Saturday, 7 July 2007

June and I have been chatting. We think that new people to our blogs may need a summary of what's going on and what they can do to help. We need help. Read as much of my blog and June's blog ( ) as you can. There may be clues we haven't spotted.

In a nutshell, someone has been pretending to be Jasper Fforde calling himself Jasper Ffforde (note the triple f). He seems to have bookjumped with Miss Havisham into our world and then escaped. He told her they would get married but she can't remember his name. (Why can't she remember?) He put the wrong answer for question 11, and asked for these scribbling tiebreakers. It seems as if he is using these and material from classic books he's sucked blank to make a book, which he is launching on 7th July. We need to stop him.

Everything is building to this date, the 7th of July. Swindon. If you can be there, great. If you can't, can you send someone in your place to the book launch of the mysterious Jasper Ffforde.

The classic books he has blanked so far are a cheap edition called Dupine. There are only certain places that stock them. We need to find them all and see if there are any clues inside them.

And, strange as it seems, Miss Havisham advises that we must keep sending in scribbles as per the competition. If we have our words in the enemy's book, it may help...

And we must find out who this Ffforde is really.

Any theories, speculations or ideas you have, please send them in. We'll post them here.

And please help with all these things. Literature depends on us.

The competition still goes ahead as usual with prizes. As long as we stop Ffforde!
Wow - looks like you've done really well with the characters - Miss H is up
working on the footnoterphone system. She has her fingers in the BT socket
with a roll of gardening wire and pages from my books. I am very worried.

She says there's no way of knowing if you've got them absolutely right until
you actually speak to them. Make sure you bring the list with you.

She says the lockword rings a bell, but her mind is still all confused. She
thinks we might need to find whoever did this to her and find out what they
did to Jasper's memory as well.

Right - I shall see you all tomorrow. Try to be on time so we all know
exactly what this evil impostor is up to.

I must go, there's smoke coming from the socket


Friday, 6 July 2007

I have had a plate of sardines and cream sitting at my window all day. And although he took longer than I thought but sure enough, his lumpen paw has just been padding away at the glass. It's amazing what greed can tease out of a tom cat, well, one clue extension...

He said he noticed that the woman's mate smells of ink and bits of
parchment as well. Their house is in quite a busy small town and several
nice smelling young ladies often visit - one of whom strokes him, which he suffers to show willing.

Miss Havisham is much more enamoured than I am with the cat. She thinks that the only thing he really really hates are dogs. Must be why he took enormous pleasure in regaling us with tales of prowess and his relish in beating to a pulp the fierciest dogs on the block. He's a right little brusier.

(NB Thank you to the person who sent an email update - very helpful indeed. Does this shed any more light for you?)

Thursday, 5 July 2007

We managed to track down the alley cat (and by that I mean he's a surly little bas***d) to interrogate him for more information the minor characters.

However, information wasn't easily revealed. The problem is that - being a cat - he actually doesn't really understand how us humans relay information. He is frustratingly preoccupied with smells and sounds and doesn't give a hoot for names. And so it was hard for him to understand what Miss Havisham was asking (which perhaps isn't entirely his fault).

Nonetheless, he promised me that he would do his best. He then looked meaningfully at me until I gave him some cream. (Little hustler). Anyway. Here's what we got:

This minor character smells of roses. And paint. And fear. The cat says he argues and complains a lot.

The cat says that this girl is quite young. He also says she is stupid, but then he says that about most humans. She weeps a lot and her hair smells of apple blossom. He thinks she has been left by someone, but since he also leaves all the females he’s ever known he can’t see what she’s making such a fuss about. Cats don’t go in for pictures much, but when Miss Havisham bribed him with my salmon steak, he said if he had to portray her it would be with a face as white as jasmine.

The cat hates this minor character so much he won’t speak of him. Except to say rather smugly that he made him whine, which apparently only a man who kicked him used to be able to do.

