Day 91 of #ayearofwriting and I wonder how the church in the story collects alms. Then there it is, a piece of social history, the knocker upper. For those you unaware what one is, it was someone hired to wake you up so you were not late for work in the days before alarm clocks and digital phones. Your life rested on them waking you up. Now, we have penny knockers, those coming for alms, those waking you up to take what little you have. I do like seeing how the patterns of the past, the jobs of the past, become twisted in the future to become something far beyond what it was.
Day 92 of #ayearofwriting and there is Saul, our narrator, that is his name. There is a real legacy in this name, is this a road to Damascus moment, or does Saul no longer need to become Paul. There is too much sin in the world, too many dead for any conversion, especially when the church has been subverted by the water-men to be nothing more than a way to tax the poor which is the real reason that Henry VIII destroyed the church, all that money. History repeats. Power attracts the corrupt. There is no space for Saul to become Paul. He is fodder, not a saint. God is dead. Nature is God. Climate change is the Devil. These are terms they can understand.
Martha sayst we mus leave tha cottage, head east to tha river an tha ships taaking persons out of this forsaken land. God’s arse is abew us, she sayst. I tells her that it ain’t, I knaws whan it comes, I haave seen afore an it dunt feel tha same. I arsts how she knaws theer are ships, she sayst tha gud people of her village spoke of it, an they left an wheer never seen agen. I sayst, maybe tha other boggers ate them. She sayst, they allis hade a do in front of tha church whan they wheer roasting but she is unsure an does that thing whan she dunt want to talk. She turns to sum job, sumthing that needs plucking from tha soil, some cloth that needs folding, some bread kneading, keeping her hands busy an her gob shut. I duz what I allis do, I shrugs an stomps off. Giant steps, my son caals them, great big blundering feet banging on floorboards or rattling tha weeds in tha borders. I stands in tha garden, tha angelica is tall, it dances with the cow parsley across tha fence, it took us a week to build tha fence together. All this talk of ships an leaving is make believe, tha daft idea that theers cities left across tha sea is away with tha fairies. That theer are places without water-men. I stomps back in an sayst my piece to Martha as she folds our clothes from tha wash. Tha boggers in the wagons could be water-men, I sayst, out to catch anyone not doing theer bit. Martha loffs. She sayst, that’s bollocks, Saul, theer ain’t no water-men, they wheer tha first boggers to do a runner whan tha army did itself in an the high powered folk walked on water rather than face tha mobs, we all knaws tha stories. Theer are ships, she sayst, they taak women an children, they taak good men. I tells her that tha wagons will leave an she sayst, show me these wagons an I’ll tells you if they’ll leave.