I was QUITE certain that I’d fall at this fence, but various QUAINT & QUEER bits of inspiration have struck during the day, so here goes on a sampler.
QUEST – A quest is a common theme in novels of all kinds – the quest for love or power or wealth makes a great basis for a story. One of my main themes in Helter-Skelter is Albie’s quest for his biological father.
George has known Albie for a few months when he asks Albie the QUESTION “Why were you sleeping under the pier?” and this is the moment Albie tells George about it:
Albie stared at the tattoo on the back of George’s wrist and spoke so softly that George could only just hear.
“Mum told me to eff off. She was going to stay with this bloke, she said – the one what hit her – and they didn’t want a gyppo bastard tagging along.” He stirred his tea savagely. “She’s always calling me that – says a gypsy got her in the club. Anyhow, I’d fed meself for months, she said, so I could carry on doing it. Then they both laughed, so I effed off.”
Is it any wonder that he searches for his father? Anyone would be an improvement on a mother who treats her twelve-year-old son that way.
Years later, Albie and Bert are QUAFFING their ale in their local tavern when his own mother fails to recognise him and propositions him. Imagine the horror of that.
QUESO = cheese, which we love. Most local cheese is made from goats’ milk – any cows have to live under cover away from the fierce sun – and many Canarians breakfast on QUESO FRESCO Y MEMBRILLO , which is a sweet jelly made from QUINCES. They are very sweet toothed, but I prefer my breakfast sharper-tasting. Lemon curd works well!
QUIERO – is the first person singular of the verb QUERER. It can mean simply “I want” as in “I want that shirt”, but it can also mean “I love”. "TE QUIERO" = "I love you." I suppose it could also mean “I want you” but I’ve never been in that kind of situation with a Spanish speaker!