Month: September 2015

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

So there we have it – the resolution of Footsteps Of The Templar, from both the point of view of our dear Deputy Head Porter and also that of emerging online sensation, Terry the cat. Phew.

I had all but forgotten the details of the Holy Grail adventure, until I compiled all the posts into a complete collection to send to my fellow adventurer and co-writer, the notorious Professor VJ Duke. It wasn’t too bad at all, was it? I particularly liked the puzzles. But then I would say that.

I note that I am once again in the unenviable position of being ‘without Bursar’. This keeps happening and I am not entirely sure why. Okay – I realise that I keep killing them off or, in this instance, trapping them in dungeons (he’s probably dead. But don’t rule out a dramatic return if I run out of ideas). It escapes me as to why – the handful of Bursars I have come across in real life I have liked very much, so why I insist on giving them such gruesome endings is beyond me. Still, I need another Bursar. Any suggestions as to the particulars of the new Bursar shall be gratefully received, but please keep in mind that they probably won’t make it to the end of the series. A bit like Sean Bean really, in every film he has ever been in. Hey – Sean Bean could be the new Bursar… Hmmm…

Me and Terry. We loves you lots. Mwah!

Me and Terry. We loves you lots. Mwah!

In the new series of Secret Diary Of PorterGirl, the reputation of the Old College choir is in jeopardy, a major character meets their soul-mate whilst another becomes the victim of a sustained (yet strangely hilarious) hate campaign. I can’t promise another wedding by the end, but there will be the usual mix of danger, nonsense and mystery to accompany rather uncharacteristic moments of romance and musical interludes.

In the meantime, the immediate future holds for me adventures in galaxies far, far away so please excuse my absence from the blogosphere whilst I attempt to get a tan and in all likelihood get very fat. For those unfortunate enough to be ensnared as one of my Facebook friends – I apologise in advance for the flurry of largely inappropriate photographs that will no doubt grace my profile in the coming days and weeks.

For those that are interested, the book is doing rather nicely and gentle pressure is being applied for me to attend book and literary fairs… in actual person. Eek. If anyone knows of any good ones near them, please do let me know.

It's the book. You can buy it by clicking on it. Go on, you know you want. to.

It’s the book. You can buy it by clicking on it. Go on, you know you want to.

I really need to get a wriggle on with the second book in the series, in fact, which is hopefully going to be released in Spring 2016. Keep those fingers crossed.

In the meantime – keep up the good work, remember to brush your teeth and if you can’t be good – be careful.

Lucy x

Secret Diary Of Terry – The Final Chapter

My lair was indeed alive with the most lavish of preparations for the great celebration of my arrival. People were really making quite the effort – I even saw a lady creature dressed as a princess in a big white dress. For all I knew, an actual princess had decided to take up residence with me. I’m not sure how Onion Flower would feel about that but I am sure she would get used to it in time.

Speaking of Onion Flower, her scent had definitely returned to my new territory. Shouting Whiskey and Cherry Noodle’s, too. She has returned! I imagine she and her friends simply could miss my festivities. The vaguely repugnant creature smells were not the only thing to grace my nostrils, either. My food building was emanating the most fantastic aromas know to cat. This was indeed going to be a wonderful time.

It was whilst idly hunting for Onion Flower that I became somewhat distracted. But what a distraction! I was in the courtyard with an apple tree in it when it caught my eye. Like a fallen star, it nestled in the grime of the gutter, glinting with the remnants of fading hope. A Shiny Thing!

And what a Shiny Thing. It was perfectly round and almost luminous. In its centre was a swirl of colour, like a tiny galaxy dwelling within. Of course, all I could think was that this precious item must be a gift for yours truly. A princess and a Shiny Thing. It almost brought a tear to my eye.

But all was not to be well. Barely moments later, a familiar voice disturbed the moment.

“What have you got there?” came the unmistakable growl of The Master’s Cat. “Get away from it – it is mine!”

“I think you will find that it is very much mine!” I replied with as much indignation as I could muster. Being a cat, that’s quite a lot. “My lair, my Shiny Thing.”

