Departure from Bristol

29 11 2006

Traveller set off from her home town of Bristol, a teeming port city, where she had had difficulty find a seat on the stage coach. The roads were appalling that winter and the carriage managed to lose a wheel before they had even arrived in Bath. Reluctantly, she put up for the night in a bug-infested, rat-ridden hostelry from which she was only too glad to escape on the morrow. The journey to Dover seemed interminable. As she was leaving the hostelry, called ‘the Enchanted Well’ a strange figure had brushed against her, a figure who resembled no living mortal of her era but rather looked as if she had been assembled from various mythological figures. She had wild flowing locks and a cape with mystical images embroidered on it and she carried a twisted staff in one hand. This character had thrust a small bag into her hand saying ”take this, you may find you have need of some of the items therein” and had disappeared. Traveller had thrust it into her pocket but in the coach curiosity got the better of her so she took it out and began to examine its contents, tipping them out on the seat next to her. And what a strange mix of items they were. First of al there was a stiff piece of card, like an invitation.


Le Enchanteur

has pleasure in inviting you to join her and a number of other travellers

on the trip of a lifetime to realms hitherto uncharted

– a GRAND TOUR of the land of Lemuria –

If you wish to accept this offer you should present yourself at the House of Shells

on Friday 1 December 2006 at 9am

Further information will be supplied to you at the rendez-vous


There was a candlestick, a packet of seeds, a picture of a winged unicorn glued on to the back of an old playing card, an old pair of metal-framed spectacles, a tiny anchor and a pair of wings . She picked up each item in turn. The candlestick was very small and she couldn’t think what purpose it might serve for it was far too small to provide a light. The seed packet bore the legend ‘dream seeds’ but the picture looked like an opium poppy – and then she saw the connection – of course, opium induced dreams … (how had she heard it described recently? Riding the dragon, that was it. She hoped she wouldn’t doing any dragon-riding in the near future. But perhaps the seeds were for planting one’s dreams and nurturing them as they grew.



The spectacles didn’t appear to out of the ordinary, just very old. The anchor must have fallen off somebody’s charm bracelet and she couldn’t imagine what she could do with a pair of wings. However did they become small enough to fit in the pouch? She pushed her hand right to the bottom of the bag to ensure that she had found everything when her hand touched something old and papery. She carefully drew it out and unfolded it. It appeared to be a map of some sort but did not look like any maps she had seen before. She decided she would have another look at the map when the light was better. She carefully packed everything back into the bag and stowed it away. Leaning back against the seat considering the objects she eventually dozed off, thus managing to while away the next couple of hours of the journey through a particularly boring flat landscape.

Eventually she arrived at Dover, from where she would be setting out on 1 December. Her passage was already booked and she was eagerly anticipating the adventure, although, it must be said, not the crossing of the channel. Although she could swim like a fish she never felt comfortable on board a ship and prayed for calm seas that day.





4 responses

29 11 2006

This is going to be so exciting to follow your journey.

29 11 2006
Heather Blakey

You have out done yourself Carol. Brilliant! I am totally engaged and Enchanteur has a smirk from ear to ear. We will be watching your space very closely over coming months – nay years. 🙂

30 11 2006

Absolutely brilliant, Carol.

1 12 2006

I wondered what that piece of cardstock was in my bag… mine was all wet and the ink had run… and now I know what it said.

Fabulous beginning – can’t wait for more!

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