Friday, 1 February 2013

A confusion of Haslers

Fresh from my discovery of a near-namesake I have discovered an even nearer one. And this PH is a scribbler like me!

I came upon the lady in question* when I clicked on my name on Amazon (I was curious as to what would happen) and found, alongside my own magna opera, a book with a scary-looking bull and a terribly arch title: Oxtale Soup. Lookit:

Slightly closer investigation reveals that one of the contributors to this Oxfordshire-centred fiction anthology is a lady by the name of Penelope E Hasler, hence the book’s appearing under a search for my name. I should just like to point out – for the benefit of the three people who may be wondering – that this is not me doing an Iain ‘M’ Banks with my un-kinky writings: the existence of Oxtale Soup comes as news to me, as does the existence of the (no doubt more talented than I) Penelope E.

As luck would have it the sampler on Amazon just about runs to the first page of my namesake’s co-authored story, ‘Three Ghost Jam’. It sounds kinda fun!

The scene is a small village in the Oxfordshire countryside, a village dwarfed by the grand estate that outshines the houses along the few and crammed streets.

It is a nice enough summer’s day, grey sky, not too windy. The village fĂȘte is well underway, and a man saunters slowly up to a table laden with jars in different sizes and colours. Behind the table stands a woman, smiling.

‘Good afternoon, what can I do for you?’
‘Oh, hello. It’s a very nice kind of village fĂȘte you’ve got here.’
‘Well, thank you. It’s an annual thing.’
‘I’m new here, just moved in.’
‘Welcome, anyway...’
‘It’s a nice selection of jams there.’
‘They’re from the Manor. There’s a big garden there, a lot of fruits, and berries, and that sort of thing.’
‘They look lovely.’
‘Here, have a taste.’
‘Oh, thank you. Oh, what is this, quince?’
‘Yes, spot on.’
‘There is something more, I think, a kind of aftertaste.’
‘That would be the ghost.’
‘The ghost?’

I wonder if we’re related? Could be... I grew up next door to Oxfordshire (but funnily enough have never so much as set one paw in the place).

*Said the bishop to the actress.


  1. Dear Penelope,

    I am sure that Penelope E is a fine author, but I prefer the novels by the naughty Penelope.


    PS I beg your pardon, but I think that the English create these ghosts to fuel the ghost tour industry of large cities in the UK.

  2. It is at least one thing that you don't write the same sort of fiction. Maybe one of you will have to adopt a pen name.

  3. Hmmmmmmmm... sounds like some nefarious blackguard out there is trying to use your name to steal little fame and fortune of their own.

    I'd say someone is in dire need of a severe whuppin', and for once, it's not you!

  4. Thanks, Joey! I knew there was a reason I liked you. And you're probably right about the ghosts, lol. It's like Scooby Doo in reverse: "Come for the ghost, stay for the tea shop." ;D

    A pen name, Aunty? Aw. But I like my name! (Pout). But if I gotta use one, how about... Betty Spanxer? Or maybe... Rosie Cheaks?

    Wilma Butgette-Tand? Ivana Paddling?


    lol, nefarious. I like it when you get all manly, RR. ;) Maybe you could have a word with Penelope E on my behalf... and take your fearsomest whuppin' belt along just in case?

  5. I like Rosie Cheaks, that certainly suits you.

  6. Hehe! Rosie by name, rosy by nature ;)