Tuesday, August 11, 2009

First Flights – August 2009

When I was young, so much younger than today, about 7 or 8 say, I had this theory that there was another person somewhere else in the world identical to me. Identical to me in that even at that point he was also enjoying the exact same thoughts about me. My theory kind of broke down once I started to get into the difference the thought process would have to be in other languages. Don't you see for my theory to work, the identical me had to live on the other side of the world, otherwise he might be spotted by someone who actually knew me and the ruse would be broken.

And then when I grew older and was lucky enough to have some books published and then I attempted to find a website name for my books. Well didn't I only discover that there wasn't just one of me but close enough to several dozen in fact. Some light, some dark, some small, some tall, although I'm not quite sure how I ascertained those facts by the list of registered names, and some that possibly didn't even exist at all. But the bottom line was that every possible permutation of my name had already been registered.

Then someone came up with the idea of sticking the word "the" on the front of my name not because they, or even I, would claim that I am the Paul Charles as in the one and only Paul Charles, or even the best Paul Charles, and hopefully not even the worst Paul Charles, but the only Paul Charles with a "the" on the front of his name. Now, I promise I won't have business cards, or t-shirts or even book jackets with this moniker brashly displayed. No it will only be between you and I, so that you, if you wish to, will know how to find me on the world, wide web.

But there's more to this tale, along came web genius Maddee (Madeira James) who came up with a better idea and registered paulcharlesbooks and so I no longer had to claim to be the me. Which is quite handy; I mean you never know when you're going to meet another Paul Charles and have to deal with all of his baggage as well as your own. Please don't tell them this though, because for the foreseeable future thepaulcharles will always get you on to this site.

Did you ever have any similar theories to that one? I mean now it might seems funny that anyone would ever entertain that as anything more than a passing thought, but I will admit that I considered this theory intently and troubled myself over it for a couple of years. I also used to fret about the wind blowing me away over the rooftop of our house in The Alley in Magherafelt. Again I was around the same age and we must have experienced some blustering storms, because I definitely remember seeing myself in my mind's eye blowing away over our roof. Not in a Harry Potter type of controlled flight experience. No, not at all, mine was more a heads over heels tumbling on and on into the sky. For some reason thought my flight path always took the same route. I don't believe, in the history of the world, that anyone (child) has ever been blown away over the rooftop. I've just googled that, as you do, and there are 35,000 entries, 2.78 million roads, 10,000 motorways and - (no, no sorry I promise to leave all the jokes to Colin Bateman, he's so genius at them). So, 35,000 results but not one confirmed flight I'm happy to report. But my point was more why would I have thought that, or feared that? I do actually remember feeling what such a flight would be like; butterflies in the stomach, wind whistling past my ears and though my hair, clothes fluttering in the wind and ballooning furiously. The wind gusting all over the place but particularly in my face, and all of that, So, at least for me, it was quite a real experience. And, going back to my original point, why would I have thought that there was another me? What did that say about my thought process?

What else did I think about way back then? I though I should become a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I really did. I could never work out if it was because of how cool I though their uniform looked or if I thought those wings on their trousers would help me in my airborne adventures should I ever actually be blown over the rooftop.

There was nothing else major that preoccupied me thought, otherwise I'd remember it, I hope. Why do such thoughts stop? "Because you've (hopefully) grown up," I hear you say, yes and that's true but you still have to use that part of your brain somehow. These days when I'm not trying to work out a unique method of murder for a Christy Kennedy Mystery, I'm using all my mental powers to try and invent a thingamajig, which will automatically sew missing buttons back onto your shirts. I've kind of figured out that the gadget will look like a fountain pen. However when you take the top off you'll discover what looks like a syringe but with three needles instead of one. You'll inject this triad of pins through the button and into the shirt and somehow three strands of plastic thread with come out through the pins, which will heat the thread and melt them together, affixing your escaped button securely back into place in one quick, elegant manoeuvre. As you can see I'm still working on the finer details, so please don't tell anyone about it until I manage to get it patented. I'm thinking of calling it a PenPal.

And now, the bit before I go, the bit nicked from gentleman John Connolly.

I'm currently reading, and thoroughly enjoying:

Manhunt - the 12-day chase for Lincoln's Killer - by James L. Swanson

Recent great gigs:

Lisa Hannigan @ the Acoustic Stage, Glastonbury.
Ray Davies with Bill Shanley @ the Acoustic Stage, Glastonbury
Ry Cooder & Nick Lowe @ the Carre Theatre, Amsterdam.
Crosby, Stills and Nash @ The Edinburgh Castle


  1. Excellent first post, Mr Charles. Very funny. I'll be on the lookout for more from you now.



  2. Paul great to see you on the net. enjoyed the blog and looking forward to new book.
    Hope to see to see you in No Alibis in september.