The redbrick upright storage barns are at rest, their broken windows blinking over empty rooms. Blocks of housing squat in the barns’ shadows. All facades are sliced by stationary masts, needling the sky and waiting for sailors.  Barns, blocks, boats – in three strides the skyline staggers down to the water.  A long narrow strip of slick ripples, hemmed in concrete on both sides. A deep, slow canvas spread out for people to trace their journeys onto. Fading brushstrokes of a dinghy race and criss-crossed stripes of tourist gallery trips.  You are here. In the tell-tales’ flapping I almost hear… Or in the surge as a gust spreads broad and fat, kicking the boat forward. The rudder strains against my hand and I seem to feel… Or do I mean you were here?  There are only glimpses of the surrounding countryside. Through narrow slots between brick and brick peep the green tips and troughs of low-slung, gentle landscape rolling out to Somerset. But the winds come down off the Mendips. The winds rush in, bringing freshness and curving gradients. I allow the boat to dip and bob; a conduit for outer lands that can be felt but not seen.

Josephine Gibbons