On the writing of The Reeking Hegs.

The Reeking Hegs. Tupelo coined that emblematic phrase. The title was, originally Arctic Gothic Terror Kiosk Sideshow…and more along similar lines that now recede into the faded mists of memory or perhaps better said forgetfullness.

A large amount of the text was written, as I mentioned previously, up in Tupelo’s kitchen on his old-style portable typewriter. Let us here put forward a truth with regards to that situation. When his Lordship refers to himself as “Brewer and Banker” I can vouchsafe that the brewing part of that description is 100% correct. That space was a kitchen but it was also a brewery and bar. The wall above what at one time was a fireplace was decorated with an enormous painted mural of the head and shoulders of Elvis. On the mantlepiece a slate. On the slate, in white chalk, a list of names and alongside each name a series of scratched marks indicating that person’s current tab. So, more often than not the flow of the creative juices would be aided and abetted by carefully poured pints of one or another of Tupelo’s brews and “208’s”; a 208 being a joint made with a Gauloise cigarette – an unusual, to many inexplicable, choice of tobacco but that’s what we did.

There were many, many venues for our literary pursuit, and often the place in which the writing took place – ha ha – filtered through and became integrated into the text. For example; after I moved to Spain Tupelo came to visit twice. Or three times. On one of these visits we decided to go to Morocco and do some writing there. That was the plan. We never made it to Morocco but we did get to visit The Rock of Gibraltar. There, on the Rock, we walked and walked until we got right to the end of that finger of granite. There we were, at the tip of it, and pretty it was not. We sat and wrote as the sun settled down into the Mediterranean. Here’s a challenge: see if You can find that moment in the text of TRH! It is there in the section which describes “the desolate space tip”.

I’ve never got to the bottom of Tupelo’s banking activities.

Published by peteperu

To find out more about me read The Reeking Hegs.

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