The cat doesn’t like this woman. She smells of disinfectant, but also of sickness. She is not a sympathetic person, he thinks – unlikely to give a hard-working cat any milk. This was clearly a hint and Miss H handed over some milk. Almost monstrous, he said as he cleaned his whiskers (at least Miss H said that’s what he said)

The cat likes this woman. Others he thinks are rather prejudiced against her, but he can’t think why – there are lots of parties in her house which means he gets to eat scraps in the kitchen – although he doesn’t like the soldiers who turn up there.

The cat isn’t interested in this young man. Everything in that particular book exhausts the cat. He’s not much of a one for talking (I would never have guessed) and he says the whole scene makes him feverish. There’s lots of weeping and rushing about. The young man’s father, he says, may be an ensign, but he has never worked out what happens because a) he’s not interested and b) everyone digresses so much.

I hope that these help!

Only one day to go!
To: Writers of scribblers
Intrepid detectives and guardians of literature
Friends, family and loved ones of the above.

Date: 7 July 2007
Time: 1pm
Place: New Bridge Square, SN1 1EA (Ffforde’s launch pad)
Why: To stop the fake Jasper Ffforde bringing about the demise of literature as we know it.


- Keep doing what you’re doing – you’re doing brilliantly.
- We need to continue the hunt for the Dupine books and find the minor characters. Miss Havisham is trying to find the cat again to get him to name names.
- We also need to find this ‘place’ that the real Jasper talked about so we can see if there is anything to be seen via bookcam. I’m sure it’s written down in the new book (but it must have been added since the proof stage and it’s definitely not the troublesome footnotes, that seems to have been a coincidence.)

What to bring on Saturday: 1. An intrepid mind
2. Comfortable shoes
3. Your scribbles (Miss Havisham is insistent these hold the key.)
4. If you’ve not written a scribbler, don’t worry, the more people we have, the better. Or write one before you arrive.
5. Wrist bands. So that I know who you are. And they’re excellent wrist bands. (See below)

Contact: 07857 813406 (My mobile number. If you have any problems on Saturday – call me – and I will direct you.)

In short: Miss Havisham and I very much look forward to meeting you all. We cannot fail.

RSVP - let me know if you can make it!

Apologies for the delay in delivering this information. Miss Havisham had a crisis and went wandering for the night. She returned only an hour ago to help me clarify our mission. She says sorry for the delay. Anyway. Please see above.

Let me know if you've any queries.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

I have just found this on my bed. And I feel kind of terrible.

Dear, poor Miss Havisham 27. Perhaps I've been a little hard on her, a little churlish. Scratch the crusty battleaxe veneer and look what is left; a fragile, hurt and betrayed bride who's not even the bride she thought she was. I have, of course, 'forgiven her' and just hope that she will come back. I need her help. Between us we will draw up an action plan to effect the demise of this dastardly Ffforde.

Until then, keep your eyes peeled for directions.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Oh yeah. And this is the cat....
Ok so the caffine has kept me awake a while. And as another twist to my weird, wired state, the following event has just taken place! And I don’t know. It’s all strange.

In fact, I would like say that my life doesn’t feel at all normal anymore. Where are the days where I’d just go to work, read books and drink tea? Gone.

So. After my last post, unable to sleep, I joined you know who in the living room. (I wonder if she sleeps at all? I’ve never seen it.) (And in fact I just have to get something off my chest: she makes me sit on a kitchen chair – in my own living room – because she insists she needs the whole sofa. And I comply. Why? In my house? I’m a mug.) Anyway, while I was sitting there, brimming with caffine and feeling kind of passively enraged, there was a tapping at the window.

