01 July 2009

park stories::1

You may have heard William Boyd on the radio this morning talking about the short stories set in the Royal Parks, written by him and others. I'm lucky enough to be working in Hyde Park for the next few months (this is very exciting fo) and this lunchtime I went to hear Adam Thorpe read his Hyde Park short story "Direct Hit" in the garden of Ranger's Lodge. It was a delight to sit under the trees having someone read you a story. I could have stayed there all afternoon.

I now have a copy of Direct Hit, signed by the author, to give away. It's a modest, but pretty little booklet and the story is very English. Uncharacteristically, I thought a competition was in order. All you have to do is write your own park story, mini-saga style, fifty words exactly if you can manage it but definitely no more than that. Post it on your own blog leaving a comment here with the link, or just post it in my comments box by 15th July. I'll find someone to judge.

Here is my park story from today.

Turning left, she walked past the sheep trough alongside the meadow, hugging the shade of the trees. It was late and she was unsure of the path, but people passing by were not speaking her language. Then, at last, she saw the sign, a gate, a staircase. The Central Line.



13 comments:

kristina said...

I'd be hopeless writing a story myself, but I'm definitely going to follow up on all the links, as it all sounds just up my alley. And definitely want to hear more about working in Hyde Park! How intriguing. K x

colleen said...

Kristina
Of course you can write a 50 word story. I know it...

60 Going On 16 said...

How exciting for you - and thank you for the links.

When I lived in London, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens were my second home. We lived just across the road when my daughter was young and were there almost daily. Years later, we would walk our three dogs there every morning, until my dogs and I moved to Exmoor in 1998. And tonight, my daughter will be back again, with her husband, both for the Blur concert and to place a small stone in Buckhill (Kensington Gardens) in memory of her own dog, who died earlier this week.

London's parks have a history, a character and a magic all of their own. There is nowhere quite like them.

Anna said...

I'll think of one and get back to you!

David said...

The park of my youth was empty on the day my father had died. The swings friendless, like me. All alone now. A misty November morning, soft focussed, as shambling with tears in my eyes I sang with Barbra in my head, “… the way we were”.

Paul said...

OK, I'm not sure if this qualifies as a mini-saga as it I think it sort of drifted into prose (probably just doggerel) but here goes.

The park bench overlooks an ancient river now retired and without purpose. In the shadows a boy chases a football watched by his mother. The boy, now a man, rises repeating the scene with his own giggling daughter. He feels the presence of the parks ghosts and they comfort him.

j said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate said...

Love this -- I'll definitely write one up - let me have a think . . .

Anonymous said...

My park story:

Children lined up to cross the street, back to school. The line was more loosely formed as it twisted away from the teacher. Children, straggling, wandered again onto the grass, running together in little circles and returned to their places, looking back at the wide green and the waving trees.

Colleen what does fo mean? "(this is very exciting fo)"


--Jackie

60 Going On 16 said...

Nearly missed your deadline, Colleen. Have posted my park story here: http://60goingon16.typepad.com/my_weblog/2009/07/park-story.html

colleen said...

Thanks all for your stories. Will be getting someone to judge in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

The silence slices in two, echoing sounds collide as a cacophony of waking voices celebrate the dawn. Small creatures of the skies, dive and dart, flit and turn; freshness invigorated, now darkness has gone. The park is alive - hark, hear their song, hark hear their song, park life, park.....life.

Atmosphere; invigorating lavender oil to be placed in room for the reading. To be read in daylight with a low droning noise in the background through out the reading. Please note 2 second pause after the word 'hark'.

Rachel in Castlemorton

Hollyhocks are so easy to grow and self seeding..they can grow in very little soil and seem drought resistant. I know Mary and Paul and will give them some seeds next time I see them. Love your blog keep going.

colleen said...

You can email me at colleenbowen(at)tiscali.co.uk