More from Oswestry

This is the following ‘chapter’ which I wrote last night. Again any feedback is much appreciated.

Arthur and miss Sevenpenny left the briefing room in silence, Arthur still somewhat bemused by his newly assigned partner whom for some reason was wearing a wry smile.

“Oh no?” Miss Sevenpenny queried half amused and partially wondering why she wasn’t offended or at least outraged , or something other then amused.
“Would you have preferred good grief?” Arthur asked back trying to skate around answering her query.
The shop was still devoid of any customers and the store assistant reset the back wall and then proceeded to the scales with a brown jar and carefully measured out a number of multi coloured sweets.
“Sorry miss, forgot what you asked for,” the assistant smiled as he was bagging up Arthur’s sweet order in a plain paper bag.
“It’s ok I didn’t say,”  Miss Sevenpenny said and quickly browsed the shelves. “I think I will have some Lemon Drops, I’m in the mood for something bitter.” She rolled her eyes mischievously at Arthur who winced. Sevenpenny was about to add something else but as she did so the shop door opened and a pair of adolescents wandered in and started browsing through the various displays.
“All sorted are we gov?” he asked cheerfully. “Remember these are gob stoppers not Opal Fruits, had a kid forget to do that last week and he ended up having his tooth capped. That is £2.59 in total.”
“Thank you,” replied Arthur handing over the money and collecting the two bags of sweets. “Remember to brush your teeth afterwards,” he said to Sevenpenny as he handed her the bag of Lemon drops as they left the store.

Sevenpenny strolled over the car and gestured Arthur inside, once inside she produced the envelopes from ‘his nibs’ and handed them to Arthur. “What are they?”
“Looks like they are the days movements for our MP friends on the days before they left for the Pennines,” said Arthur.
“Anything of note?” queried Sevenpenny.
“Doesn’t seem to be, all seems routine to me.”
“Can I have a look?”
“By all means,” answered Arthur handing her the files.
“Perhaps we should short circuit it,” said Sevenpenny after browsing the documents.
“How do you mean?” asked Arthur.
“We are looking for an abnormality, so why not do the opposite and go to the least abnormal places.” Sevenpenny explained and scanned the documents. “Two seem pretty dull: Mistletoe’s Outfitters and Gorrie’s Tea Emporium.”
Arthur paused for a moment and looked at Miss Sevenpenny’s attire, black trousers, a target T-Shirt and a slightly discoloured jacket, “Well Miss Sevenpenny I would say that if you are to join me on this case you might wish to update your wardrobe.”
“How do you mean?”
“Well I am sure you want to look your best for your prom.”
“Prom?” Queried Sevenpenny.
Arthur just smiled in reply,

