From crazy to sublime to more crazy

We returned home last evening from a few days in the steamy south. Our niece got herself married down in the New Forest. I wore suit and tartan waistcoast, consumed much of the blackstuff and not a little of the water of life.

But oh, what a joy to be back! As the Westerbus rolled over the hills I thought about motorlife on the M27, about youths with speckled faces and girls with small dresses falling about drunk on Fareham High Street, about the wail of police and ambulance sirens ... Not long ago a visitor buying my stuff said his son thought me a misogynist 'because you don't have any machines or humans in your pictures.' Well as they say: right.

One idea about Going with Gabriel. Maybe putting one thing with another and making three of it ...?

Thing one ... I've committed to do a radio interview followed by a two hour evening signing session at Hillbillie's Bookshop in Gairloch on the 29th June.

Thing two ... There's an electrician living locally - a tall, bearded, youngish man. His wife asked me whether I had used her husband as a model for Gabriel on the front cover of my novel. I said no, my cover design came purely from imagination, that one does build up a physical image of one's fictional characters as part of the writing process. Anyway this man came to do some work on the house and I had to admit that the resemblance - albeit profile only - is amazing, even down to the flop of forelock and trim of beard. Whilst chatting, he pulled out a tin whistle and proceeded to play it! And very well! It transpired he was in a newly formed folk group.

So, I'm right now wondering if the interview / reading / signing can in some way be beefed up to include Roger and his tin whistle. Maybe even do a combo reading / performance of the Roisson Dubh ('my' Gabriel's favourite tin whistle piece), or even put something on Facebook / YouTube. (Daunting as may be that prospect to a non-techie!) Watch this space.

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