Here’s what Julian thinks we’re all eating:
The monkeys, in particular, are tucking in with relish. They’ve decided that since they’re imaginary in the first place (and thus could only throw imaginary dog-shit, Mr Policeman!), they don’t mind helping themselves to some imaginary porridge.
Personally, a breakfast like that would send me into carbohydrate shock, so I’m continuing this weary life on the run, ducking and diving like a ducky-divey thing, jumping at every shadow and trying my level best not to let the police know that I’ve hidden myself appropriately on the island of Foula.
Oh, damn. Monkeys, pack your bags again!
Now, on to more important matters.
Julian, my computer screen is not anonymous. It says ‘DELL’ on it, quite clearly – even someone with your limited interest in reading should be able to make the letters out.
And on that note, it’s time for me to reach for my marigold gloves and take up my well-thumbed copy of Buggered Clots once again. How far had we got?
Ah, yes. Page nine.
We lost three good monkeys there. They just couldn’t work out where to begin. Julian puts so much of himself into his writing – take, for example, ‘At first Lise was constantly faced with weird looks and despair each time she spoke.’ Oh, the humanity. Julian knows exactly how she felt. I mean, it takes a lot to make someone plunge into despair just because you’re talking to them, but Julian holds public meetings (and other people come to some of them) – he’s fine-tuned his art.
Incidentally, ‘at first’ and ‘constantly’ don’t play very well together, Jules – because they both describe time, you see. Just a little ‘heads up’ for you there.
‘There were the occasional smiles though even if these were tainted with narrowness and ignorance.’ Er… even if these were tainted with narrowness and ignorance what? It is tragic (or do I mean bathetic?) that on one of the few occasions when Julian does what we would like him to do more often, and leaves the commas out entirely, he so desperately needed a couple. ‘There were the occasional smiles, though, even if these were tainted’ would be intelligible, Julian. You want the ‘though’ to be an interruption – if you allow it to become part of the following phrase, you get ‘though even if’, which then requires some kind of a conclusion.
‘Early on she decided that her son would receive all the initial years of learning he required from her.’
So, Lise is going to teach Kristian herself.
‘Although she had little faith in the rough and basic schools on offer, she insisted he attend.’ What, all of them? Er, so that his mother can give him ‘all the initial years of learning he required’? Was she moonlighting as a teacher in some of these rough and basic schools, then?
A suspicion is brewing in the minds of my beloved monkeys.
The kind of suspicion that is no sooner uttered than it becomes a raging certainty.
Julian doesn’t just avoid reading books by real authors.
He also (and entirely understandably) avoids reading what he’s written himself.
We should have another poll.