    Mistletoe’s was from the outside a rather modest looking frontage with a bay window depicting four dummies, two male and two female showing formal and informal outfits aimed at those with moderate means to appear a lot more beyond their means. Silk drapes complemented the window frames and the hand painted signage gave the place more then a hint of a shop straight out of Dickens but the verisimilitude was ruined by the rather bulbs electric lights. Arthur strolled up to the shop and quickly used his reflection in the window to fix his tie, a minute later Miss Sevenpenny joined his at the window.
“I see what you mean now,” said Sevenpenny. “So what’s the plan? You ask them to measure me for a dress while you sneak a look in the books?”
“Something like that,” answered Arthur and guided her into the shop. Sevenpenny was a little amazed by the interior, she wasn’t sure what to expect aside from it being like the inside of the Old Curiosity Shop. The store was filled with a wide variety of outfits, wooden clothes horses a few display cabinets and at the back were a series of dress making dummies with tape measures draped over them.  A moment later a balding grey haired man emerged from around the back polishing his pince-nez.
“Good afternoon sir, how can I help you?” he asked. “I may be loosing trade here but I think your ensemble far out classes anything my humble shop could offer.”
Arthur laughed, “that is very kind of you but I am not here about myself.”
“You aren’t?”
“No, for the young lady.” Answered Arthur indicating Sevenpenny.
The shopkeeper looked Sevenpenny’s outfit and raised his eyebrows, “I see what you mean. She is definitely in need of my services.”
“Aren’t you a charmer?” replied Sevenpenny sarcastically.
“Oh don’t mind her, she’s just in that rebellious stage where one wants to feel like a regressive.” Answered Arthur, “what with the posture and the bargain basket outfits.”
“Ey up Arthur, I want to get dressed in the morning, not all morning.”
Arthur waved a hand to silence her, “then of course there’s that accent and those colloquialisms.”
“Trying hard not too take it personally now,” said Sevenpenny sternly.
“Oh shush child,” the shopkeeper began, “now lets have a look at you.” He crossed to Sevenpenny and whipped out his tape measure and began various measurements.
“What is the occasion if you don’t mind me asking?” asked the shopkeeper.
“Are you asking me or Arthur?” replied Sevenpenny.
“Arthur or I?” corrected the shopkeeper, “I was addressing you.”
“Oh its a ball, my uncle here has very graciously offered to take me to a black tie event commemorating the relief of mafekin. I believe he is one of the speakers.”
“Well what look are you going for mister…?”
“Fransure. I am looking for something more Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s then the high school prom which most young ladies attain to these days.”
“I see sir,” the shopkeeper turn to miss Sevenpenny. “Well miss if would like to have a look at our off the peg selection for now.”
“Okay,” said Sevenpenny and disappeared into the store.
“While the ‘lady’ is looking I wonder if you would like some tea or coffee to occupy yourself.”
“That would be great,” said Arthur. “Oh there is something you can do for me.”
“Yes sir?”
“I am planning a walking break in Wales and was wondering if you had some respectable but practical togs for the event,” mused Arthur flicking through a few tweed jackets.
“I shall look out the back for you, but I’ll get the Tea on first,” with that the Shopkeeper went into the back of the store. A moment later Sevenpenny joined Arthur again with a  black and white dress on her arm, she smiled at the jacket Arthur has now taken off the rack.
“Suits you sir,” she smiled. “Can’t say I like Mr Marley there, I heard those inverted commas around lady.”
“Well you know how these old boys minds work,” said Arthur. “He hasn’t risen to any bait yet, I might need to step up my assault.”
“Well what do you think?” asked Sevenpenny pressing the dress against her.
“Pretty but you can’t really tell until you put it on,” answered Arthur who hadn’t really looked.
“Plus is he some kind of deviant as he was measuring me up before we even talked about clothes and then directs me to ‘off-the-peg’,”
“Off-the-peg usually results in alterations, these types are like it with all the customers.” Arthur mimed a shush notion to Sevenpenny as the shopkeeper emerged with a fully loaded tea tray.
“Tea miss?” he asked.
“Please, with lemon.”
“Ah so we aren’t fighting a lost cause after all,” laughed Arthur. He coughed “I wonder if the young lady could try the dress on.”
“Certainly sir, come with me miss.” The keeper lead her to a  screen at the back of the shop. “It’s a bit old fashioned I know but it does allow for myself or one of my staff to aid in adjustments if necessary.
“Changing rooms do tend to be very cramped,” agreed Sevenpenny  as she disappeared behind the screen. The shopkeeper noisily walked away and a moment later Sevenpenny’s jacket and T-shirt appeared on the top of the screen.
“What was it you were asking sir?” the Shopkeeper asked as he returned to Arthur.
“Oh I inquiring about rambling attire for my walking holiday,” said Arthur. “I so don’t wish to look like a gnome which appears to be the default look for ramblers.”
“Hmm not really my area,” began the Shopkeeper. “I suppose I could adapt some of the shooters jackets and trousers.”
“Oh I was under the impression you did,” mused Arthur. “I am sure Garner said he’d got his stuff from you.”
“Yes, Joseph Garner. Dark haired man with horn rimmed glasses.”
“Oh him, no he just comes into have his dinner jacket taken in. Haven’t seen you at the club before.”
“Oh that is because I am not a member, I’m merely a work acquaintance.”
“Very good sir,” concluded the Shopkeeper. He turned to see Sevenpenny emerge in her dress, his tailored eye casting its duties over her.  “It could work be we need to work on it, what do you think?”
“I think she looks amazing, just a little uncomfortable it.” Said Arthur.
“Postures all wrong, the dress is hanging wrong and not seating her div.”
“I am here you know,” said Sevenpenny. “what do you mean?”
“You need proper support underneath, pop by tomorrow when Gladys is in.”
“I can hardly measure up a young lady for proper underwear now can I?” the Shopkeeper answered.
“I guess not,” Sevenpenny nodded and disappeared behind the screen.
Arthur went across to the counter and produced his wallet, “well I will set up an account if you don’t mind.”
“Not a problem sir,” answered the Shopkeeper and crossed over and took his details, a minute later Sevenpenny appeared in her regular clothes.
“Well we shall see you tomorrow,” said Sevenpenny as they began to leave.
“Oh if you do come across anything for me, phone me on that number.” Said Arthur as a parting shot.
“Very good sir,” said the Shopkeeper looking over Arthur’s details. “I most certainly will.”

