All right, I admit it. My name isn’t really Marchbanks. That’s a pseudonym, or maybe an alter-ego. It has been stolen from a pseudonym, or maybe an alter-ego, used by one of my literary heroes. I can’t claim all the qualities of the original mentioned on his Wikipedia page, but ‘cantankerous’ is a bullseye.
Marchbanks and I have a lot of things in common. We look identical, share the same views and both live in a world of continual bemusement, incomprehension and frustration. The two of us derive pleasure from such simple pursuits as staring out of the window for long periods at nothing in particular, listening to music, watching birds and animals watching us and – importantly – snoozing. In other words, we are both confused and tetchy but harmless old men. The only major difference between us is that he claims to have a hereditary peerage (the origins of which are so muddy as to be impossible to verify) and lives in some kind of tumbledown stately home, where he is served by a small number of recalcitrant staff. On the other hand my retinue consists of just one – my sommelier Gaston, whose job it is to select a suitable bottle for me each night and make sure it is in a fit condition for me to drink. Strangely, the better the wine the harder it seems to be for him to make a decision on its suitability. Often the very best bottles are half-empty before he is happy for me to take the risk of tasting for myself.
The two of us share a mascot – Lego Marchbanks, whose picture can be seen in a number of places on this site. He shares our love of jazz and wine – not to mention bow-ties, trilbies and waistcoats – and a physical likeness in most respects (scale apart, of course.) He differs from us in one major aspect – a love of motoring. He is very proud of his collection of sports cars old and new, and can always be located from the smell of petrol and burning rubber that surrounds him.
Having said all that, for the purposes of this website it’s simplest if you take Marchbanks and I to be the same entity. I think we would both be happy enough with that.
(tl;dr – Hello! My name is Marchbanks and I’m a confused old man learning WordPress…)