Look out your deerstalker and your meerschaum pipe and put your violin on standby, I’ve discovered a mystery for you. Oh I love a good mystery. And this one concerns Blake’s Cottage, which gives me two reasons to love it, or at least be very interested in it.
Last week, I received a re-tweet from a friendly and informative organisation in America called Blake Quarterly. It had originally been put on twitter by somebody calling himself ‘manspaceouta’ and consisted of an advertisement for ‘an escorted tour of William Blake’s Felpham – Blake’s Cottage’. You could have seen my ears prick up at fifty paces. Was somebody really showing people round Blake’s Cottage? I could barely believe it. Naturally, I read Mr manspaceouta’s other tweets, which were rather peculiar I have to say – one of them advertised feral footwear, which turned out to be a couple of pairs of old boots with some of Blake’s paintings projected onto them. So whoever Mr manspaceouta is, he doesn’t know the meaning of the word ‘feral’, not to worry. He might know something about our Blake’s Cottage. And he described himself as ‘I R inventorist, scientitian, cardboard interventionist, feral shoe photographer, and wringer-out for one armed window cleaner and Bacterial Warrior (now with added MS).’
So I sent him a tweet. Asking him who he was and when the tour was going to take place and where the participants were to meet. He came back to me quite quickly and was plainly miffed, wanting to know whether I was being deliberately rude and telling me nothing at all about the proposed tour. I answered that almost at once, to say that all I wanted to know was when the tour was going to take place and where participants were to meet. There was then a total silence and when I checked Mr manspaceouta’s profile, I found he had disappeared from twitter altogether. Curiouser and curiouser as Alice would have said.
So I tweeted Blake Quarterly and asked them what they knew about him. And they said nothing at all and that they’d simply re-tweeted information.
So I emailed Peter Johns who is the only member of the triumvirate who ‘own’ Blake’s Cottage, who is local and available, he said he knew nothing about the man but thought he might be referring to a video which might have been taken on the last open day and might be the video that was shown by Rachel Searle at Bognor Library.
So I filled my meerschaum pipe and sent an email to Rachel, who came back to say she didn’t know anything about it at all, adding ‘he certainly hasn’t done a tour for me’.
I’ve now just discovered that manspaceouta has blocked me. And here is the message and the picture to prove it! The plot thickens! What is he afraid of?! What do you think?