I have known Tim for many years, and - despite everything that has been written about him in various quarters - I have always been fond of him. I have also admired him as a wordsmith, even though occasionally his writing comes over as if he is addressing a public meeting (to misquote Queen Victoria). However, he has well and truly surprised me now.
The first five episodes of his bloggo-serial (I am not sure if I can face calling it a soap opera, although that is pretty well what it is) went much as I had imagined, although it was funnier.
However, episode six has gone off at a totally unexpected tangent: Tim seems to be writing a 21st Century analogue of one of the classic rural children's books by authors like Monica Edwards, who was responsible for several cryptooish books of her own. The Wild One (1967) features the Surrey Puma, Operation Seabird (1957) a rare vagrant seabird, Dolphin Summer (1963) a quasi-fortean interaction between a schoolgirl and a dolphin, and Fire in the Punchbowl (1965) an out of place pine marten, whilst other books in the series have vaguely fortean themes.
Her books have sadly gone out of favour in recent years which is a great shame because they are jolly good, but Tim, as well as lampooning various elements in current forteana who really do benefit from having the mickey taken out of them has managed to resurrect the genre popularised by Ms Edwards for the 21st Century. (The children's mother is somewhat of an old hippy, has a boyfriend, listens to Fairport Convention, and the kids have broadband). This is the last thing that I was expecting, but it really is a highly entertaining development to the character of a man whom I always knew was complex, but now is becoming completely bloody enigmatic.
Well done dear boy.