Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wendy Myer, sisters, and Fiona Bloody Murray

Just who the hell is Wendy Myer? She's been appearing on my tele screen for a few years now, telling me that she's Wendy Myer (as if I should know who or what she is) and that she's speaking for "better living". She then proceeds to tell me about the 1001 uses for plastic bags (Gosh! You can put things in them!) and Glad Wrap. That's the stuff Americans call Saran Wrap, and the rest of ther world calls cling film. Apparently you can wrap sandwiches in the stuff, and slap it over a salad in a bowl to help it not oxidise. Bet that's a surprise to you. I know it rocked me back on my heels.

All I want to do is track the smug bitch down and tell her to go away. To Iceland, or Zimbabwe.

My elder sister called me this evening. What an astonishing creature she is. She's not only one of the nicest people I know, but one of the strongest. Her husband's going through chemo therapy for about the 900th time, and that can not be easy for either of them.

I'm writing a brief history of the people in my family - one person at a time - for two of my favourite people. That'll be my sons. I've so far just completed little potted histories of my paternal grandparents, one of whom was a bastard, and the other a saintess. I can't wait 'til I write about my elder sister: it's a real privilege being able to write about people you admire.

Fiona Murray sent me an email today, telling me about a forthcoming celebration. Apparently she's turning half my wife's age on July 31st - the day my wife turns 60. They share the birthday. So the drop-dead gorgeous Fiona Bloody Murray turns 30, and for a short while is precisely half Jenny's age. But on 31 July 2011, Fiona will be catching up: she'll be more than half Jenny's age. Mwa ha ha ha. Fiona - you'll be getting older more quickerer than Jenny.

READING: Dewey, The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron. I can't help but think that Dewey was a close relative of Spike Malone, our ginger cat who died last year. Lovely book so far, not catty and mawkish.

LISTENING TO: "Into The Darkness", the music that accompanied one of John Connolly's books. He did it twice - put a giveaway compilation CD in his books. Introduced me to a lot of great musicians and bands: Red House Painters, The Handsome Family, The Walkabouts, Lullaby For The Working Man, etc. It is music he listened to while writing, and I must say his taste is bang on.

WATCHING: Yes. Dr Who. Watched it. He's a very good new Doctor...

More "Paper Heroes" for Gillian and company..

He was damned if he would.
Granted, the view from the third floor window isn’t as good. But it’s a lot easier on the legs when the power fails: something which has been happening with greater regularity of late.
The Equus has seen only 27 summers come and go. He is taller than the average Henry; nearly five feet and six inches. His face is calm and clear, white skinned. His nose is straight, his wide-set eyes blue and untroubled. His black hair is thick and lustrous, and reaches down to his waist. Today he has had Woman plait it, and tie it off with a black ribbon.
His uniform is splendid, as black as his hair, with silver trim around the high collar. The jacket is cutaway, revealing a fine white linen shirt under a blood-red waistcoat. There is lace at his wrist, and a ruby ring on the index finger of his right hand. His trousers are tight, hugging his legs, and disappearing into knee-length boots, burnished black.
The Equus is the hereditary ruler of the Henrys, and his will is law. And so it is his will that First Minister Fox knock at his door, and enters.
“Gluteus Maximus: hail,” says Fox, saluting the boy. Fox is a shrew of a man, over 50 summers, balding, and tormented by psoriasis. He constantly twitches and scratches, and leaves a trail of dead white skin flakes behind him.
But that’s all right, muses The Equus. That’s what Women are for.
“Fox?” The word is drawn out, almost as insult. Nothing could be less fox-like than this creature. Yet The Equus was stuck with him. The Equus’ mere desire may be law in all things, but there are many things he cannot change. First among these is the hereditary nature of his position, and the positions of his ministers.
“Fox? Come man, speak.”
“Gaius Andronicus Equus Gluteus Maximus, sire. I have a report from The Installation, and some worrying news from Sanfrisco.”
The Equus grimaced at the use of his name and title. Custom and rigid decorum dictated it, but it annoyed him. Such a waste of breath. At least from now it would either be Sir, or Equus.
“How goes The Installation, the weapon? What do we hear from the other side?”


  1. Thanks Allan. I can't get enough of Paper Heroes - it's fantastic.
    Love to the red-head. Will send you up the Neil Gaiman book soon - it's a treasure.

  2. Wondered how many people on Blogger maunder. I think I'm going to enjoy maundering as done by you. Loved the perspicuous and pertinent peroration on the purveyor of plastic.

  3. Why, thankyou, Gillian. Love you mightily. And as for you, oh Maundering Mutterer: alliteration should only be done between consenting adults, and my beloved isn't too sure that I qualify....