Lord David Prosser
Full Name: Lord David Prosser
How long have you been writing? Since about September 2010 I think.
What works have you published so far? I have three books out so far which are part of the Barsetshire Diaries series. My Barsetshire Diary, The Queen‘s Envoy and More Barsetshire Diary.
What style of writing and genre do you prefer and why? I write light humour. It’s something I tend to notice in every day situations that appeals to my capriciousness I suppose. Perhaps you could say I’m nosy and write about what I see.
Where do you get your inspiration? Anywhere and everywhere. There are always little bits of humour around whether you’re in the shops , out having meal in a posh restaurant or watching the local brass band perform a bum note.
Give me some background to yourself: I’m a retired Local Government Officer with enough health problems to ensure much of my time is spent indoors and I needed an outlet.
What are you working on at the moment? Tell us a bit about it: I have started the fourth book which is a kind of sequel to The Queen’s Envoy. Unfortunately it’s more or less on hold for a while due to some health problems at home.
What is your writing routine? Do you sit down every day at a certain time; do you play music while you write? I started out writing mainly in the afternoon so that I could print a chapter off for my wife to read in bed later. Sitting at the computer I knew I’d done well if I heard her laugh out loud. Later on I’d write whenever I could and was in the habit of keeping a pad handy. No music though as that would have distracted me and I’d have enjoyed the music more than the writing.
Please give any links to any works that you have available: http://www.amazon.com/My-Barsetshire-Diary-Recorded-Posterity/dp/1456479776/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1337578938&sr=8-2
Also available are kindle books of all three.
Give a brief outline of your main work: Lord David is an easygoing man, some say too easygoing. But when you live a life where not just the wife rules the roost but so does the cat then you tend not to rock the boat. The book is about Lord David’s life in a small village with small village concerns like who’ll win the jam making competition at the local fete. In this instance the dreaded Edna is determined to win by hook or by crook with probably more emphasis on the crook.
The Ugly Tree
It pains me to do this, but if you are to understand me, I feel some clarification is necessary.
No doubt most of you will think in my position I must belong to the huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ set. Nothing could be further from the truth. I don’t hunt. In fact I agree with, I think it was Oscar Wilde, it is the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible.
I don’t shoot. Not even clay pigeons in case they end up in the red book as an endangered species and I get the blame.
I do not fish for a simpler reason. There are two things to which I’m allergic and one is fish. Raw, cooked, shellfish, anything.
You may soon learn of my other allergy and the reason for this confession.
Lady Julia is usually most considerate of the fact that we follow different interests and activities. Mine do tend to be on the more studious side and hers have more to do with her animals. This morning, however, things didn’t go quite my way.
The farrier was due to visit Pilgrim. Julia particularly wanted to be there and requested I accompany her and exercise another horse for her while she was busy. I’m not a coward by any means but I haven’t spent much time with horses, because if the horse doesn’t get me, my allergy to them does.
Anyway, she convinced me of her need and I agreed to go. We arrived at the stables and parked the car as another car drew up alongside us. As we got out of ours so did Henrietta Fanshaw out of hers. If anyone was ever born to work with horses and run a pony club, Henrietta was. I was almost sure whenever she spoke it was with a neigh and a shake of the head. Her eyes were slightly protuberant and her large teeth protruded at the front to cover her bottom lip. Cruelly I was tempted to offer a carrot as just now her top lip quivered and the teeth parted.
“What ho, mi dears”, she said. “Got a day orf and fancied a good ride. You orf for a canter too?” “Yes Henrietta dear”, said my wife, ”David’s up today”.
We walked past a couple of fields to a caravan where Pilgrim’s tack and other paraphernalia are kept. I chose a hat and boots before grabbing a saddle and setting off for the stable block.
As we passed the first stall I asked Julia which horse I’d be riding today, and pointed to one in a nearby field I thought I could manage easily. She pointed out that it was a Fallabella and as such far too small to ride. “Oh”, I responded, “I just thought it was far away”.
I was told I could forget a Shetland too before I tried my luck again. “This one is yours”, she said pointing to a stable bearing the legend ‘Twinkle’.
Gratified I said, “Fine”, and opened the stable door. My eyes beheld a shoulder and travelled up as far as my neck would take them to the head. He was HUGE.
“Twinkle is a gypsy horse and as good as gold”, said Julia. She saddled him up quickly for me without a reaction from him except a friendly nudge, no doubt looking for the sugar cubes I knew she often carried. She passed the reins to me, gave me a peck and said, “Have a nice hack my dear, and I’ll see you a little later”. Then she was gone, leaving the gentle giant and I to become acquainted. The huge broad head came forward and nudged me in the chest. I flew backwards into Henrietta who was leading her hack past.
“Is Twinkle looking for a treat? Just give him a strawberry or a carrot and he’ll be fine, there’s a good chap”.
