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I had heard about Claude from a friend of mine in the UK.  He told me that Claude has been going around telling everyone he has a bit part in the next James Bond movie, a really far thinking guy.  When I asked if this was true his Lordship (my friend and Claude’s agent) said not exactly. Claude wanted a bit part in the film, well Claude being a nice guy I decided to interview him and find out what makes him cauk….

This is Claude

I must explain a few points first. As you can see Claude is neither slim or fast, but he is exceedingly agile, either that or Farmer John is a really bad shot, Claude says he could not hit a barn door at 50 paces.  Having seen Farmer John and Claude in action I am not so sure.  Claude also has a female friend who is ‘in the business’ and a couple of ‘ard nut’ relatives, and this has given him a hankering for adventure.  Any way I flew over for a day with Claude to get his story and see him in training with Farmer John.
MDB:  Well Claude I hear you would like a bit part in the next James Bond movie.
CP:
Yes Michael. I am very good at ducking and weaving Farmer John trains me at least twice a week, but I really think my forte is as an undercover pheasant.   You know, I could fly in and perch near windows and things listen to conversations, get the info. I am very photogenic you know.
MDB:  But wouldn’t you be scared of being shot at  Claude? I know Farmer John is tutoring you how does he do it Claude?

Claude being embarrassed

CP:
Well I sit here on the fence he stands back there with his gun and aims for that outline on the barn door.  You can see the holes in the door where he has missed,  well out of my way.  Now and again a bit of shot will whistle past me but he’s such a rotten shot sometimes I don’t even have to move, it can be embarrassing.
On the barn door is an outline of a big fat pheasant…
MDB:   Why is that outline on the door Claude?

Claude in training

CP:
Well I sit on the fence here and he fires at the shape on the door then I move a long a bit and he fires again but sometimes he can’t even hit the barn door and nearly gets me.  But it is kind of him to help me so I mustn’t complain.
MDB:  I understand you have a friend who is an undercover agent Claude.
CP: Yes she’s called Dawn Eider, she’s one of the Sussex Eider-Downs.
MDB: Does she give you any tips or advice about how to be an agent?
CP:
Yes she does but it’s not really helpful to me. Shes a female and I’m a male and I only like females, which makes some of her advice unhelpful. She seems to do a lot of her work in bed, and she can make me a bit hot, but that’s her undercover work.
MDB:  So have you done any acting before?

Claude showing his feet off

CP:
Oh yes. I was the original model for the whisky advert, you know the one that uses a grouse.  Well before they found Gregory McPeck they needed a prototype to see if the strutting and everything worked.  So my agent (his Lordship) suggested me, I was the one who came up with the footwork.  Doing quite well untill some idiot decided that ‘Famous Pheasant’ didn’t sound quite right and any way being a Scottish whisky they should have a Scottish bird and brand name.  So  his Lordship suggested McPeck (he was his agent as well) and that was that.  Mind you I have noticed that there is a new guy on there now,  Duke McEllington they call him, plays the piano he’s a jazz pianist from the USA, I really like his music.
MDB:
Do you have any other friends or relatives who are, shall we say, in that line of work?
CP:
Well there’s my Uncle  Emery Board,  he’s a really rough character.  Won’t stand any messing from anyone or thing. He even shortened my Aunts nails one day because she kept him awake scratching.   He’s taught me how to look mean.
Then there’s my cousin  Buster Crab. He sounds tough, but the other week he had a break in and Uncle Emery says he’s got shell-shock.
MDB:    What about your agent my friend his Lordship, has he been able to find you any work this year?

Claude being a Gossip

CP:
Well, he did have this offer from someone called Cordon Ramsey. He wanted a pheasant for one of his cooking programmes, but I had heard about how he shouts and said no way, he can go shout at another peasant.  But there is a chance I may be in a tv serial.  Perhaps I shouldn’t say anything, but his Lordship has been approached by this director who is looking for a kungphoo pheasant to appear in a series with a werewolf, vampire and a ghost.  Don’t mind the first two but not so sure about the ghost, they’re spooky.
MDB: Well thank you for your time Claude and allowing me to interview you.  I have enjoyed meeting you and hope you get your bit part.  I think Farmer John is ready for some more target practice take care Claude.
I would like to thank my friend his Lordship for allowing me to interview Claude.  Also Farmer John who let me watch a practice session.
However, I did notice the outline on the barn door and the position Claude sits in when ‘practice’ is going on are getting closer together.   Keep swerving Claude.

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I have been asked why I write about sex in my stories. Why not, all books have some sexual content but most leave the reader with waves crashing on the shore at that time.

I however, believe that a little gentle erotica is a good thing. There is nothing wrong with sex and never really has been. It is when its portrayed as hard and vicious with no feeling that it becomes wrong. Sex should be a careing gentle thing with a feeling of enjoyment by both parties otherwise its just rape.

I try to impart this feeling in my books, whether between a husband his wife or lover there is still that feeling of care. In the late 1700’s early 1800’s it was accepted that women took ‘companions’, this was their way of sexual fulfilment and not having a baby every year as contraception was not exactly a priority.  This left the men able to have a mistress who did not mind having children but who usually knew about preventing babies.

Society in those days accepted the situation especially when in the tropics. Many offspring of famous males sired on their mistresses have either taken over the family title or proved to be famous themselves. Obviously there were ‘rotters’ there always are, but usually these men looked after the mistresses and their children. I have tried to relate these situations in A Soldier’s Wind and hope to have achieved my aim.

In A loving Son, I have taken the attitudes of post war London and entwined the story of Stanley and his mother with the conditions of that day.  East London was not the rosey place depicted in some films, it was hard, and for those who had no husabnds or means of supporting themselves it was even harder.  Women did take to prostitution to provide a home and food for themselves and children, there was no social then, no child benefits or tax credits like there is today and the NHS was only just starting up.

What there was were criminal gangs, robberies, sex clubs (for the rich), bent coppers, mayhem and murder. So Stanley became a skilled killer, honing his skills whilst protecting his mother, an assissin in the making, A Loving Son indeed .

 

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