    “That didn’t go so well did it?” said Sevenpenny as they walked down the street. “Pompous old fart and what is wrong with my underwear?”
“I really have no idea,” answered Arthur. “Does seem to be a dead end, but at least he is aware  of Garner.”
“Also we know they are both members of the same club,” added Sevenpenny.
“Very good.” Beamed Arthur.
“Don’t patronise me,” answered Sevenpenny. “I suggest we have afternoon tea next.”
“A good idea miss Sevenpenny,” agreed Arthur.

     ‘His Nibs’ was in the middle of his afternoon spa session when his valet, Martin, delivered him the news.
“Martin how many times do I have to tell you that during the hour of 2-3 I am off duty,” he snapped.
“I’m sorry sir but it is urgent,” said Martin with his head down.
“Very well what is it?” asked ‘his nibs’.
“It’s the minister Wilson, the Liberal MP who disappeared-”
“I know who you mean, out with it.”
“He’s been found.”
“Excellent news, surely that could wait.”
“Not really sir, he’s been found in a tin bath. Strangled with his own bootlaces.”

12 thoughts on “More from Oswestry

  1. You have a style which reads pretty well. However it needs more. And is worth more than the loan of someone else’s personas/world/whatever. Take it out of Adams and put it into Oswestry. Arthur Dent is a dear old muffin, but in this he’s definitely a maguffin. And of course Arthur Dent was a minor tv producer, and for the bbc at that. He was not a gentleman, he merely drank tea, which perhaps gave the impression. Adams was not a gentleman either, but Richard Vernon’s Slartibartfast was… because Richard Vernon spent a lifetime selling it. Catch him in the Man in Room 13 and you’ll see what I mean. He makes Denholm Elliot appear like the council house yob.
    Thanks for the visit, thanks for the read. I passed here on my way to find something for an antidote to the blues brought on by reaching the end of the new improved FULL audio version of The HHGTG. It made me fall in love with Jane Horrocks, not something I’d have ever thought of before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for the feedback though I feel you have made a misnomer in terms of the character of Arthur in that he is not Arthur Dent, the character here is a character I created myself a long time ago who I like to revisit and develop.
      I am familiar with The Man in Room 13 thanks to a DVD of Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) which had an episode as a bonus feature.

      The opening of the story can be read here


      • Thank you for your corrective. I was lead here by a search for an antidote to the very? end of the very biggest THHGTG audio production, as I intimated, so we can lay the blame on Google I suppose. Why not blame the monster when the minion is apparently in the wrong?
        Did you collect from the bonus feature of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) that as a sort of diversion from their deliberations, Richard Vernon and Denholm Elliot played the fiendishly complex yet still two dimensional (hyper chess?) game of Go? But in consideration of Vernon, he was a character actor who was never forced out of his metier by director or producer AFAIK, so to speak. It was a defining career path for actors not aspiring to stardom and tax exile. Irene Handl, Wilfred Bramble, Richard Wattis, Derek Guyler et al.

