As regular readers will know, I get my ideas for these articles from any number of sources.
They can arise from something that I hear or read which either reminds me of something else or gives me scope for misunderstanding in an amusing way. Either that or I get a “punchline” and manage to build a story backwards from it!
And then there are the ones that stem from an actual question or remark made to me directly or reported to me by a third party.
Early in the history of this blog I used two examples of actual remarks as my source material.
The first of these, back in March 2009 concerned my late father who overheard a man talking on his mobile phone in the centre of Ipswich and announcing to all in earshot that:
“I’m just coming into Wolverhampton now!”
As I pointed out at the time those two places are 160 miles apart and I STILL want to write the novel that attempts to explain that remark!
The second offering came a couple of months later when my then Manager asked me who did the voice-over at the start of the original Battlestar Galactica TV series.
At this point I must make what appears to be (but isn’t!) a digression from my theme by referring back to the opening sentence of this piece – specifically the term “regular readers”.
For it does seem that I do indeed have a few regulars in addition to the two gents who make most of the comments and with whom I collaborate on another blog – but I’ll tell you more about THAT in a forthcoming post.
I found out that others do read this stuff and it seems that this is mostly down to my having ticked a box somewhere deep within the WordPress admin settings. As a result a notification of each posting appears, along with the first few lines of text, on the Facebook page of my Alter Ego from whence it spreads out to friends and relatives.
And I know this for sure from the very guy who asked me that question about Battlestar Galactica that I mentioned earlier – Mike H my former Manager, now friend (the first time THAT’S ever happened!) who now works near my home.
Last week I had a free day and Mike and I spent his lunch break taking a brisk walk around one of the lakes at Ferry Meadows Country Park followed by a coffee in the Watersports Centre, all the while chatting about the “good old days” before the company went down the toilet!
I’m pleased to say that he was quite amused by my gentle digs at him in that posting and assured me that he reads them all now!
Meanwhile, back at my narrative concerning my sources of inspiration………
My other main places for finding ideas are, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, my own notebooks in which I scribble various things which amuse me at the time. And from that last sentence you will probably have correctly guessed that I’ve found another one of THOSE!
The note makes reference to an event during the holiday that my wife, Faith, and I took in Majorca in May 2009.
We had been on a road and rail excursion through the mountains of that island and the coach driver taking us back from Palma to our hotel did what they normally do on such trips – he made an “unscheduled rest stop”. This was at a place which DID have toilets and a place to get food and water but to get to them you had to pass through the rest of the building which just happened to be a factory outlet store selling leather goods of all sorts and prices!
I imagine that these places have every single coach driver on the island on commission!
Anyway, we were browsing through the smaller goods on display and, as usual with shopping, my mind had drifted off and I was pondering how my spending money was lasting after the exorbitant cost of the shared pizza we’d had for lunch! At that moment of least concentration my dear wife called to me from a couple of counters away:
“Do you need a new wallet, dear?”
“Yes” I replied without any hesitation at all, “I think the old one is nearly empty!”
And even after that remark she still bought me a new wallet!
Finally, I’m sure that anyone reading this who hasn’t been through my back catalogue will still be asking who did the voiceover on “Battlestar”. Well, I’m not going to tell you – if you want to know you’ll have to go to https://littlealfie.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/wow/ and find out for yourself.