Tidying through piles of handwritten notes recently – a perpetual task, it seems – I came across a couple of short texts I’d written on a June afternoon in 2014 at the writing group I run at the local library. I can’t remember what the writing prompt was now, but I was working on a section on the Battle of Waterloo for my children’s story and was deeply immersed in the history of that particular period. There’s something about only having 10 minutes to knock something together which sharpens the creative process and I’m always amazed at how succinct and relatively well-formed these pieces turn out to be. Mostly I don’t do anything with them other than stack them on a pile on the bookshelf which periodically needs weeding through, but not wanting to throw them away un-birthed, I’ve typed up a couple for sharing here. Enjoy.
The Iron Duke
I could hardly contain myself when I saw the Duke of Wellington riding down the Mall this afternoon. He’s in town for the Season I believe – Carruthers says he’s taken a house in Bloomsbury, though the stabling there is appalling and he’d be far better to have lodged in Westminster or St James. Damn fine sight to see, tall and straight as a ramrod on that excellent roan of his, and easy to identify with that very distinctive nose. Carruthers said he has the look of a pelican about him but I said “no, sir, no! The man’s a Hero, the Saviour of the Nation, and without him we’d have been overrun by now by the bally French!” And I let him know that if I heard any more of his nonsense, he’d find himself ejected from the Club!