Apparently there are now four million bloggers in Britain. Or nearly seven million if you believe what they print in The Guardian, though I find it hard to believe that any of my readers would be guilty of such an egregious error.
My first reaction to this news was what one might have expected from Roger Mellie out of Viz: “Aw, bollocks.” And there was I thinking that I’d write a blog rather than another unpublishable novel, because the fiction market is so thoroughly overcrowded.
Then I reflected that 3,999,995 (Guardian readers please insert higher number) of those blogs are probably by women, whingeing on about how awful it is being a woman. Mainly, of course, because of the awfulness of men. Whereas this will be a Bloke Blog. Only not what you might consider a typical Bloke Blog, because I’m not very interested in most of the conventional blokeish things like games. As distinct from sport, which means killing things, preferably with a shotgun rather than your bare hands. These important distinctions were drummed into me by more senior blokes, who had had the benefit of top public school educations, when I went to work in the City in the 1970s. In similar vein, I know that only potatoes ever wear jackets, and that the thing you put on after your suit trousers (unless you have a very strange sense of priorities) is actually a coat. While the thing you always thought of as a coat is, in fact, an overcoat. It all makes a sort of sense once you have got the hang of it, like the ranks of the British peerage and their various courtesy titles.
In short, I loathe all ball games with the exception of sex and croquet, and these days it’s mainly croquet I get to have a whack at. I like opera, theatre, classical music, comedy, films, history, hill-walking, Border terriers and Coronation Street. In fact, just about the only conventionally blokeish things I indulge in are drinking beer, eating pork scratchings and being incredibly ill from time to time (the third may indeed be related to the first two, and particularly the second).
Despite all the powerful contrary indications noted above, I am not gay. I’ve been engaged three times, but somehow avoided actually getting married. OId school friends, reunited after three decades or more, invariably shake their heads in wonderment and utter the same three words: “You lucky bastard!”
Perhaps. I don’t feel lucky. What I feel is the tightening grip of the Hand of Death upon my shoulder. This blog will explore my ducking and weaving to avoid my Date With Destiny until such time as it happens.
Having already noted the outcome of your literary endeavours in these hallowed pages, and now seen the auspicious beginning, I hereby slap a Preservation Order upon this site or a Heritage Listing, whatever. Please don't wilt or quit. Your wit and wisdom is needed.
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