based on elements of fact – I have met those inexhaustible dancers, though not in Somerset, I have stood on that hill and seen that view – after that it’s entirely hokum, unless it isn’t of course…
At risk of sounding like a weekending townie, I love the Limpley Stoke Valley. I even love the name. My best girl, A, was born in Trowbridge and brought up in Bath and the surrounding area. Consequently I have native-by-proxy rights. Whenever A gets what she calls ‘roots problems’ we hie off to Bath or Avoncliff to stay with friends fortunate enough to live there.
There is something very close to perfection about walking before breakfast in receding mist on a frosty morning. The mud has the smallest suggestion of a frost crust, so that there is a faint crunch and rustle as we walk through the well trampled kissing gates alongside the river, and there is a rime like salt on the broad roots of the trees.
You can taste the air, and feel exactly how your lungs work with each breath.
the rich yellow of new branches on the willows... copyright Cherry Potts 2011
Add in woodland with a haze of new growth all ready to burst into leaf, but waiting still, the first catkins, and the rich yellow of new branches on the willows, by a river which has only reduced marginally from full spate; add in bird song, and the shanty town of all-year-round narrow boats on the sedate curve of the canal aqueduct, high above the river like a nineteenth century version of a flyover; add in almond croissant still warm from the oven in the community shop in Freshford… all right, I do sound like a weekending townie.