I wasn’t sure which of us she meant, but spying a carrot on the ledge of the next box I grasped it. A whinny of disgust came from the stable, but too late as I had it in my open palm, or for a moment I did and then it was gone. Twinkle looked at me as if to say, ‘Is that it?’ I counted my fingers and hoping I’d made a new friend, drew Twinkle outside and mounted him.
We set off. All of two steps worth. I tried “mush”, I tried “giddy up”, and I tried waggling the reins, and nothing worked until I remembered, “walk on boy”.
We left the yard and he behaved beautifully with a nice steady walk. There is a path that leads behind the loose boxes and goes to the beach with a half-barriered railway crossing to manoeuvre. Twinkle was a true gentleman all the way to the barrier and I thought to reward him with a trot on the other side. The barrier was down so we waited for about three seconds, after which Twinkle went to the right of the barrier and onto the railway line, which he proceeded to turn left and walk down. I wasn’t too worried as I couldn’t hear anything, but knew we had to get off it. Twinkle didn’t have the same script as me. I tugged on the rein and was ignored. He wanted a stroll.
I could hear a faint sound in the distance now as Twinkle saw a tasty hedge and stepped off the rails to try it. He was still very close to the line, and without warning I felt the wind on my back as a diesel train went flying past. Twinkle did not even pause in his munching until the train had gone past. Then he backed up, turned round and stepped back on the rails to go back in the direction from which he had come. I have no idea if he knew what the jelly wobbling on his back was but it didn’t bother him. When we reached the crossing he turned left and continued down the path towards the beach as though there had been no interruption of the initial journey.
On the beach he obeyed every request I made, no matter how slight the pressure. If I’d suggested tap dancing he would have complied. We had an excellent workout for a couple of hours and then it was time to go back. “Food time”, I said and Twinkle turned his nose towards the stable and started back. I was nervous as we approached the crossing but the barriers were up and he didn’t hesitate. He was good all the way back to his stable.
I took him in and removed the tack and saddle which I draped over the lower stable door. I gave him a good brush down and then told him I’d just get him a full hay net. I did so and brought a couple of carrots from Pilgrim‟s bin. I took them in and told him, “You were a good lad when I got you under control”. His hoof lowered itself on to my foot. As I pulled, he pressed. I was going nowhere until I knew who had who under control. I pulled out the carrots and the pressure eased. I edged my way through the door, leaned in and fed him his carrots.
Just then Julia arrived and asked if I’d had a nice time. “Wonderful”, I replied giving my forehead a rub. It really itched.
“We’ll just wash up then, and go for a quick bite”, said Julia. We washed, waved to various people on horseback and got into the car. I was expecting to head home but Julia turned in the direction of a nearby town and then in the direction of a superstore chain with a cafe.
“My forehead is really itchy and my chest is little tight”, I said, remembering the allergy. Luckily I kept a spray in the car for the chest which I used before getting out.
We entered the store and collected the usual staples, bread, butter, milk etc., along with a packet of sliced beef and an onion for later. Then we got on the escalator for the cafe.
Going up, I saw an advert for Ella’s Fountain Cafe, Special Bacon Sandwich, and I knew my meal was chosen. We stood at the counter while Julia chose a Danish pastry and I ordered the coffees while she sat down at a table.
The young man at the counter was looking at me strangely and asked, “Is there a Star Trek Convention in Town?”
“Not that I’m aware of”, I replied puzzled. “Oh”, he said, “sit down and I’ll bring your sandwich when it’s ready”.
I sat and it arrived. I immediately thought of the Trade Descriptions Act. The picture had shown two slices of bread parted by pieces of back bacon all curled and crispy. The reality looked like it might have at one time been bread before someone had painted dark brown stripes across it. I guessed it had been in a sandwich toaster. But there was no discernible gap between the slices for any filling. I would have called him back but thought I’d better check first. Wafer thin slices of smoky, streaky bacon through which I would see daylight if held up. It lay there limp and unloved between these polystyrene slices. I ate it anyway, as I did not feel quite right.
As we were finishing our coffees two young men came to a table next to us.
“My God”, said one of them, “you didn’t miss any branches of the ugly tree did you, Pops”, pointedly looking at me.
“Don’t be such a bitch, Sean”, said the other, “you should apologise”.
“And remember that the pot shouldn’t call the kettle”, said Julia as we got up to leave.
We returned home and I went to the bathroom. There in the mirror was not my usual twin but my evil twin. My forehead was by now covered in large blisters, some bleeding from my earlier rubbing. I now could see where the Star Trek remark had come from and laughed.
I asked Julia for the antiseptic if there was any left after the cat had vaccinated me, and she called to Grizelda to bring it.
Grizelda returned with some. She took one look at me and chuckled.
“I thought you were going riding, My Lord, not sticking your head in a hive”.
Julia kindly applied the antiseptic to my head and told Grizelda, “It seems he’ll do anything to get out of going to the stables”.