Friday, 19 August 2011

The Boatgirl From a Parallel Universe


Lyra: Intrepid Boat Cat

I met a girl on the Grand Union Canal who had travelled here from another dimension. Amy comes from a universe like ours, but different in many ways. We first met in cyberspace, a dimension that connects our two universes. In Amy’s world, on the River Cam, continuous cruisers must move every forty-eight hours! So Amy and James travelled like 'gyptians' for some time, until they found a mooring in Cambridge. This summer they left that mooring and headed for London, in our universe; the place where they first dreamed of a narrowboat life.
Unlike us, they travel fast. Amy and James cruised from Cambridge to London in 10 days, doing more than 185 miles and 136 locks along the way. As our ships passed in the night Amy, her daemon and I took shelter in a nearby tavern and, although we'd never met in real life before, we talked about boating and blogging incessantly before happily wandering home up the towpath. Amy's daemon's name is Lyra and she has taken the form of a cat.
"You don't have daemons in your universe?" hissed Lyra through the darkness.
"We kind of do," I said. Philip Pullman wrote books about them; daemons and other things."
"His dark materials," mused Lyra. She had heard of the books.
"But some of it is based on truth don't you think?" said Amy.
"You mean, there could have once been travelling narrowboat people with their own kind of dialect: People that had their own community and didn't have much to do with those on the bank? Working boatmen who people mistakenly thought were like gypsies because of the coloured painted designs on their boats?"
"It's possible," said Amy.
"Well I think Philip Pullman made it all up," I said.
Click each image to see Philip Pullman's legendary best selling books about Lyra on Amazon.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is true. Except I did once meet a travelling boating girl called Amy and we did go to a pub. She writes about her true adventures living on board a narrowboat with James and Lyra at http://nbluckyduck.blogspot.com  Catch up with them now (they’re fast!) and read the archives to follow the journey they made to London and back to Cambridge again.

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nb Lucky Duck


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