Today I had the pleasure of visting Arundel. I’ve always liked the name, it sounds vaguely Arthurian to me, and it is by a tidal river. Now it so happened that my chauffeur-cum-Long-Suffering-Husband took longer than he’d said and I had more time than expected.
So I day-dreamed. What else does a writer do?
I drank tea and watched a man explain how to use the motorboat they had hired to a rather wobbly family. He stroked the cover of the engine absentmindedly, like the flank of a familiar horse. ‘Oh ho,’ goes my imagination,’what if the riverboats were truly alive?’
Over a little while, the river changed course. The golden brown water went from wrinkled to smooth, turned ripply and headed the other way. The mat of weed I’d seen whooshing along towards Littlehampton with its cargo of a camellia blossom came back.
What other things might come back and forth? Things people had cast away. Things they wanted to get rid of. The thrower would have to be someone not familiar with the river – someone up to no good.
And as for the strange tunnel I saw heading into the hill, well, it was only a sense of trespassing that meant I stopped at just a photograph.
I didn’t even need to go to the castle. I found stories all over. If nothing else, my imagined tales kept me amused on a blustery changeable April day, but it may be that these thoughts are the seeds of a larger story. Ideas have a tendency to grow.
I believe imagination is our most valuable resource – and a bit of indulgence is always welcome.
Where does your fancy lead you?