        On reflection, the name you have given to your female lead is annoying too. Never seen it before, or since, and it does not resonate. It sounds contrived. I collect that it is a tip of the hat to Miss Moneypenny, the very Canadian actress Lois Maxwell, who started that particular groove, but it resonates so unlikely, and from your successful style, you can do better.

        Perhaps you have the antidote to these blues? Dirk Gently simply lacks the inspiration of the Guide. Generally, I resort to my favourite audio books of Pratchett, in between looking for the “next” series. I took a brief foray into Trollope when a full set presented itself. But as you may know, outside of Barchester, it simply will not do.
        As a malevolent benefice of diabetes, my eyesight is really getting too bad to read… books at least.. hence the increasing adherence to audio. Notwithstanding however, everyone can’t be similarly suffering, and yet the popularity of audiobooks has apparently leaped beyond all expectation. It comes home to you most forcefully of course, if you get a good reader. I always advise avoiding american readers. They generally quack when they should quote..


      • I would have to agree in the increase of audio books, I myself have several audio books and a vast number of radio plays, I believe this is in part to being on the go a lot I don’t get as much time to sit down and read and the audio book is an appropriate compromise.
        Fair enough to hear to that you arrived here by Google which picked up on my blog subtitle.
        I deliberately chose the name Sevenpenny on the ground that as far as I am aware at least that it is a totally made up name, certainly I have found any in my local phone directory. The Bond link was in fact very vaguely intended, I was originally intending the character to have a double barrel surname and have the name Penny somewhere as I was thinking how you can play on Pennies being both good luck and bad luck and the idea of lucky 7 struck me and gives a hint of both good luck and bad luck.

        It has been a while since I watched the DVD of Room 17 but I will check it out again, I believe the first series has a young Michael Aldridge as opposed to Denholm Elliott in the room.


  2. Thank you so much for your reply.
    I cannot “be on the go”, You see I have to keep up with my walking sticks (Crocket and Tubbs), and the vicissitudes of Newtons Third Law and consequent entropy. Neither will admit of any “on the go-ing”. Crockett and Tubbs, of course, maintain a wooden dignity which sometimes escapes me. Oddly enough, I am not at all sure that I envy you. Neither am I quite so sanguine that it is the pace of life which is bringing about the phenomenon of audio books. Long back in the mists of time, almost before successive politicians had foisted their (naturally) idiotic ideas of education on unprotected young children, we had a series of really indifferent teachers, mostly women. They probably did their best, but most of them were reaching the end of their career lives I think, although the semblence of superannuation to a child might be arbitrary. One such lady was given the set book for term, which was a typically “uplifting and classical” victorian piece, of little literary interest to a nine year old. The Turf Cutter’s Donkey I seem to recall. Not riveting, definitely not captivating, and hopefully not on schools lists any more. Notwithstanding however, this little old lady was possessed of a mesmeric delivery in her reading aloud, which either transformed the yarn to a nine year old or induced somnambulism. Not frequently both. And this gets to the nub of the case I think. Children do really like to be read to. Even my least literary little chap loved Raymond Briggs’ Fungus The Bogeyman. Mostly for the cringe inducement in adults which invariably resulted from the recitation of the Bogeyman Song.

    Scab and Matted Custard, Snot and Bogey Pie,
    Dead Dogs Giblets, Green Cat’s Eye,
    Spread it on Bread, Spread in on Thick,
    And Wash it all Down with a Cup of Cold Sick.

    This from memory. Thus evidence that Alzheimer’s is not yet in full possession of my cooling remains.
    If you have children, sing it to them. Then duck as the adult approbation heaps. Children soak it up as with a new swear word. To my mind it is at least an improvement on the usually impoverished anglo saxon.

