Sunday 9 September 2018

The Bless Brothers’ Flugelhorn (and alp horn)

The Bless Brothers’ Flugelhorn (and alp horn):  Object Post 96

Source? With the irrepressible Bless brothers, it’s difficult to say
Significance? It was one more distraction for Tom and his dad
Fate? Nothing. They still have it – or them.
Author’s inspiration? I’ve always liked the word and surely everyone is fascinated by alp horns?
Appeared in? The Kissing Ring (2017)

It was, Tom thought, as he returned to the B&B with the Bless brothers roaring songs in some unfathomable language in the back seat, a thoroughly civilised way of doing business. He had a written report that looked as if it should have taken days to complete. The Blesses had conjured it up while Tom was buying his round at the bar, right before Johan conjured a flugelhorn and marched around the outside of the pub playing a solo.

Hugo and Johan Bless were the independent building inspectors who signed off on Peckerdale Grene Community Tower, designed by Russ Merriweather, who also oversaw the construction.

Johan and Hugo Bless were tall and sturdy with fair hair and blue eyes. If he hadn’t known better, Tom would have supposed they were Swiss or Scandinavian. They were, in fact, Alpenfee men, from a family long established on both sides of the gates.

Tom liked the Blesses, who were fraternal twins, but Russ found them disconcerting and soon left Tom to deal with them.

Watching the Bless brothers in action was an education. They measured, metered and echo-tested, wrote down results and consulted. Since some of the equipment they used looked unfamiliar, and possibly often non-functional, Tom suspected the actual testing took place during the times they rested casual-seeming fingertips on a strut or panel.

At another stage of construction, Russ and his wife Kay flew over the strait to check on the progress. Kay was a music teacher, so she at least appreciated the twins.

“How’s the project?” Tom asked on their return.
Russ gave him a resigned look. “Bloody pixies had the building inspectors in again.”
“Johan and Hugo Bless? Did Johan play the flugelhorn?”
Alp horn,” Kay said.
“What’s that?”
“It’s a sodding great thing like a water pipe with a bend in it.” Russ sighed.
“We couldn’t work out where he got it from. There was no way it would have fitted in their van,” Kay said.
“I expect he conjured it. Look, Dad, it really is okay. The Blesses aren’t pixies.”
“They behave like ‘em.”
“Well, they’re not. They’re Alpenfee. They come from a totally different place over there, and these two were born in New South Wales.”
“Bet they were a riot at school,” Russ said.

Although only Johan played the flugelhorn, it’s pretty certain Hugo could play it too. The alp horn, cited by Kay, really would have been an alp horn. No wonder Russ was uneasy.

The Bless brothers and their unlikely musical habits appear in The Kissing Ring.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, anthologist and reader. You can find you way into her maze of websites and blogs via the portal here.(Sally is me, by the way.)

The goal for 2017 was to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. 2017 is well behind us, but I ran out of year before running out of books. As of June 2018 I STILL hadn't run out of books, but many of those still to come are MIA by which I mean I don't have copies and remember little about them. There are more new books in the pipeline, and I'm certainly showcasing those, but in between times, I'm profiling some of my characters, places and objects. Thank you so much to everyone who's come along on this journey so far!

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