When I first started posting PorterGirl here in November 2013, I had no idea quite how it would all turn out. Apart from a few ruffled feathers here and there (both on and off the page) I think it’s all gone rather well.
I am sad to be ending the academic year without Professor K, Senior Bursar and Junior Bursar. But it was something that became inevitable and unavoidable. In order to move away from the earlier, more poignant (shall we say) theme of the blog I had to eliminate the characters that were, at one point in the distant past, inspired by real people. Professor K came along purely to be slaughtered, I am sad to say. Although not based on anyone in particular, I became fond of the twinkly-eyed Professor and was sad to kill him off.
The Senior Bursar depicted in the earlier posts did once have a vague foothold on reality, so I actually felt pretty bad about him being electrocuted. I simply couldn’t bring myself to kill Junior Bursar. Despite being a rather odd character (to say the least), the inspiration behind him came from a quite astonishing chap who made a most profound impression on me. Poor Junior Bursar gets a bad wrap at Old College, but every College needs a murdering sociopath on the payroll and he is ours. And I would hate to rule out the possibility he could make a return of some kind, one day.
Happily, Head Porter isn’t going anywhere. Well, he hasn’t really got anywhere else to go, has he? I really had no idea how Head Porter and I were going to get along. It was only when Paul Butterworth first put on his bowler hat did I first really know Head Porter. Like a weird, literary love-child with Paul and I as it’s parents (poor thing!) Head Porter has become something of a fascination for both of us.
So that leaves one other prominent figure from the original blog that really should be moved along, if that’s the way of things. The problem is, he is my absolute favourite and a joy to write. Now bearing little relation to his origins, he is the one Fellow who can say or do almost anything and carry it off with aplomb. He is far too much fun to be removed so casually. The Dean will be around for a time yet, at the very least until the new Bursar is appointed. But when his time comes, the end will be suitably fitting for a character of his calibre. Spectacular, no doubt.
The academic year might be over, students and Fellows enjoying their extended break, but Old College does not get a Summer Vac. Aside from the tourists and visitors, Old College plays host to some extravagant events and conferences during this period and the Maintenance team are busy with redecoration and restoration. Not the best combination of enterprises, I’ll grant you, but I’m sure they manage it somehow.
The Fellowship are anxious to appoint a new Bursar before the start of term and Head Porter and I will have another highly unlikely mystery to keep us busy, no doubt. Could it be that someone will find themselves in the path of Cupid’s arrow?
Well, you never know…