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charliecochrane [userpic]

The definitive (at present!) chronological list of Jonty and Orlando stories

May 4th, 2020 (11:58 am)

Early twentieth century:

Lessons in Love November 1905

Lessons in Desire August 1906

Lessons in Discovery November 1906

Lessons in Power Spring 1907

Lessons in Temptation July 1907

Lessons in Temptation missing scene July 1907

What the Mathematician said to the Statue Summer 1907

Lessons in Seduction September 1907

What the Mathematician said to the Engineer November 1907

My true love sent to me December 1907

My True Love sent to me postscript

Lessons in Trust Summer 1908

Resolution January 1909

Lessons for Suspicious Minds Summer 1909.

On the occasion of their anniversary November 1909

Wetting the baby's head missing scene, November 1909

Bloody Mathematicians Spring 1910

Lessons for Idle Tongues Summer 1910

May our days be merry and bright Winter 1910

A fit employment for a gentleman Summer 1912 (crossover 'fanfic')

Once we won matches Aug 1912

Ring in the New December 1913

Game of Chance 1916

All Lessons Learned Spring 1919

Lessons for Survivors, Autumn 1919

Lessons for Sleeping Dogs 1921

The Boy from Kings 1932

A random collection of silly things:

The Inadvertent Adventures of Johnny Stewart, Jonty's great-nephew.

Orlando's opinion on Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.

Pride, Prejudice and all the rest.

Drabbles 1 Edwardian

Drabbles 2 Edwardian

Splitting Infinitives Edwardian, crossover 'fanfic'

Ten plus five plus eight = twenty three Edwardian crossover 'fanfic'

Love Letters, 1911 to 2011

Lessons in Disco 2010

charliecochrane [userpic]

After the Final Whistle

October 20th, 2016 (08:05 pm)

Who won the first rugby world cup? New Zealand. Yes.

When was the first rugby world cup? 1987. Wrong.

1919 saw the King's Cup being played - a post war exhibition/celebration of the great game. Stephen Cooper's excellent book After the Final Whistle tells the story of that event, mingled with the incredibly moving stories of players who travelled half way across the globe to claim some corner of a foreign field. Highly recommended.

charliecochrane [userpic]

Like Bake Off but with brushes

October 19th, 2016 (09:14 pm)

Just been watching GBBO (no spoilers) which has its final next week. Anyone at risk of going cold turkey on it, have you tried Landscape Artist of the Year? Great fun, very ejicashunal, and such a joy to watch painters in action producing stunning works of art.
Gets a Charlie 5 thumbs up.


charliecochrane [userpic]

Random pics

October 17th, 2016 (07:36 pm)

Just transferring some pictures from old laptop to new (ish) one. Great what I've turned up, from delicious rhubarb dessert:


to a very continental looking Cardiff:

via some amazing sculpture at Hillier's


and a Jack Russell or two.


charliecochrane [userpic]

Rainbow snippet - Dreams of a Hero

October 16th, 2016 (08:24 pm)

I've picked a snippet at Random today, so here's a bit from Dreams of a Hero.

Miles woke with a start. He’d been awake—or dreamed he was awake—yet couldn’t move, his limbs still asleep or pinned by unseen forces. Just as he’d lain in his dream, pinned by the weight of a horse’s haunches. He couldn’t remember if he’d forced himself out of sleep, or whether he’d woken naturally and shed both the dream of being paralysed and the dream of battle within it.
Roger lay at his side, just as he’d been lying in the dream. Only now he was alive, his face as calm and peaceful as a baby’s as he enjoyed a sleep which was clearly less distressing than his partner’s had been. Miles tentatively touched his chest, to double-check that he was still breathing. This nightmare had been all too real. Roger stirred, turning and drawing Miles closer to him. He was half aroused, as always when he woke, but they’d got beyond the point of that arousal always needing to be acted on. Morning routine, evidence that life went on as normal no matter how vivid death had seemed.
“Good night’s sleep?” Roger’s blurry, early morning voice was reassuring.
“Not really. I slept, but it’s not done me any good.” Miles felt more tired than if he’d lain tossing and turning into the wee hours.

Find more tidbits at the Rainbow snippets group.

charliecochrane [userpic]

European rugby starts again!

October 15th, 2016 (08:55 pm)

Some of you may have noticed that I like a bit of sport, and rugby in particular. When it's a Champions/Challenge cup weekend I can gorge myself on the great game, maybe watching as many as six or seven games Thursday through to Sunday. I never cease to be amazed at the skills on show, on the maturity shown by some of the younger players and the fantastic respect they show the referee. (Football, please take note!)

Fond memories of the many European finals we've been to, including a great one in Paris. Allez Toulouse!


charliecochrane [userpic]

Newsletter 160

October 14th, 2016 (08:10 pm)

This is always a momentous weekend as it sees the return of the European rugby competitions, so if I time things right I can sometimes see as many as 8 games Thursday through to Sunday. Be still by racing heart…


Don’t forget that there are all sorts of book bargains to be picked up in Riptide’s 5th anniversary sale, including some of my books at silly prices. Fill one’s boots time, methinks.

The lovely Elin Gregory and I are ignoring what we should be writing to spend some time on a mad crossover ‘self fanfiction’ between the Cambridge Fellows universe and her novel Eleventh Hour. (Her leading man Miles definitely had Jonty as a tutor when at Cambridge so this was always at risk of happening.) So far we have a car chase, an angry Orlando, a Jonty who is being Jonty-ish to the nth degree and a perplexed AA man. And the intention of putting in some very daft jokes.

