The things that obsessed me – Yesterday
I did not blog yesterday, not because I did not want to. I did. Not because I forgot. I did not. Every so often my brain reminded me, but because I’d got to the point in the WIP – current title The Terrified Tailor – where three things obsessed me.
The first was a knife fight. They need choreographing carefully, especially when the opponents are mismatched and a lesson needs to be delivered and learned. This took about an hour of my day. Writing, erasing; writing again. You get the idea.
The second thing that obsessed me was how to turn a very demure looking dress into something my main character can justifiably describe as unleashing a neckline of “Parisian daring”. As this is a tale concerned with smoke and mirrors; I decided there had to be a simple explanation. And there was.
My Nana was a tailor, who, before her marriage in 1927, worked on Commercial Road in London. When I was little she made my clothes and while I did not appreciate her prowess then, I am eternally grateful to her now. Because of her, I knew how this transformation could occur whilst travelling in the back of a car, down Oxford Street.
Enter the humble popper as my Nana called it – back in the day when a popper was a snap fastener not a drug. Fortunately, unlike my attempt to give my main character a Rolls Royce five years before the company existed, I was in luck with my desire to use the popper as it was first patented in Germany in 1885 by Heribert Bauer – or possibly by Myra Juliet Farrell in Ireland in the same year (although her invention did not require stitching). Of course, typically, there was a rival patent in 1886 from Albert-Pierre Raymond, and some clothing historians attribute the invention to Bertel Sanders, of Denmark. Whoever did it, I thank you because your timing was perfect for my needs.
This original snap fastener (Bauer’s model) wasn’t exactly ideal – being none too reliable or indeed rust proof – and that didn’t change until 1903 but I decided that as I was writing a work of fiction, I could get away with this as a plot device and would have to go back to the drawing board about which car to use.
The third thing to obsess me was an ancient Egyptian board game – called Senet. But as this is central to the tale, you will forgive me for being vague…