The continuing adventures of a newbie, as e-mailed to a friend
Thursday 22 Feb 1996


Rudy, hi. You're kidding. Twins? Were they identical? No, I haven't myself. I've dreamt about it, but I don't suppose it'll ever happen now. Ever since my failure with the Nordic skier (now gathering woodlice in what passes for a garden shed), Nadine has been hissing snideries about how we need a wider bed to accommodate (as she puts it) my growing girth. So presumably there's no room for twins in there.

I did once end up in the sack with two girls (unrelated - to each other and me) at the same time. It was after a party in the house I used to share with Sleazy Ron, the sex addict - and the idea was that he would "see to" his girlfriend, Jan, wait for her to fall asleep and then come and take these two off my hands, so to speak. I didn't fancy either of them - one was incredibly bony and the other had appalling skin problems. So I hid under my duvet and turned out the light.

Ron never showed (bout of S&M, handcuffed to the bedstead, then Jan fell asleep). At four in the morning, Sheila and Elly therefore decided that I'd have to do, and came duvet-hunting. Next day I had an awful hangover and my thighs and shoulders were covered in bruises. Not a happy memory. Why does no one take us seriously when we say no? Still, that's clearly not your problem.

Big disappointment with the novel. I haven't had one usable response from the Net. It's all Nazis and Nutters, as far as I can see. Still, I've got a title which I think encapsulates the appeal of the genre: Wild Man, Wild Horse. Like it? The hero, Bug Cody, is a former novice monk from a monastery near Boston who loses his faith and goes out West to rediscover God and Nature. And encounters loads of horses, etc. But it needs tons of what my old English teacher used to call "verisimilitude, Ponder, verisimilitude". I'll keep on plugging and hope that somebody takes pity on me. Any thoughts? All my love to Milly and Hilly - only in America!

Sig Dig.

Friday 23 Feb 1996


Dear Arianna. At last! A real human being. Of course I will help you with Bawdy London. My book is provisionally entitled Wild Man, Wild Horse. It has no set plot yet, but in my mind's eye I see a lone traveller in the early part of this century, casting off the veneer of civilisation and going into the West to become a man. Not only is this sort of thing very popular (Cormac McCarthy, Nicholas Evans, Robert Bly), but somehow I feel that it's the novel "inside" me, if that doesn't sound too pretentious.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself (which part of the States you're from, etc) and give some more detail on your book?

In anticipation, Digby Ponder.

Friday 23 Feb 1996


Dear Arianna. I can't believe it! Tombstone! Couldn't be better! "Brought up on the range" is a great phrase. I was grateful, too, for your self- portrait. It was more detailed than I expected - we English are still very reticent - but it does help to have some idea what kind of person you are talking to!

I hope you won't mind me saying this, but from the way you talk about your appearance you must be a dead ringer for that other famous American, Pamela Anderson, of Baywatch fame. I can hardly believe that you are not "dating". Someone with your looks and obvious intelligence would be snapped up over here.

Arianna, could you e-mail me anything you can find on spurs - how they were worn, where they were bought, different types, etc? That'll start us off.

Grateful appreciation, Digby Ponder.

Friday 23 Feb 1996


Dear Arianna. No, I don't mind waiting for the material. Next weekend will be fine.

You ask me for a word picture of myself. I work as a senior marketing executive in a leading company in the centre of London and live in a penthouse flat on the borders of Highgate (an ancient and exclusive part of our capital). I am 6ft 1/2in and pretty slim, I'd say. My hair is lightish brown - almost blond in summer. I am 29 years old. Like you, I am single. I have never quite succ

Nevertheless, your information on marketing techniques in western Norway and the Lofoten Isles has been invaluable, Sven. If you can sell there, you can sell anywhere. If you want any more information about our activities in Eastern Europe, please feel free to call me in the office.

Yours, Digby.

Friday 23 Feb 1996


Dear Arianna. Sorry about the strange inter-ruption. Somebody came in. My flatmate, Jed, looking for some sports gear he'd lost. I don't want him to know about the book, since he's a bit of a philistine. I'll mail again tomorrow.