From a letter to Stense, 13-May-2001

Overheard in a discount bookshop (said by a young, Scouse woman stacking shelves):

Bloody hell, hasn't this Thomas Hardy wrote a lot of books?

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Frank Zappa's wife was once out shopping for groceries: when the guy at the till looked at the cheque, he asked, "you're married to Frank Zappa, the comedian?".
    I know it may be a tenuous link, but we call it "knight's move thinking" in the trade!
    Perhaps this lady thought that Thomas Hardy was a journalist or something!
    Hardy lived a few miles from here. His cottage is gorgeous!

  2. I have to look up the story of Hardy's heart. As I remember it he was offered a burial in Westminster Abbey, but insisted that his heart should be buried in his beloved Dorchester. The local GP carried out the post-mortem operation and left the great man's heart to one side to be picked up by the undertaker the next day. When the undertaker arrived the heart was not to be seen, but a cat was making its mistake through a partially open window. The undertaker, who was also the local butcher, caught the cat and promptly broke its neck, muttering 'Buried in Dorchester Mr. 'Ardy wanted to be, and buried in Dorchester 'e shall be'. People at the ceremony remember Hardy's heart being buried in a rather large casket, big enough to take a cat's body.

  3. That should be 'making its ESCAPE through a partially open window'. You know, as I was typing it I was thinking that 'it's' would be a mistake. I think I'm going mad, or probably just missing Richard.

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