    Adults carry that love of being read-to with them. Now perhaps sometimes covertly. Unfortunately I cannot summon that dear lady up, to justify my claim. However you and I can both do so in support of well read and well produced audio books. That there are badly read and badly produced audio books I do know… and not all of them are among the titles produced by volunteer or jobbing readers in the lower public echelons, which I have only recently discovered. I still have a title, read by the distinguished (and probably by now, extinguished) Peter Ustinov, which is dire. And I fail to justify why it is still here. His involvement of course induced me to part with good pension money for a CD set which is only really fit for use as coasters. Perhaps it is awaiting suitable employment as such, when it’s entropy increases sufficiently.
    My recent experience delivered a similar underscore with The Hitch Hiker’s Guide that I mentioned… full, unexpurgated?, but marvelously performed by the original cast members, and starkly contrasted with the same thing, read by the author. Adams wrote the book, but he could not read it to me for toffee.

    I acknowledge your belief that Michael Aldridge did indeed pay Dimmock, in the Man In Room 17, although I would take issue with the idea that Michael Aldridge was actually ever young. I recently discovered a set piece of seven episodes, in which both he and the character actor, Robin Bailey, portrayed Charters and Caldicott. Two characters first created as a comedy diversion in an ancient egyptian Hitchcock movie. They were supposed to be quintessential batchelor englishmen, and I think, carried it off with more success than the originals. The episodes were not enhanced by an introduction for each from Vincent Price, but they were immeasurably improved by the presence and performance given by Caroline Blakiston, the real eye candy, (we may venture the term I think, since american money was evidently in it. How else to explain Vincent Price?), who leavened the pieces rather well.

    And so we authors, both aspiring and in my case most decidedly aspired, face yet another barrier to our no-doubt (but oddly reluctant) well-deserved Rowling-ness. Having writ the thing, we must needs publish it. And then, having achieved some kind of accord with a publisher… I am told that this can sometimes be like sex, without the good bits… and in order to “inflate the dynamic” (american for play, screenplay, and script apparently), we must face a choice of audio book reader. How lucky T Pratchett was, in those far off days, to find that Nigel Planer was such a captivating reader, and that the unknown Stephen Briggs, was to become equally as essential… and then his own industry

    With regard to likely names for works of fiction, I might refer you to Alan Garner. Now there was a literary success which later took itself far too seriously. He had a badly undersold debut two-novel set, which was well-read to me by a very rare male teacher (at age eleven), and which has been on my bookshelves in both hardback and audio book ever since. Dispensing with most of the flummery of Tolkein, Garner produced a captivating tale (for children it said) which quite skillfully wove fantasy and reality worlds together for young and old alike. He admitted (in a jacket interview perhaps) than in order to support his narrative, he sought terms and names from ancient texts, which he then proceeded to plunder unmercifully, and to good effect. Those books that he used as resource were then I believe, still on some library and museum proscribed lists, which sought to protect us from “terrible” things like Black Magic. The worst of which then was said to be Aleister Crowley, who styled himself as “the Great Beast”. But as all the world knows now, it was greater evils such as Peter Mandelson and the millennium dome, from which we all really needed protection. Denis Wheatley was a big seller then. And even his touching faith in the efficacy of “holy water” must have been sorely tested, as the real perfidies of the catholic church were finally dragged out into the daylight. But the source of Garner’s authentic terms and names is nonetheless instructive.
    The two Audio Books of Garner’s first and best work are still available, and very ably delivered by Philip Madoc, the actor. They are THE WEIRDSTONE OF BRISINGAMEN, and it’s sequel, The Moon of Gomrath. Garner made a further worthy effort to explore the juxtaposition between fantasy and reality with his subsequent effort, entitled Elidor. But after that he delivered a woefully inadequate but fashionable piece, named The Owl Service, which was naturally the one selected for TV. I noted the appearance of a sequel to the sequel (of his first two books) about a decade ago and, hoping for a return to form, was dismayed with the result. My take on this spans some fifty years though, and may no longer be considered fashionable enough to be credible. Like my take on Salt, Butter, Fats, and Polyunsaturates. Which I also apprehend are subject to change without notice.


