Ten Things You Never
Knew About Jasper:

(and never thought to ask)
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His house is in the background of the opening credits
to the BBCTV's Antiques Roadshow


Lucky no low bridges in the Black Mountains

Yes, it's true. As the 2CV drives along that mountain road above Hay-on-Wye, my house is completely invisible but nonetheless there in the background. To non-Brits, 'Antiques Roadshow' is a very popular TV show where a team of antique experts tour the country and members of the public are invited to bring their old tat/antiques for appraisal, identification, and, best of all, valuation. This is the best bit, where some crummy piece of painted china is given a ludicrously high value and the lucky owner replies breathlessly: "How much? My gosh, and to think we only bought it for 10p in a junk shop in Weston-super-mare in 1971/given to us by a hideous aunt we hated - of course, we'll never sell it."

However, the real fun starts - for me at least - when there is some cocky know-it-all who obviously overpaid for some worthless piece of junk on eBay is given a valuation that is way below either (A) what he paid for it or (B) what he thinks it's worth. This contestant, - usually male - goes: 'Oh.' in that blank sort of way that hides an emotional tug-of-war that starts with:

"Shit. I've just been conned by the twin vagaries of my own rapacious greed and an overinflated sense of my own expertise. Boy, am I an idiot. I hope no-one finds out."

...but then rapidly morphs as Stout Male Denial kicks in and ends up with:

"Oh sure. like this opinionated 'expert' is anything but. A similar object to mine made double this on Roadshow last year and a blue version listed in Millers went for over a 300 quid, and that was in the 2002 edition."

Of course, I might be completely wrong, but this is what authors do when they see someone say 'Oh' in a blank sort of way.


An American Werewolf in London. Then .. and now. Our house is in the middle distance, complelty out of focus and invisible.

Incidentally, the 2CV on the road in the Black Mountains was used for the opening sequences of An American Werewolf in London where a very grey Welsh mountain stood in for the Yorkshire moors. They're not at all similar, of course.
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