What can you find here? Reviews of new and not quite so new Sherlock Holmes novels and collections. Interviews with authors, link to blogs worth following, links to where you can purchase my books and some reviews of my work garnered from Amazon sites. Plus a few scary pics of me and a link to various Lyme Regis videos on YouTube...see what we do here and how....and indeed why!!! Next to the Lyme Regis Video Bar is a Jeremy Brett as Holmes Video Bar and now a Ross K Video Bar. And stories and poems galore in the archives.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

What news from Lyme?

I hear you ask. And here it is. Completed new novella 'The Abyss' two days ago and dived back in for some fine tuning yesterday. It is a tad dark and certainly different to anything I have done before. For instance there is no place for Holmes and Watson. A mix of fact and fiction told by different voices. An excerpt:
When he was not working, he paced the streets, covering miles and miles of the city, taking in the sights and sounds, living and breathing them. The city lived for him as an entity of its own; it had an extraordinary heartbeat of love, regret and lives both futile and satisfied. A city which sold itself to all and sundry like a common whore and enticed lovers anew with promises and riches. A city which had no need of sleep for it was continually refreshing itself, re-inventing itself almost, appearing to be all things to all people. Within its walls you could find fortune, you could find wealth or an early grave. The city gave life and snatched it away when you least expected it. He was mesmerised by it, but he was young and the city had yet to deal him the harsh blows it would.

            His first lesson would be the simplest of all; don’t get caught. Simple, but for some so difficult to put into practice. And with so many things, he learnt the hard way. Next door to the butcher’s there was a laundry. The businesses shared a common yard. He was often to be found sharing time with some of the laundry employees and occasionally being invited into their canteen. Canteen they called it, but it was one very small room, no bigger than a cloakroom, which seemed to be its chief purpose. He spoke little, but he listened, oh how he listened to them prattle on about their sad little lives.        There were nuggets of gold amongst the conversational dross. I’ll tell you people, I don’t trust no bank, I keeps all of my money under the bed. What money is that Fred; you piss it all up the wall down the pub each night? I’ve got some put by, don’t you worry about that. You’re lucky Fred, I spend what I earn, and look here’s last week’s wages in my pocket. I like to keep my money with me at all times. Which pub do you drink in, Fred? Oh yes I know it. We must have a drink together one night. It’s a fair step from my place mind; still, if I have too much to drink I could always kip at yours eh? These people were so easy, so very easy. He was careless though. A wallet in a coat pocket. A pilfering of a pound note. Daylight, a crowded laundry. He was seen. The Magistrates Court was unduly lenient, he had a story to soften their hearts, that came easily to him too. Still, he had to serve two weeks in prison and his employment at the butcher’s was at an end. On his release he walked to Emily’s, a long enough walk for one weakened by incarceration. Emily and the dashing Captain knew well enough his release date, for his meagre possessions were stacked neatly by the door. Not the stoutest of doors. And Emily’s dresses were not made from the strongest material for his knife cut through them like butter. For many years Emily would recount this story and think herself extremely fortunate not to be at home that day.
Again, in the spirit of being different yesterday I also started a new book, a comic novel set in contemporary Lyme Regis. An excerpt:
The old house had always been known as the ‘old house’ apparently. There were other houses of course, some of them old, some of them even known as the old house, but for the purposes of this story, the old house will be a reference to this old house. The house where Michael Hamilton lived with his wife, Judy and their two daughters, Katy and Annabelle. We find them in the breakfast room, only so designated because they were having their breakfast in it. Yesterday for instance it was the mud-covered boots and dirty, smelly coats room. The day before it was, “Who the hell spilled all this water?” room.
 “Do you think all curses are gypsy’s curses? Is it a requirement recognised by law do you think?” Michael asked of Judy, realising that his daughters, as so often, would have no idea what he was talking about
 “Is this about old Mr Williams again?” Katy sighed.
 “Too right it is. If someone tells you your house is cursed you tend to sit up and take notice.”
 “Didn’t the estate agents mention it?”
“Yes of course, don’t you remember their description of the kitchen; Spacious and fully modernised with its own curse.
“Very funny, Mike. I think if you Google it you will find that curses died out along with the Tudors or the Stuarts.”
“Don’t be too sure. I have told you how my mother was cursed by a gypsy on her very own doorstep.”
 “Not her caravan?” Judy asked, lifting her eyebrows all the way to the soon to be painted ceiling in the spacious, fully modernised kitchen.
 “I was referring to my mother as you well know. She was only twenty-five, not a nice age to be cursed. Especially to be cursed with a violent death. Poor Mum.”
 “Mike, she died last year. She was seventy-six!”
 “Even so, a curse is a curse whether it takes a year or fifty years to work.”
 “I think there are more violent ways to die than in your bed during Today on Radio Four!”
 Judy poured some more orange juice into the jug, nominally for gravy, but happy enough to multi-task. Katy pulled a face and shivered as she took a sip, sometimes the fridge doubled as a freezer.  Mike looked intently at the juice as though he had seen it for the first time.
“Any additives in there Judy? You know how hyper Katy can get. We don’t want her bouncing off the walls do we?”
 Katy, as in response to this, placed one of her fingers into Annabelle’s boiled egg, prompting both a slap and a flood of tears from her sister.
“Katy, what are you doing?” asked her dad.
 “Bouncing off the walls, Daddy.” she squealed.
“My daughter, the comedienne,” mused Michael.
Katy and Annabelle resumed their status, a state resembling sisterly love, temporary of course, but heartfelt for as long as it lasted. This spirit of sibling peace and love could last as short a time as five minutes or as long as a whole week. A week was indeed their personal record aided by various bribes and sweeteners from their exasperated parents. Left to their own devices, three days of relative harmony would be as good as it could possibly get.
“What shall we do today?” asked Judy, “A walk into town? Then onto the beach?”
“The beach, the beach,” the sister’s shouted in another display of sibling harmony, short-lived though it may prove to be.
 “Right then, off you go and get ready while Daddy does the washing-up.”
 “Why does Daddy always wash-up?” asked Annabelle.
“That’s easy,” said her mum, “come here I will whisper it to you, it’s….because I don’t.
 The girls raced upstairs to hopefully don their best behaviour along with their clothes. Their footsteps up above echoed through the old house, the soon to be replaced carpets did nothing to deaden the sound. Only the sound of children dressing can raise the decibel level to that of heavy machinery at work. Two pairs of feet came clomping down the stairs. If racing down stairs ever became an Olympic sport than Katy and Annabelle Hamilton were sure to be future gold medallists. Their coats bore witness to the difficulties in matching button to button-hole, a skill that can take years to master. To be fair, they had mastered the almost mystical art of shoelace tying, a feat that even some adults can have problems with. Not that we are referring to Michael Hamilton here, although he has a fairly unique way of tying laces that causes many an observer to burst into uncontrollable laughter. In vain does he point out that his laces achieve their ultimate aim, that of being tied.
            “Are we all ready?” asked Judy, surreptitiously looking at Michael’s shoelaces and suppressing a giggle. “Right, let’s link arms, best foot forward and let’s sally forth.” (Sally Forth, although no doubt an admirable woman, does not figure again in these pages, so all in all I think it’s best to forget her.)
And I have elected to stand for town council here......will keep you posted on how that goes!!!

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