Newsletter one hundred and ten

Remember I mentioned bucket lists last time? I’m glad to report that I was very good when we went on the Swanage steam railway because I didn’t indulge another one of my dreams. I didn’t pull this:



I’ll be taking part (alongside lots of other good folks) in the Queer Romance month come October. Should be some really interesting posts.

Here’s another little snippet from Home Fires Burning, this time from the post WWII story, The Case of the Overprotective Ass.

“Not so haughty, milady. You’re on the Swift Apollo now and the captain’s word is law.” Toby Bowe was a handsome man, but the innate cruelty in his voice was reflected in his expression, coarsening his naturally good looks. His slim mouth was curled in a leer and his blue eyes shone dark.
“Captain? You’re not fit to bear the title. You’re a black-hearted pirate and I won’t bow to your commands.”
“You won’t? What if you were made to?” Toby loomed over his prisoner. “Your fine Commodore Neville can’t come to your aid here. Look at the ocean, milady—there’s not a sail to be seen.”
“You’re not worthy to sup at the commodore’s feet, you scurvy knave…”
“Scurvy, am I? Just wait, you saucy wench…oh, I can’t go on with this, Alasdair. How can anyone talk such twaddle? Even Fiona can’t believe in any of it.”
Toby laid down his script with a sigh and ran his hands through the sort of unruly hair that even a pirate would have been ashamed of. His dark blond locks—usually slicked back with Brylcreem for the better depiction of fighter pilots or His Majesty’s soldiers—were hanging rakishly loose.
“Why do we get given such rotten scripts?”
“I don’t think the studio’s bothered about the quality of dialogue so long as the cinema goers suspend disbelief.” Alasdair Hamilton, ‘The Man with the Golden Frown’, employed his trademark expression. The trio of Bowe, Hamilton and Fiona Marsden were the darlings of post-war British cinema, a touch of glamour and excitement in a world where austerity still hadn’t been shaken off. And when they weren’t lighting up the screen, they lit up the gossip columns, story after story and photo after photo of
their latest exploits. Toby (hair carefully controlled on these occasions) was generally depicted with some heiress to a retail empire on his arm while Alasdair squired one of the minor European royals, usually chosen because the olive shades of her skin brought out the dark auburn of his hair. Landseer wasn’t bothered if people said they went for formula over art, Alasdair always getting the girl, Fiona, and Toby suffering nobly as second fiddle. Toby didn’t complain, not given the off-screen perks; Fiona
always got Alasdair by the time the credits rolled, but Toby kept him to go home with. Somehow or other the newspapers never seemed to get wind of that juicy little tidbit.



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