Friday 4 June 2021


Jaysus, I'm wringin', me finger-nail is broke and I could murder a cup of tea. On 22nd May, my writer-persona, quite casually, pitched The Blob off the cliff announcing with puerile melodrama <ta-DAH> that, after eight years of daily posts, it was The End. A handful, maybe two handsful, of my regular readers wrote in or commented to say So long and thanks for all the fish. That response was considerably more measured than the hysterical fan-boy storm-cup that Conan Doyle generated when he made Sherlock Holmes take one for the team by heaving self-and-nemesis into a fatal encounter with the Reichenbach Falls [as L, hat goes first].

Conan Doyle was, at that stage, really tired of his know-it-all detective. He had other literary fish to fry and Sherlock was a massive distraction. "I must save my mind for better things, even if it means I must bury my pocketbook with him." His two volumes of Napoleonic War Brigadier Gerard stories are really good fun and the period details are exactingly researched. Delving further back, The White Company is a ripping yarn about mercenaries in the 100 Years' War. I probably have it confused in my head with Walter Scott's Quentin Durward which is also set in France, although 100 years later. One of the reasons for Conan Doyle's enduring fame is that all his books are readable. Anyway, the poor fellow was surprised at how invested his readers were in Sherlock Holmes and, after a holiday from the relentless treadmill of producing 'tec thrillers, he wrote The Hound of the Baskervilles. HoB was set chronologically before Reichenbach, but The Adventure of the Empty House brought Holmes back from the dead and the carou$el $tarted grinding the corn again. Holmes had climbed up and down the cliff beside the Reichenbach Falls to evade the dastardly rock-pelting confederates of Professor Moriarty and escape. Moriarty was defo dead, though.

But enough of the famous and the dead, this is about meeeeee. Wet but unbroken, I've crawled back up the precipice and beg your attention: I am hereby giving notice that The Blob is back on a when the spirit is upon me basis. Apart from anything else, it's useful as a record of the everyday story of country folk. The really dramatic events like the DarwinDay storm are in the public record; who did what with which sheep, not so much.