I'm always surprised to learn that anyone other than a friend, family member or fan visits this blog. (Those fans, by the way, often belong to Frank Cottrell Boyce, who rashly consented to an interview with me last year.) Occasionally someone else stumbles in and wanders around, agog - someone who's Googled SISTER'S FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY or DEVONPORT FERRY. For unknown reasons, these pictures of bag tags are very popular as well.
Sometimes students drop by to gather information for a school project. Other writers tell me they're regular readers, mainly to follow the exploits of TMiddy. All sorts of people pop up as readers - old school friends, current and former students, the brother of someone I once worked with. Some people demand more posts about my books and about writing in general. Some (i.e. my father) would like more pictures. Everyone wants more TMiddy.
But today I learned that not only people who like me seek out this blog. Apparently, other people with too much time on their hands read it as well. Who knew? In the manner of the Two-Star Detective Agency in Cedar Rapids, IA (an actual place of business), these people snoop about online for incriminating evidence. They suspect that when I was in Rome, I wasn't conducting research for a novel at all. Instead I was ... EATING AND DRINKING.
Here I am, pictured on this very blog, having a beer with my lunch! There I am again, later the same afternoon, eating gelato! And that night, after dinner, I'm spotted drinking a glass of wine! How can I possibly be walking around Rome, exploring sites, taking notes, and writing down story ideas when I am so flagrantly involved in non-research-related activities?
Well, haters, I have good news for you. TMiddy, now revealed as a Tikileaks operative, was with me in Rome, and he must be on your paylist. Every day we spent there, he took pictures of me running from the stiff handshake of Novel Research into the cool embrace of Liquid Refreshment. It was very hot in Rome, and we were walking miles and miles ... but no. No excuses. You all know the truth. I didn't go to Rome to research a book, did I? (However long the contract and tight the deadline.) No, I went there to drink Fanta and Frascati. Pictures never lie, and they always tell the whole story. Let the evidence be revealed.
In case some of the softer hearts out there are concerned I did nothing but rehydrate, let me reassure you. I also ate breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. I know, I know. I should have been working THAT WHOLE TIME. But a woman cannot live on Fanta alone. Here is some more incriminating evidence.
In my defence, I'll say this: I wasn't alone in committing this crime of eating and drinking every day in Rome. TMiddy, my betrayer, was there right by my side (or, more typically, across the table). It was just like that scene in CASINO ROYALE where James Bond is playing cards with the villain, as though they're BFFs and not soon-to-be-brawling enemies. But I must admit, TM doesn't look at all happy here, does he?
He knew this would compromise the case against me, don't you think?
From now on, I'll add a new category to this blog: Tikileaks. It's a New Zealander's version of Wikileaks, with more humour and fewer Australians. I'll use it to tag anything useful in case against me (The People VS Dilettante). Knowing me, however, that's pretty much every blog post. La!