    • I would have to agree that Aldridge was never really young, just less old, a trait he shares with John Laurie of Dad’s Army fame who barely looks more then few years younger in Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps. Funny you should mention Fungus the Bogeyman as it was a story read to me when I was a wee lad by my father at various points in my life, usually when I was down with the dreaded lurgy or my Psoriasis was being particularly invasive. I’ll keep an eye out for The Weirdstone of Brisingamen on audio book, particularly as it is read by the late great Philip Madoc whose work as an actor I have long since been an admirer ever since he captivated my imagination as the morally corrupt Dr. Mehendri Solon in the 1976 Doctor Who story “The Brain of Morbius” which was I believe the third VHS of Doctor Who I bought.


      • Thank you for your reply. I have been unable to get to reply to it for purely personal (illness) reasons and for which I humbly apologise.
        Philip Madoc was a prolific character actor indeed. From a Mohawk in The Last of the Mohicans (TV series, to the collaborator/crook in Invasion of the Daleks 2050 AD.
        I too recall, with some fondness, those early BBC VHS cassettes. Later I found, and still have, three Laserdiscs (12″ DVDs if you like), of The Ark in Space, Day of the Daleks, and Terror of the Zygons. Which were the only three that Pioneer licensed for Laserdisc, as far as I know, at the time. Mind you, since Laseridscs were usually sold at around the £40 a disc then, I doubt if any of the titles were big sellers. That was where VHS scored heavily. But Madoc did impose himself on to all of his roles very effectively… and does so, very atmospherically, in the Wierdstone etc.

        I am presently wending my way through the truly excellent series by David Ashton, Starring Brian Cox, who really is Inspector McLevy, a BBC R4 series, which I also commend to you. Set in Leith, of the late 19th Century, it also stars the very able Siobhan Redmond, and is in 11 immaculately produced series.

        I too suffer from Psoriasis, although as a result of the late onset of type II diabetes, and not, as I suspect yours must be, from a native infection. Please accept my commiserations.

        I keep many of these titles in captivity, and have an area on the curiously named Mediafire, which is (I apprehend) an antique version of “cloud” storage. If you are unable to get your local library to obtain any of these titles for you, then by all means please let me know.


  3. Sorry not to have back to you. Rather a funny thing I found a dog earred copy of the book of the Weirdstone at my mam’s.

    You are correct in my Psoriasis is native, my mum’s suffered badly from it in the late 1940s and I remember Grandma telling me stories of trying to clean his teeth and other unpleasant bits and pieces. Sadly I never met Mum’s dad as he died of heart failure in 1959 which is a fair bit before my time and I believe there are only three photos of him. Two of which we found when clearing out Grandma’s house when she passed. For some reason I chose not to attend the funeral despite it meaning I would get two days off school due to distance… Perhaps I didn’t like the idea of going or possibly it’s because I wanted my last memories of Grandma to be of her pottering around the old bungalow and getting me bowls of Sugar Puffs which I never had the heart to say I didn’t like.

    I am recently rediscovering my love of classic radio sitcom The Navy Lark which starred Leslie Philips, Jon Pertwee, Stephen Murray (though it was Dennis Price in the first series but the boxset for series one is going for nearly 200 pounds… I am not willing to pay that much) and a few soon to become household names in supporting roles (Ronnie Barker and June Whitfield to name two).

    I do recall laserdiscs, they never really caught on here did they, but I believe they were big in Japan.

    I do hope that your​ health has improved since you last replied, my dearly beloved has just been released from hospital following a Kidney infection and complications with Gastrointeritis and IBS.


    • I arrive back only after glitches and illness and life got in the way. I really must find relief from it…especially life. I’m with Marvin there. And also, after composing a reply a few months back, this site proceeded to consume it, and then with typical technological contempt, refused to post it. Perhaps it now considers me unsuitable.

