I should have let Don Quixote come up with my username
I’ve just starred Don Quixote, as I was inspired to read it by Nik Kershaw and his song of the same name (or that’s a lie, I didn’t know the song existed until Jeff mentioned it, and I’m reading it because it’s one of the 100 greatest novels).
Miguel De Cervantes was born in 1547 and died a few days after Shakespeare in 1605. He was a soldier in King Philip II’s army, whose wife was Mary, Elizabeth I’s half sister, and she was Shakespeare’s monarch, making Cervantes and Shakespeare kind of related, in my head, anyway. Literary cousins. Bards-in-law. Fellow Europeans, at least.
Don Quixote is about a man who reads a lot of books about knights and chivalry, and so decides to get on a horse, travel about, be a knight, have adventures and save people. Like Baron Munchhausen, There’s an element of mid-life crisis and mental health issues about it, but these are days of yore, and Quixote has money, so it’s fine, he can get away with this stuff without being sectioned, and get a book out of it.
He cobbles himself together a suit of amour, tying on his helmet, and later being unable to remove it, and refusing to let anyone cut the ties, has to be fed by some women at an inn through the gap. Before embarking on his journey it took him four days to come up with a suitable name for his horse, and his own name is also an invention, which took eight days. I can related to that, I hate coming up with usernames for forums, etc. These things have to be taken seriously, just today in a shop I was asked for the email address I came up with about eighteen years ago, and said it quietly, lest the people in the queue behind me should hear and point and laugh at my utter silliness.