Sorry for the late post but its been a stressful night with my youngest daughter dislocating her toe. Rushed to hospital where they couldn’t put it in, rushed to another hospital where they couldn’t get sort it, so now I’m sitting in the child’s ward waiting to take her into an operation for a pin. Its been nuts.
At the mill, I’d painted a lovely image in my head and more research into such buildings gave me a cracking layout. The huge wooden water wheel constantly turns, powering the grinding of the corn, and out the back there is a yard, enclosed by high walls. The stone floored yard opens onto a docking area where barges can load up sacks of flour to sell further down river.
I began to play with the importance of this major river in Mariad, how it would be used for transport of goods and be key to its economy. There is a large city, Abendale, which lies down river and is the sight of much trade. Goods are sailed further down, the huge forests, eventually leaving the lands to be sold elsewhere.
One thing I didn’t want is huge boats, more barges that carried the goods, but I did like the idea of having sails etc. Basically, I needed a midpoint between the two, a single sailed barge that could therefore traverse shallow or deep waters. Wondering whether this was possible, it took me to the Thames sailing barge. There were about 2000 being used on the turn of the 20th century, declining to the few that we have as pleasure craft. Because of the flatness of the barge, they could sail over submerged mud banks, were cheaper to build, and the small sail could be taken down to go under bridges.
One of these barges was in the middle of loading goods when the zombie attack comes. It was definitely handy for painting a more decorative picture, having more people killed without losing main characters, and then they played several little roles in the action. Originally I was planning to have them escape on the barge but in the end I worked out some other action sequences.
Picture taken from www.thamessailingbargeparade.com