Truth can be much stranger than fiction and I heard a superb example tonight. I’d driven up to a pub in a village called Stewkley, which is almost in Milton Keynes (though people there would not like to be associated with MK too much).
I was chatting to someone who’s a regular at the pub and he and his wife told an amazing story about a transvestite roofer (with huge hands) who used to come all the way to their village pub from Banbury (probably a good hour’s drive) to hang out in his provocative and skimpy clothing. (The logic he used was that he wouldn’t be safe, in various senses of the word, nearer his home — he apparently had a wife and three children who were in the dark about his alter ego.)
I ended up having a first hand account told to me by the landlady of an incident that ended the chap barred from the pub — and it wasn’t a case of prejudice and bigotry as he’d obviously been made to feel welcome in the pub for quite some time before the inciting incident, as novelists say. I may re-use this story for ‘The Angel’ in some form. It shows there’s nothing quite like getting out into the field to do your research.