Friday Fictioneers: Across the Cat and Fiddle

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

Dad bought the Austin from a travelling salesman he met in the King’s Arms.

The leather seats were cracked like baked mud, the window seals perished to powder and we kids could watch the road speed beneath our feet where spots of floor had rusted through.

Sunday afternoons we’d drive across sullen brown moors filmy with mist, heading for the Cat and Fiddle Inn. Mum and Dad would go inside for pints of bitter and ports and lemon, leaving us in the car sucking lemonade through flattened straws, the wind making the car rock like a lightly moored tug boat.

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Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the photo and let your imagination wander. See here to join in.

The Cat and Fiddle is the second highest pub in England, set in the Derbyshire moors. Famous for its barren location and the highly dangerous, snaking road that takes its name, it’s close to where I grew up in Buxton, Derbyshire.

OLD POSTCARD RP Cat Fiddle Pub Buxton Derbyshire Vintage Car 1930S Cv179 -  £2.99 | PicClick UK

34 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers: Across the Cat and Fiddle

  1. Those descriptions of the car’s interior underlines why you are such a superior wordsmith, producing intense observational details that perfectly conjure up characters and context. How I’ve missed these superbly crafted cut gems!

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    1. Hi Chris. What a lovely comment to read on my re-appearance on WordPress! How are you doing? I hope you’ve been keeping well and pleasantly busy, despite all the foulness in the world. No musical performances, I’m guessing and no literary festival this year? It’s become a strangely flat existence, hasn’t it? Some of the usual experiences that punctuate our lives and mark the turning of the year (holidays, festivals, gigs, cinema releases, get togethers with friends and family) have slid away, leaving us to slowly trudge through the seasons.

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      1. “A strangely flat existence” describes it exactly, Lynn, except for the all too frequent incandescent rage at the cavalier destruction of democracy and accountability.

        You’re right, no events this year, very little travelling, the most exciting thing being succumbing to the lure of Netflix… The only regular features bringing a measure of sanity have been reading and blogging. But good to have you back!

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      2. Ah, the joy of Netflix! Them and Zoom have made a killing from the pandemic, as so many other companies flounder. Totally addicted myself, I just say. Plenty to be angry about, that’s for sure. The most depressing thing is the erosion of public trust in leaders and the media. We shrug at the latest misdemeanor, unsurprised when no one is held accountable. Facts are so disputed, so twisted, everyone denying things that are patently true, so that we all just believe the version of the truth that fits our world view. It’s all rather terrifying

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Neil My dad didn’t have an Austin (I remember a yellow Passat and a sky blue Beetle, though) but the lemonade, definitely and the Cat and Fiddle is an iconic, weirdly remote drinking hole that I’ve passed countless times. Hope you’re well

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  2. What vivid descriptions! Reminded me of my husband’s first car 🙂 The pub sounds and looks like the very place where a warm fire and a bitter would be most welcome. Your writing makes it all come marvelously alive.

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    1. Hello, how are you? Just been writing, trying to get a new novel written, a serial for the magazine, a couple of short stories. I was trying to focus on the novel and find the blog a distraction so I stepped away and have found it hard to step back! So nice to chat to people here, though. How are things going in the East? 😊

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      1. Progressing. Steady sales on The Spinner’s Game (low, but steady). I promote it every weekend on twitter (@crispinakemp1) and discovered there a supportive writing community though I’ve drawn away of late. Photos etc, now posting loads on my other twitter account (@ineebrown51). Together with WP, keeps me busy… not to mention the walks, without which there’d be no photos.
        Now getting stuck into revisions for Learning to Fly. Will it be ready for Christmas? Will anyone shoot me if it isn’t? It’ll be ready when it’s ready.
        And Lauren (my cp) is reading *Alsalda* for me, it’ll then go out to betas.
        So, like you, I am not idle. And like you, too, I spend less time on WP.

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      2. You’re always so busy, you put my work rate to shame! Glad Spinners Game is selling -steady is good! Let me know if you’re doing a promo on the run up to Christmas or something and I’ll post too. Good luck with all the other, many projects. You are pretty amazing 😊

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  3. Well, it’s unanimous… your description of the car is magnificent, and the image of the kids with their lemonades too. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is that makes the best British writing seem so magical to me, but you’ve got it, Lynn, whatever “it” is. 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much, Walt! Hugely, overly generous, but I’ll happily take the compliment, none the less. How are things for you and your family? I do hope you’re keeping safe and well.

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      1. Not over-generous, but duly earned. I’m pretty particular with my praise, and not prone to using the comment section for cheerleading. In fact, there’s way too little constructive criticism on WordPress, in my opinion. This one is really good. The family is well, thank you. I myself am white-knuckling it until November (the election). Hope you and yours are doing well too.

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      2. Thank you. Praise from you is highly valued,I assure you. I still remember when I joined WordPress, yours was one of the first sites I followed. I read a short of yours set in a bar, just locals chewing the cud, but it had such style, such succinct prose, like the best kind of American writing! And yes, constructive feedback is always welcome here. Glad you’re well, and yes, November seems at once too far away and too close. Sadly, I’ve lost some faith in democracy of late. The UK is run by self serving private school boys, running the country towards a no deal Brexit because they’re rich friends in the city are set to make a killing off it, while our good time PM does nothing but holiday and leaves the decisions to his unelected advisor. And no matter how many times I vote against them, my fellow citizens keep voting for them! Sorry, but the state of the world… Anyway, there’s always writing and always WordPress!

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  4. Always lovely to see you on FriFic Lynn. Hope you are well. Loved the family memories evoked in the story – its so often these sort of memories that last longer than the big, expensive once-in-a-lifetime holidays.

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    1. Thank you so much, Iain. Some of the memories are mine – ‘the Cat’, bottles of lemonade (we were left in the car with lemonade and crisps back in the days before publicans thought to make pubs family friendly!). Some being to others – my husband tells vivid takes if his dad owning an Austin, being able to see the road through the floor. Sounds terrifying!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay! You’re back and not only are you back, you are back with your fabulous descriptions that bring us right into the scene.
    So good. I can picture the car, the holes in the floor, the straws, the whole thing.

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    1. Aw, thanks so much, Dale. Really glad you liked it. I know there are so many more remote places, but it’s funny driving out of town, onto the moors, where it feels so remote still, so out of the control of people. But then, you know all about that in Canada! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your remote is probably scarier than ours! The scariest wildlife we’re likely to encounter are badgers, though we do have wild cats in Scotland and boar and beavers have been reintroduced in certain areas. People have suggested wolves but I suspect that’s a step too far for t the sheep farmers!

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    1. Thanks so much Rochelle. I’ve been working on various writing projects, but it’s so nice to be back online in the company is such lovely people 😊. Hope you and your family are well

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  6. Very much enjoyed your descriptions, Lynn and then showing the picture of the place and that you lived near it. Happy to see you back at Friday Fictioneers, Lynn.

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