“Foolish boy! This is my lair!”

Was your lair. My lair now.”

The Master’s Cat twitched her tail and rose her flabby hackles. Her hiss was rather vicious, although a little too wet-sounding to be truly chilling. Her cold, green eyes stared through mine and straight into the back of my brain as she extended a defiant paw, reaching for my Shiny Thing. I unleashed my well-practiced and blood-curdling professional hiss, being sure to showcase my fine fangs. The paw did not retreat. In fact, it inched a little closer.

Well, I wasn’t having any of that.

Determined to see the back of this foul fiend for good, I launched my attack. With claws drawn and teeth a-gnashing, my hind quarters unfurled their full kinetic capabilities and I flew at her piggy face, landing a direct hit right across her nose. Wailing like a toddler with a scrapped knee, she turned and fled.

I decided to mount a pursuit, keen to see her off my territory once and for all. She moved with surprising swiftness for such a waddling beast. I tore after her, my ears flattened against my skull and tail rigid with determination. I was barely aware of where I was running, focused entirely on my quarry. She darted into an open doorway and I followed rapidly after.

And how lucky that I did – for she led me straight into the middle of my arrival celebration! The room was full of delighted human creatures, eating and drinking in my honour. Even the princess lady in the big white dress was there and she looked happier than anyone. Marvellous!

The Master’s Cat headed straight towards the huge tables, upon which was laid my own feast. The very nerve of her – first she wants my lair, then my Shiny Thing and now my feast! But her abject terror was evident as she leapt from the tables and straight out of an open window. There was a pause, followed by a low growl and finally, a sort of desperate splash. And then, I heard no more.

Well – even I could not have predicted the extravagance my creatures would go to in order that I might be welcomed to Old College. I was rather taken aback. But I quickly remembered my dignity and hastily began the grooming process, in order to be at my very best for my adoring public.

A minor event – I was briefly reunited with my beloved Onion Flower, but the weightier matter of the Shiny Thing was sitting quite heavily on my mind. I allowed myself a modicum of fuss before politely making my excuses and slipping away. Groomed and feeling very special (it must be said), I returned to find my treasure happily untouched. But I was sure that it would not stay that way for long and decided upon my intent to hide it very carefully.

I experimented with various places of seclusion, an endeavour that took up a good portion of my precious time. But this was an important matter. Eventually, I settled on the cunning ruse of burying the Shiny Thing in one of the few flowerbeds that I had not used for my announcements. Although digging is not a tradition feline activity, I am rather good at it. But just as I was covering over my cherished find, my whiskers detected the unmistakable waft of danger in the air.

Looking up, I saw an evil-smelling elderly gentleman hurtling across the courtyard. He was headed in my general direction and it was most obvious to even a fool that he was after my Shiny Thing! The beast! My suspicions were confirmed when I saw that this creature was being hotly pursued by none other than Onion Flower and Cherry Noodle, evidently intent on putting a stop to this heinous crime. At this point, I deployed the most mysterious and maligned of the feline attributes; an esoteric skill of which even I am not entirely sure of the inward machinations.

With deft nonchalance, I placed myself in the exact position required for tripping the chap, whilst at the same time being in the exact position not to be stepped on. He tumbled with considerable grace into the flowerbed but it was not to detain him for long. He was soon up and running again, my favourite human creatures shouting after him ferociously.

But he left something behind. What it was, I could not tell you, but it had the appearance of a drinking vessel. Its odour I could not distinguish but it spoke to me, in a way – it spoke to me from many, many centuries past. This thing spoke to me of beauty and power, of salvation and of redemption. Although it had a physical form, it was not something of the human realm, I think. Not even the cat realm. Possibly it was something greater even than cat.

How long I gazed at it, I cannot say. Time did not seem to exist in its presence. All I can say is that by the time I thought to get about hiding it (with my Shiny Thing, of course) Onion Flower and her friends had returned. The wicked old fellow was not with them and they all seemed as entranced with the object as I was. Not quite as entranced as they were with me, quite naturally, but they seemed very pleased to see the thing.