      I do hope that you are now recovered of your Kidney infection and complications with Gastroenteritis and IBS. It all sounds very industrial. A bit like my ravaged digestive system.

      Laserdiscs were indeed big, just not here in the UK. They were also physically big, compared to the successors. We got the usual idiots who declared that Laserdiscs were the “thing” for your home theatre… which of course most people did not have until recently anyway. Now I see that not only do people use downloaded and “downloaded as they watch it” material, they also affect to use digital projectors from their laptops, in lieu of screens. Until recently I myself used a TV box with Windows 10 ‘god help us’, which (as usual) required a little over four hours to persuade it to be remotely useful. Piped through an HDMI cable to a ‘normal’ big screen TV, it worked pretty well, but began to exhibit signs of it’s technological limitation when asked to read material from other systems on my little network. After suffering the induced ‘satellite stutters’ for long enough, that has now gone into the basement in favour of one of the smaller Lenovo laptop/tablets… running (like a fond summer holiday) Windows 7. Pending the HDMI connection (requires an adaptor for Lenovo), the SVGA cable is doing useful duty.

      I had cause just recently to actually buy a DVD… not something I do much at all now. And illustrative of how even that process is now a ‘techno’ event. I wanted an old movie… a really old movie. You’d think it would be a doddle. Not so however. “It Started With a Kiss”, is a romantic comedy in the style of a number of similar offerings of the 50s, usually starring Rock Hudson and Doris Day. All those romantic leads must have been torture for the poor man. Still, they more than paid the bills, I expect. This one stars Debbie Reynolds (once famous in her own right, now known as Carrie Fisher’s mother, until the Star Wars Franchise runs down) and Glen Ford, and a most particular car. The car really was the star of this one. It was, what later came to be, the TV batmobile. Looking at it in this movie, when George Barris was asked to create the Batmobile, and given three weeks in which to do so by 20th Century Fox, on seeing this car, he must have heaved a sigh of relief. But the process of acquiring the DVD was certainly different. It has to be pre-ordered, and then “manufactured” as a result of the order… burned to a blank DVD in other words… and then put into a suitable box with a label from the publicity stills. What takes about ten minutes at home took them some three weeks, and it had to be sent (presumably under plain cover as it was marked specifically as ‘not for export’) from the good ole US of A.

      In something approaching desperation I asked Yahoo to find me some good alternative authors to T Pratchett, but very much in the same vein. I no longer use the original Isis Audio Book CDs that I bought so long ago, having long-since digitised them. But I find that (as with Douglas Adams Hitchiker’s) there are whole passages which I can recite from memory. Time for new material therefore.
      I am in the closing volumes of Ellis Peters’ Cadfael… those volumes which were not made into TV episodes… and can see these suggested titles now in plain sight.
      Perhaps you have insight.
      Now in captivity, the following authors…

      Edward Conlon
      Ernest Cline
      Ian Whates
      Jessica Shirvington
      John Irving
      Lindsey Davis
      Mary Gentle
      Peter James
      Reginald Hill
      Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
      and Tanya Huff


      • That’s very odd about not being able to post. Perhaps it be better to correspond via e-mail (
        The names Reginald Hill and Peter James certainly ring a bell, although off the top of my head I cannot name one of their works, I probably have some of their work in my ever-expanding to read list.
        Currently I am on a bit of a detour into the horror genre with Salem’s Lot currently on the nightstand and novels by Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell and Dennis Wheatley propped near by.

        I have heard of these “on demand” DVD services, they are usually on DVD-Rs so I would keep an eye on the state of the disc. It certainly sounds like it is a service on a restricted license, a suitable comparison would be Proper Records who do some excellent box sets of music out of copyright in Europe with detailed booklets with a good overview and details of all the recording dates, a number of which are marked not for sale in America and Canada.

        A small correction, it was my then partner who was suffering from Gastroenteritis and IBS as opposed to me, though I have had a minor “Singing Detective” incident which left me partially bed ridden for a week.

        Thanks for the heads up in regards to the Navy Lark.


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