Monday, 31 August 2009


This post was written in response to Totalfeckineejit's 7pm project - in a nutshell, write whatever comes into your head for five minutes at 7pm on a Monday and post it, no re-writing allowed. It is supposed to be a poem but I'm afraid on this occasion the following popped out instead:

I'm sat writing this in a car, in a thunderstorm, parked by a wall beside the river Rawthey - yards from the spot where, I'm sure, the opening of Basil Bunting's poem Briggflatts is set.

How did we get here? Early this morning we set out on an epic end-of-summer car journey. It was meant to take us to Lindisfarne, but the tide-times meant we'd be stuck there for five hours: great on a sunny day but today was predicted to be wet and windy.

Instead, we headed off to explore the South coast of Dumfries and Galloway. It didn't seem as exciting as it looked on the map, especially in fog and driving rain, so we turned round and headed to the Lake District. 3.30 found us in a coffee shop in Ambleside, by Windermere. We then took the car-ferry to the far side of the lake. I could not resist the temptation to carry on to Coniston, where we spent a reflective half hour by the water, listening to the rain on the roof. And then on - to where we are now. It's all been a lot more fun than it sounds.

And apologies to any readers from Dumfries and Galloway. It's probably a great part of the world and I'd like to go back and look around when it's not throwing it down!

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Totalfeckineejit said...

No cop out there Dom you did exactly what it asked on the TFE tin. Nice to get a bit of prose the only piece so far, though mine came close,ended up more of a beggng prayer than a poem, but still.Lovely stuff here ,Dominic and amazing how much can be written in just 5 mins.The photo is great too.Another challenge for next week if peole still have the will to live after this one!

Titus said...

Dumfries and Galloway dweller here. Aaaargh!
Good work for five minutes - prose takes me so much longer, initially.

The Solitary Walker said...

'...not as exciting as it looked on the map.' What an unconsciously brilliant put-down, Dominic! (Where is Dumfries & Galloway, anyway? Is it that brown, bare, hilly bit you glimpse on the left as you race on up to Glasgow from Carlisle?)

Just found it on the map. My God, it's huge! And, I agree, it looks quite exciting on paper.

NanU said...

Sounds like a great way to spend a day, even in if it did rain.

Niamh B said...

Love that, esp the last line... sounds lovely

Derrick said...

Hello Dominic,

Just calling in to see your contribution for last night (I wasn't taking part). I'm glad you found enjoyment amid the downpours! I haven't been to D&G myself but I'm sure it suffers from a bad press!

The Weaver of Grass said...

You obviously didn't go to The Machars - fantastic area with all kinds of historical bits; or the Mull of Galloway which is rather like a cow's tail in shape and pushes out into the sea; or Wigton, the book town where two women were tied to stakes in the marshes and left to drown for being covenanters; or the wonderful Threve castle where you have to row over the moat to get to the ruins - I won't go on but there is plenty more. Glad you enjoyed your day out in spite of the rain.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, everyone.

A word about Dumfries and Galloway. My comments were slightly undiplomatic as I was writing them against the clock! I still want to explore the place. It's just that sitting in a wind and rain lashed car on the shoreline of the Nith Estuary wiping the steam off the glass is enough to put anyone off. We would have headed North, into the Southern Uplands, but all there was there was - cloud. There was a really good scarecrow festival going on in a village (I forget the name) near Annan but it was too wet and windy to get out and take a closer look.

I'm still intrigued by D&G -I've always driven past it in the past on my way to the highlands- and intend to go back.

shug said...

I must tell you that I passed the tourist office in Drumsleet this afternoon and heard 2 burly men discussing a contract. Has it been taken out on you?

Having discovered you only went to Annan I am prepared, however, to speak up in your defence.

the watercats said...

Nice to meet you!.. This is a lovely thing, is it raining ALLL over the world or what!?
I love the calm, observation this creates, I could almost hear the rain on the roof too.. :-)

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments, shug and watercats.