Riding in Style

People have asked me why nobody takes a horse and cart down onto the mud of the estuary so that they can recover things more easily. It has been done, but what with the quick-sands and the problems you would have getting a cart across various of the channels, it’s not commonly done. I have … More Riding in Style

The Dancing Master

People do make a habit of surprising you. They cheerfully climb out of the neat little boxes you put them in and persist in doing things you’d never expect. Take, for example, the great mercenary captain, Pardo Fuen. His name was used in Partaan by mothers to silence querulous children. His sacking of Maladan Keep … More The Dancing Master

Stinking Fish?

People have commented to me that I rarely mention fish or fishermen. I suppose it’s true but it’s by pure chance. You get to the fish market from the far end of the Old Esplanade, at the opposite end from the Shore-combers. The front is divided up, the Shore-combers have the middle section, next to … More Stinking Fish?


Obviously, because we’re not savages, we celebrate the solstice. Our main festival in Port Naain is actually the Autumn Equinox, or Tide Watch. Nine years out of ten we have gales and driving rain and folk gather together to drink, eat, and tell long stories, recite poems and give each other gifts. The date was … More  Solstice

A Sedan chair caper!

  The blood pounded in Jethan’s ears as he ran. The rope across his shoulders burned into him, like most Sedan chair bearers, he preferred to take the weight there and use his hands on the poles for fine adjustment. He could see the Falbarge chair just ahead, moving well. Yet in spite of everything … More A Sedan chair caper!

The writer’s craft

It has to be said there are many manifestations of the literary arts, and in all candour, most of them pay better than poetry. I suppose I could claim that this shows the superiority of poetry over lesser forms, as our branch of literature is less corrupted by gross commercialism, and thus is purer and … More The writer’s craft

Heated debate

It was Harl Bronnen who solved the problem. You see Port Naain can occasionally have a trouble with house fires. How they are tackled depends on the area. If you are in Dilbrook then your household staff rally round, and the neighbours turn up with their servants and pretty soon matters are under control. In … More Heated debate