Talking of Elin, it’s not long until the Queer Company event. Last time I heard there were still some places left so if you want to come and hear me on Alex Beecroft’s panel about reality in fiction, nip in quick.

And finally...

As summer ebbs away, here's one of my favourite castles seen on an August day. Why do I like it so much? Best place in the world for lizard spotting.

charliecochrane [userpic]

What makes a hero?

October 13th, 2016 (08:52 pm)

I had one of those FB anniversary things popping up, with a (broken) link to a post I'd done. It linked in my mind with a) another post I'd seen about the poppy installations and b) the fact that the Riptide Cambridge Fellows books are on offer this month.

So reproducing it here:

This post was inspired by a post I once read about heroes. It defined a hero as “A man who has honour and a sense of duty, which he holds true to quietly, without a fuss.”
That immediately made me think, “That could be Jonty, or Orlando!”
Admittedly my Cambridge lads don’t normally wear armour, (in fact I’m not sure they’ve ever worn armour except perhaps for the obligatory “box” to protect the old meat and two veg when playing cricket). Nor do they ride on white chargers; Orlando gets cross enough about Jonty’s obsession with motor cars; he’d hate having to mount a horse!
They did, however, serve in WWI, both with the Room 40 cryptanalysis boys (which is referenced in “Lessons for Sleeping Dogs”) and later out in France. But they’re also heroes in their everyday lives, sticking steadfastly and stubbornly to what they believe is decent and right.
They’re creatures of their time, of course, born in the late Victorian era but Edwardians through and through. They’re based at a forward thinking but still ancient Cambridge college, trying to knock some knowledge into their students, solving mysteries on the side and desperately trying to stop the world finding out that they’re lovers because exposing that fact would have exposed them to the risk of disgrace and prison.
I’ve often wondered what Jonty and Orlando would have done with themselves if they’d been born in another era. Solved mysteries? Of course! Fallen in love with each other? Naturally. I always associate my lads with the great last line of Mary Renault’s “The Mask of Apollo”: No one will ever make a tragedy – and that is as well, for one could not bear it – whose grief is that the principals never met. It would have been a huge tragedy for these two not to have found each other, but let’s not be mawkish. Whatever era they’d been in, they’d have been funny, annoying and adorable.
But I can’t help but wonder what career they would have had and how their heroic tendencies would have manifested themselves. If they’d been born thirty years later then they’d have been Bletchley men, of that I’m certain. Or would Jonty have been a bomber pilot while Orlando was his wingman, in a nippy little Hurricane? I prefer the thought of them annoying Turing at Bletchley – it would have been safer for them, for one thing, and maybe Alan T wouldn’t have misplaced the silver he buried in the woods if he’d had the lads to help him locate it.
A hundred years earlier, Jonty and Orlando might have been in Nelson’s navy, one of his band of brothers. I can imagine Edwardian Jonty and Orlando having a discussion about this scenario and arguing over which one of them would have earned his captain’s “swab” first.
I can also see them at the time of Agincourt, knights in Henry’s army, part of those “happy few” although Jonty has the build less for a chevalier than for one of those famous British archers. Maybe Jonty would actually have ghost written the “Once more into the breach” and “We few, we happy few...” speeches for the king. It’s just the sort of mellifluous language he’d have enjoyed creating.
Go back another few hundred years and I could see my lads having taken up arms on a crusade. Not for any religious reason or for the glory, but as a means of running from the traumas of their younger lives. Neither of them had particularly happy formative years; maybe that’s one of the reasons they find so much comfort in each other and in putting wrongs to right.
So, what if Jonty and Orlando had been 1980’s babies? I know Jonty would embrace modern technology with great glee and Orlando would tolerate it, much as he tolerates that car of Jonty’s. Maybe they’d be at 21st century Cambridge University, trying to knock some sense into the modern undergraduates, or Orlando would have a job in a bank, working out complex algorithms to maximise the company’s investments while Jonty treads the boards at the National Theatre, making the young girls swoon at his Hamlet. But that doesn’t seem heroic enough. I don’t think they’re really the men for modern warfare, so where would their valour find an outlet?
I think (and this may seem odd but it makes perfect sense in my head) they’d be leading lights for a charity like Help for Heroes, or the British Legion, working their socks off to make sure that people who’ve served their country aren’t left to cope alone. That would be an admirable outlet for their brains, bravery and sense of right and wrong.
Oh, and I think Orlando would be working doubly hard to make sure their Civil Partnership ceremony wasn’t splashed all over “Country Life”!




charliecochrane [userpic]

WWI commemoration - another book recommendation

October 11th, 2016 (12:30 pm)

Have just finished the excellent "Return of the Dambusters" by John Nichol. Now, before you say, "Charlie, you've lost it gal. Dambusters were WWII!" bear with. Reading this book provoked all sorts of thoughts about those two conflicts.

It's easy to forget how close they were chronologically. WWII began 21 years after WWI ended. My youngest girl turns 21 this month, and it seems no time at all since she was born. Memories - and concerns - would still be vivid in people's minds, especially those who might be called to serve their country once more given that "the war to end all wars" had failed to do so.

The conflict itself was entirely different, due in part to the great technological advances seen in those 20 odd years especially in mankind's conquest of the skies. This was no trench based warfare, with most of the action concentrated in a relatively small land area. Civilians, cities and infrastructure became targets in a way that would have been impossible in WWI. The sea change was as great - if not greater - than had been seen going into that earlier conflict compared to, say, the Boer campaign.

charliecochrane [userpic]

Latest Big Thrill interview

October 10th, 2016 (07:53 pm)

I do enjoy it when a new commission from The Big Thrill drops into my inbox. The latest interview I've done, with Joyce Tremel, is up and ready to read!

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