Outside was an enormous black cat, (SEE PICTURE – psycho eyes, eh?) with a torn ear. Not the most salubrious of felines and I tried to shoo him away. But Miss H suddenly leapt up (which confirms that the rheumatism she complains of unless I make her cups of tea may not be quite as severe as she claims) and ran over to the window. The next thing they are both sat on the sofa with the cat staring intently at her and Miss H even lifted her veil to reveal her face; not something she does often (Thankfully. Ahem). I asked what was going on, but Miss H just asked why my governesses hadn’t taught me it was rude to interrupt. (That thing I said in my last post about affection for her – I was tired and vulnerable and didn’t mean it. I’ve got my wits about me now.)

Forty minutes later after the cat had eaten the grilled chicken I was
planning to have for lunch tomorrow and it had drunk the last of the milk, Miss H deigned to explain. This, more or less, is what she said.

When the Ffforde (whoever he is) is stripping the books, he focuses on the most important scenes and characters first. This means sometimes a minor character can sometimes get away from him and not get reduced to text. There will be traces of these characters left in the book. They know something about the fake Fforde. Something about a key, Miss H said? She rolled her eyes when I asked what she meant and told me to use my mind and ‘think girl’!

Apparently these characters are all so terrified of him coming back to destroy them if he twigs they could be a danger to him, that they¹ve gone into hiding in fiction. They will only agree to talk over the footnoterphone. Miss H says she can think of a way to get this routed to phone boxes. As long as we do it at the last minute, the fake Fforde won¹t be able to trace them until it¹s too late. The cat (a precocious bastard) says he¹s not afraid of anyone. As some kind of proof of this he shredded my favourite cushion.

Anyway, the upshot is that Miss H thinks we need to find out who the
characters are and then what they know. I¹ve worked out where the cat is from, of course, and I¹m looking through the books we found in Foyles. There are some other odd words apart from those nasty little rhymes. Anyone got any ideas? I don’t know. Talking cats. What next?

Monday, 2 July 2007

I really think red bull is great. It tastes like purple calpol. And it has snapped me out of my blur.

So I have had lots of interesting emails – June and I are thinking of setting up a communal blog in which to put all of your theories – one very interesting. If anyone would object to me putting them up (names omitted) please let me know. Also, I am amazed at how dedicated people have been scouting across the country. I think all books have been found, no? Miss Havisham seems to go into paroxysms of excitement and bossiness with each book-finding report…

Now. I have had something rattling around in my fuzzy head. Let me know what you think. A little while ago, June published a draft of a first chapter of Jasper Fforde’s book that, in the end, never got published. This chapter was entitled Miss Havisham. Did you read it? It’s on her blog.

Ok. As far as I can tell – as a Fforde newcomer – it seems he was writing about an MH long descended from the original old hag of Great Expectations. Like the 27th (!) Miss Havisham. (And I'm too afraid to ask her in case she hits me or something.)

And if so, is this the Havisham I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with? Am I an acquaintance of Miss Havisham 27? The one I know is certainly reminiscent Dickens’ ‘witch of the place’ but then she seems younger and not nearly as cogent as an old timer. And apparently the MH was an accomplished book jumper whereas my MH seemed as boggled as me that she’d managed to pull the bookjump off. In fact, her startled and downright irascible quirks have all the marks of a novice to me (Afterall, id this is the case, she’s had one teaser chapter in which to practise). Plus. I’ve been told that the MH died in a car crash. Didn’t she? Is this the 27th Havisham? What do you all think?

Also, having been discarded from First Among Sequels is that why no-one misses her?

I hate to admit it but I am starting to feel some affection for this petulant and downright annoying virago…

Have you thoughts on my thoughts?
Hello everyone.

I have been feeling odd. I have been sleeping badly and frequently. I’m not concentrating very well. When I do sleep, it seems punctured with nightmarish visions of skewed worlds, locked doors and indecipherable people who aren’t who they say they are. (Apparently there’s this disorder called Capgras syndrome – where people believe that their loved ones have been replaced by an imposter - you know, like they are them but they are not. Has anyone ever felt this? I don’t think I’ve got it but I am feeling odd.) Oh. Ok. I need to gather my thoughts.