Now I had my Shiny Thing and my Onion Flower, there seemed little left to pursue that could make this wonderful day any better. Cherry Noodle had furnished me with a wonderful chin scratch and several pats and even Green Bacon had paid a degree of reverence to my good self. After all the excitement, the only thing I desired now was some peace and a little slumber. Returning to my favourite spot in the organ loft, I soon slipped into a tranquil doze and dreamed the dreams of one very happy kitten who anticipates further great adventures at Old College.

Secret Diary Of Terry – Part Five

The fight that followed was one of such epic ferociousness that I hesitate to share details so grisly with you delicate human creatures. Although, perhaps I indulge my feline flair for the dramatic rather too feistily. There is little cause for alarm, although it was a somewhat spectacular event.

The Master’s Cat flung the full fury of her considerable weight right at me, accompanied by sounds that were reminiscent of Onion Flower singing a song. It was hideous. But a pampered paunch that size was no match for a lithe and athletic parcel of sinew and muscle such as my good self. I leapt up like a flash, alighting on the surface of a nearby bookcase in relative safety. I believe even this piece of furniture, quietly existing for centuries undisturbed, was stunned at the speed of my alighting. As for my tubby assailant, she careened along the polished wooden floor like a furry juggernaut, her wildly scrabbling claws unable to slow her inevitable expedition which ended rather abruptly when she collided with the underside of a cabinet at great speed. To my great delight, at least two-thirds of her vile bulk became hopelessly trapped between the furniture and floor, leaving her little fat legs and tail flailing furiously behind her.

There followed a brief period where I learned several new words which sounded very rude indeed – even worse than some of the ones Onion Flower uses when she is particularly irked. The vigorous and urgent flicking of The Master’s Cat’s tail put me very much in the hunting mood and I spent quite some time pawing and nipping at it, something which perturbed her greatly. As delightful as this past time undoubtedly was, I had rather more pressing matters to attend to and I left her in situ to pursue the urgent task of finding something nice to eat.

As it turned out, my new lair had all manner of delicious specimens to tantalise my appetite. There was the common ground food, of course – mice and voles and even a plump little rat down by the river. Rats have a much stronger flavour than mice – rustier, in fact – but once one gets used to it they are a real delicacy. But better than the moving food was the warmed up food that seemed readily available in large quantities.

I discovered an entire building in my lair, completely dedicated to the production of my meals. You see, this is what comes of leaving good quality announcements – people really do take notice. The rich variety of aromas was of such torrid emanation that the shock of it nearly knocked off my whiskers. This was surely the finest fare in the land and would you believe that it was right here, in my very lair! I could have filled my tummy a hundred times over, which led me to believe that maybe some of this food was meant for Onion Flower too. Well, I have no quarrel with that matter. She can take her fill upon her return. She will return, won’t she? 

The creatures in the food building were at first a little alarmed at my presence, but that is only to be expected. When faced with such a noble beast such as myself for the first time, it can be a lot to take in. Nonetheless, they soon remembered themselves and furnished me with some wonderful victuals, the quality of which could not have been better if I had hunted them myself. I left soon after, not wishing to cause too much of a commotion on a full stomach.

My next task was, naturally, to find a cosy spot to curl up for a while, to allow my burgeoning belly to get about its business. After such a prodigious meal there would no doubt be the opportunity for the making of many more announcements and for that I would need to be well refreshed. I found a wonderful spot up high in the organ loft where the air was warm and the smells uninteresting. The last thing one wants when trying to find repose is the distraction of fascinating flavours exciting the nostrils.

I am not asleep. I am resting my eyes.

I am not asleep. I am resting my eyes.

I slept the sleep of the Gods, but that was nothing compared to my delight upon awakening. The lair was a-buzz with activity and excitement, with all manner of rushings about and, evidently, fine preparations. The creatures rushed from one place to another, carrying beautiful things and fussing with sparkling fripperies that had something of a ethereal air about them. Well, this must be it! The great celebration to mark my arrival at the new lair. The creatures were clearly beside themselves with delight. And quite right too.