Noticed a few typos in the last Blog so in future had better be a bit more careful with my proof reading. Don’t know why the spell-checker didn’t pick up the obvious. When I spot typos in published works now, instead of being all censorious I tend to be a bit ‘what the hell’ about it as I have discovered through experience that spotting mistakes is a difficult business. You can go over a passage half a dozen times and still miss the obvious. Proof reading is an art. Well a discipline anyway that requires not only a keen eye but infinite patience. Having read NO OFFICIAL UMBRELLA and sent Douglas a list of all the mistakes I found he has already spotted one I missed in the first sixty pages. No doubt there will be more.
Sweeny for just over a week has been at death’s door. She wouldn’t eat, if she lay or fell down she could hardly get up, her back legs were almost useless and it really seemed as if doggie heaven’s portals were opening for her. One evening while I was watering the garden she somehow slipped out of the house and I eventually found her sitting right at the bottom of the garden, a long way for a virtual cripple to travel, and all I saw was this little black figure with her back to me sitting beside the hole we had already dug some weeks ago just in case. It brought to mind the little old bread seller in Genoa who saved up her pennies to pay for a marble monument carved in her likeness, bread and all, and the story has it she would visit the cemetery to sit and look at it, presumably on her days off when she wasn’t still selling her bread. It really broke me up to see her sitting there and she wouldn’t move. A bit too heavy for me to carry the length of the garden in my old age I took a coupe of blankets out and some plastic in case it rained and put her to bed, snug as a bug in a rug as my mother used to say, fully expecting next morning to find her gone. She had, but only a few yards off to sit somewhere else. I made a fuss of her and left her sitting there. Later in the day she returned to the house. Having put me through a week of tearful expectation now she has rallied like one wouldn’t believe: eating again and the back legs seemingly regaining some of their strength, walking fairly steadily instead of wobbling and weaving all over the place. She still spends her time going from one sleeping place to another but it seems she is also not quite so doolally.
Have finished two of the three Reginald Hill books. Problem is, once I get my nose into one, it’s very difficult to get it out again. The last one was ARMS AND THE WOMEN (with apologies to GBS?) and did I think he went just a teensy-weensy-weensy-weensy bit over the top with this one? He himself referred at one point to it being a bit Tarantino cum Ken Russell and we know how over the top he got. Also, now I take just a tiny cudgellette to Mr Hill without diminishing my admiration for his writing but, dear Mr Hill, it is pretty obvious that you are (a) an extremely intelligent man, (b) a highly educated one both classical and modern and (c) you have a great sense of humour and you are a truly terrific writer so there is really no need to use words that require the likes of myself to reach for the dictionary to prove all the above. In fact it detracts slightly from (c). For example, was it necessary to use the word ‘cetacean,’ a word I had never come across, when you could just as easily have written ‘whale like’ and my reading would not have been interrupted. ‘Oenophilic’ didn’t bother me because I just happen to know that oenos is the ancient Greek for wine but to use it in reference to a couple of dogs sniffing each other’s backsides, was that really a good choice do you think? There, I said it would be a tiny cudgellette because once again Mr Hill provided me with a great read. I look forward now to dipping my snout into number three. Hope theer arfe no typos in this one.