The time has come for another book to be released into the wild, to flourish where it can, like a weed, and hopefully sow fertile seeds in the imagination. Or at least take up some prime real estate on someone’s bookshelf, which is of course identical to becoming an important part of their inner life.
The year is 1900. An Earl, an
engineer, a suburban philosopher,
and an enigma meet at University
and make a pact to learn the art
Consider yourself warned: the rabbit is out of the hat and the cat is out of the bag.
In Pig’s experience you could learn a lot from names.
Doubtless Foley had read too much into his own choices – assumptions of guilt and servitude came with Pig, with Foley instead of Dick. He had his own assumptions – Dick, not Richard, or Cyril. Retaining his youth, his veneer of friendliness.
It was, he though, like his brothers – half-brothers – who had begun life as William and Michael, and gone away to become Billy and Mike, then Lance-Corporal William John Ridel, deceased, and Ridel, Michael John. Then Dear Michael, I Hope You Are Well. Then Dear Sir, I have been empowered by a solicitor to act on behalf of Michael John Ridel, and finally, with no small amount of relief, Michael John Ridel, May He Rest With The Angels.
Around this time his sister had progressed from Little Mabel to Dear Mabel to Hasn’t Mabel Blossomed to Stay Away From My Bloody Sister, later amended to Mrs Mabel Simpkins. Pig himself had acquired the name Your Bloody Layabout Brother and the accompanying epithet Well If You’d Just Help Him Find A Job.
At which time he’d learned the name Golding Holdings and come, like a rock falling to earth, back to the name Captain Dick Foley, to Pig, to the mediation on names, and to Maureen Phillips staring at the same spot on the side of his head while she brightly informed someone on the other end of the phone line that they absolutely had received his information and he merely needed to repeat it to her before she would happily provide him with a letter on the state of his insurance accountants.
Maureen made a face at him and continued her bright, breezy, Home Counties lying.