14 May 2008

Whither Jim?

We have five fairly narrow dogs but the narrow dog of the moment is Jim. Jim, of course, is the cowardly, pork scratching scrunching but rather fine whippet owned by intrepid (unhinged surely? Ed.) pensioners Terry and Monica Darlington. Jim has been the Darlingtons’ unwilling companion on their two epic, ‘bugger old age’ boating adventures chronicled in the marvellous Narrow Dog to Carcassonne and latterly Narrow Dog to Indian River.

Having finished Indian River recently (and if it’s whippet action you’re after, then start with Carcassonne as he steals the book, lock, stock and boathook), I got to wondering whether the narrow dog would sail again. Then I read an article in Canals & Rivers magazine in which Terry intimated that there may well be another lunatic adventure in the offing, but not for another year. But I’m worried – will the Ds be upping the stakes again in terms of derring-do? The Intracoastal Waterway seemed hairy enough but will they be pushing the narrowboat envelope even further next time?

Half of me is quietly wailing, Cassandra-like, about hubris and nemesis and half of me is selfishly urging Terry to turn his wit, erudition and bonkers punctuation to a British canal travelogue. It’s not the scary adventures that make the Narrow Dog books so enjoyable and memorable, it’s the Ds take on life and their admirable dedication to not going ‘quietly into that dark night’. I think Narrow Dog to Little Venice would be an admirable bookend to Tom Rolt’s Narrowboat, seminal works for their respective centuries.

NB. Strictly speaking, it should be Narrow Dogs from now on, as the lovely Jess has joined Jim in his basket. Still a few to go before they catch up, mind.


Martin said...

Hello Greygal,

I'm pleased that the GB mention has spurred you to write again, I very much like your style :)

Dogsontour by Greygal said...


You are too kind. I will endeavour to maintain the drivel for more than a week this time.