Story Starter: Canoe

I mentioned once before the miraculous Story Starter fairy that seems to shadow my steps.

It’s almost the only way I can explain my extreme good fortune in chancing on sights like this when I’m out for one of my walks. A canoe on top of a car. I ask you.

Apart from “paddle your own canoe”, what does it make you think of? Given the recent weather, it’s probably something about being ready for anything!

The worst Nature can throw at you. Up the creek without a paddle. Have boat, will travel. Hello, British summer.

Is it one of those hobby-on-a-whim moments? A tick on someone’s bucket list?

A dare? A surprise gift being delivered. A surprise gift being consigned to the next dump run?

It’s made of wood, and I don’t know if you can see this but it has a name at the prow – if the front end of a canoe’s called that: Dundee Fisher. So that changes the image in my head to a lone angler standing in it, casting his line, fishing flies in his tweedy hat, ripples in the water….

But, and apologies if it’s your boat, but it’s not the most imaginative name, is it? It reflects a kind of, ‘it is what it is’ attitude. Down to earth. Plainspoken. An appreciation of the simple things. That’s in its classic unadorned design, too.

I wonder who named it? The owner? The donor? And is the fisher a he or a she? I’ve just realised I jumped to the assumption that the angler would be a man, but not necessarily.

And what’s inside that mysterious big black van?

As usual, I’ve listed a whole bunch of ideas off the top of my head, but I hope that when you give this one some attention, your thoughts take you in a completely unexpected direction. That’s where the real stories lie…..


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Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.