Mr Bryant & Me

Bryant and May

I had always imagined – and been fully prepared – to turn into my creation one day, even though I’d originally intended to become John May. When you spend so long inside someone else’s mind it becomes second nature to compare and contrast their nature with your own.

I hadn’t expected to be trapped with Arthur Bryant for so long. There are other very different characters I want to write, but for now I’m typecast. I can sympathise with Conan Doyle for wanting to chuck his detective over the falls. Killing your detective frees up your time to explore other adventures.

But I realise now that we are conjoined, and note that in some ways we diverge more now than we ever have in the past, he and I.

Here’s a rough guide.

BRYANT: Wants to live in London’s past.

ME: Happier living in the present. Or the future, despite its potential grimness.

BRYANT: Ridiculously well-read.

ME: Read a lot – not the same thing.

BRYANT: Can’t understand any technology more complex than a biro, but occasionally forced to use a phone.

ME: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Siri, headphones (4 pairs), Bose Frames (awesome), Kindle, iPad etc etc. Can open front door on my phone from another country (surprisingly useful).

BRYANT: Only trusts face-to-face encounters.

ME: Apps, digital bank, texts, Twitter etc.

BRYANT: Has a car – Victor the rusty yellow Mini.

ME: Got rid of car. Public transport preferred.

BRYANT: Loves classical art and unfashionable music.

ME: Loves modern art and EDM.

BRYANT: Has never knowingly purchased new clothes. I’ve seen better dressed wounds.

ME: Only shops at super-cheap Jack & Jones (sadly London’s only outlet shut last year) and weird little independents, which explains ‘eclectic’ look.

BRYANT: Short and stocky, smokes pipe.

ME: Tall and thin, smokes nothing.

BRYANT: Intensely annoying liberal.

ME: Fairly annoying liberal.

BRYANT: Gregarious (compared to May, the loner)

ME: Gregarious (but spends too much time in dark on laptop)

Hmmm….maybe we’re more alike than I thought!

9 comments on “Mr Bryant & Me”

  1. Liz Thompson says:

    Congratulations on being a fairly annoying liberal. People with political opinions tend to get called very annoying, I know this from personal experience.

  2. Helen Martin says:

    And not even “fairly”, just full on annoying. Husband does the devil’s advocate thing just to get my goat.

  3. Brooke says:

    It’s very difficult for a sensitive character like AB to have an author who doesn’t understand him and who thinks about causing him harm. Like being spouse to a dastardly Victorian husband who married you for your father’s estate.

  4. admin says:

    Ha ha! The power! About the only person I hold any power over, and he happens to be fictional but hey.

  5. Wayne Mook says:

    I’m more left wing, but I tend argue over anything so I’m just generally annoying.


  6. SteveB says:

    I‘ve learnt from long experience to keep my opinions to myself.
    The bad side of that is, if I do let them out, it can easily become a rant.
    But I can‘t change anything, so better to just accept it.
    I wonder
    If Chris is Bryant, is his other half May?

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Probably, Steve, but don’t keep your opinions too much to yourself. Change has to start somewhere.

  8. Ford says:

    What about the sweety habit? Do you carry paper bags of unwrapped boiled sweets … and flying saucers?

  9. admin says:

    No, but I put into Arthur some of my childhood habits, like references to books and forever trying to catch up. For someone born in London I was a late starter, and very naive.

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