Meet the Characters (Part 2)

January 28, 2010

Florence Bray
Apparently growing older is best done gracefully, but no one told that to Florence Bray. With her barely tolerated husband recently in his grave, she rages against the wasted years, casts off acquaintances and finds solace, and adventure, at last in the company of the demonic Mr Drew, a man with an appetite for love, drink and offending the elderly.

Henry Caldwell
Meet an ice cream salesman with a mind as cold and icy as his frosty confections. Henry is the scourge of hot, sweaty optimistic youth, and seems bent on bringing the knowledge of life’s disappointments to the young as quickly as is inhumanely possible. What will save the youth of Hayle from Henry? Love, of course, in the shapely shape of fellow ice cream vendor Sarah.

Ronnie Honeychurch
What is art? No idea, and neither has Ronnie by the looks of it. Until one day this anxious little painter of twee Cornish landscapes accidentally smears one of his tired paintings and begins a journey through impressionism, expressionism, and finally a deadly abstraction. Or something like that. Like I say, I know nothing about art. Like everyone else, I just look at the price tag.

Bill Downder
Bill keeps a diary. Every day he writes what he has for dinner, and what the weather’s like. Then his wife dies. And Bill embarks on a furious spree of writing (well, about 1,000 words)  looking back at the years with humour, regret and an admission that he knew exactly what his wife did with Fish Pie Matthews at the dinner and dance.  I’m sorry, I can’t write any more. I’m welling up.

PC George Thomas
He’s fat, he’s indolent, he wouldn’t know a clue if he saw a great big sign saying ‘Clue!’, and therefore, naturally – and really it goes without saying – he’s absolutely nothing like any policeman in Cornwall or adjacent counties. PC George Thomas is, however, quite the connoisseur of quality biscuits. Join him on a courtesy call to the recently robbed Mrs Grace Pellow, and on a high-tea adventure through Hob Nobs, Chocolate Fingers and beyond.

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Meet the Characters (Part 1)

January 18, 2010

Here’s a few of the character’s that appear in One Big Echo of a Much Nicer Place. (And, incidentally, are popping up frequently in the next collection of stories I’m writing now.)

Dandy Allcock – Take a gameshow host from the Seventies (preferably one from an unbroadcast pilot) mix in a little auctioneer and finish with a sprinkling of horse-racing commentator and you have Dandy: a man who just wants to be loved and that no one in Hayle can stomach for more than a few minutes.

Barbara Morethek – Morethek means something like sadness in Cornish, I forget exactly what now, and Barbara is the epitome of the person who sees all the world through a veil of sepia-tinted nostalgia. Her life is a crackling Cine film, with a soundtrack made up of sighs and water dripping from guttering on a Sunday afternoon.

Jack Tremenyans – When some people swear it’s ugly, when others do it’s an art form. Jack belongs to the latter group – never does ‘fucking’ sound so vital and alive than when falling, mid mishap, from his cursing Cornish lips.

Archie – Otherwise known as Old Broken Window Bachelor. Living a life of purity can be a pretty dirty business. Ragged old Archie drinks and smokes his way through his autumn years like the young poet of his youth. Wise people salute him; commonplace people sneer.

Tommy Wakfer – The uber Cornish male. Suspicious of change one moment, Quixotic the next, a profanity or a poetic utterance never far from his lips. He’s never had a full story proper to himself yet, just an anecdote, though he pops up in a lot of other character’s stories when the raging spirit of Cornishness need to rear its beautiful/ugly head.