Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Dear Tami,

Thank you for the words of encouragement and the vote of confidence following the Golden Globes last weekend. Even though Kevin Costner took home the Best Actor in a Miniseries award, again, it’s good to know I have such supportive friends. Yes, I believe I could hear you all the way down in L.A. yelling at your telly when he was announced as winner instead of me. And, to paraphrase your more colourful and sardonic comment, it did seem as though Kevin’s acceptance speech sounded less odd this time around, for what it’s worth.

As for your suggestion, no, I had not considered getting a large group of celebrities to do a flash mob performance to Thriller on the red carpet, but you might be on to something there. It would certainly make the show more exciting, though I don’t think it would increase my chances of winning an award if I accidentally took Kevin Costner out with some unfortunately timed break dance moves. Just sayin’.

And no, I definitely was not “totally fangirlin’ it”, as you so eloquently stated, when Robert Pattinson and Adele walked by on the red carpet as MTV was interviewing me. I was merely excited to see some fellow Brits. But go ahead and tease all you want. We’ll see who is fangirlin’ it when I find that writing cave.

I’d be happy to look after the kasbah while you give your novel one last final push towards the end. That said, you do realise that once again I get free rein in here, right? At the moment I have no idea what kinds of shenanigans I will conjure up while you’re away. Those lively readers of yours can be a wild and crazy group to entertain, though I don’t need to remind you of that, do I?

I am thrilled you enjoyed listening to the radio play, Copenhagen, last weekend when it aired in the U.K. I know it took a bit of time to get the BBC iPlayer sorted out, not to mention calculating the time difference between London and the west coast, and then converting your wacky American 12-hour clock to the standard 24-hour clock that *cough* everybody else uses. But you did it. Bravo, friend.

(I’ll include the link here for any kasbah readers interested in listening to the two-hour radio play by Michael Frayn about the ghostly spirits of real-life German nuclear scientist, Werner Heisenberg, his Danish mentor, Niels Bohr, and Bohr’s wife, Margrethe. The three of them convene a post-mortem meeting to attempt to answer the play’s driving question: Why did Heisenberg go to Copenhagen in 1941? With Margrethe’s help, Heisenberg and Bohr recount several versions of their 1941 exchange, each discussing and arguing the ramifications of their meeting, the rationalisations behind the reasons to create or not create an atomic bomb, and ultimately, humankind’s quest to understand the world around us.)

So much of what we think we know is steeped in our perceptions, the filter through which all experiences are mined for information and then ultimately applied to our understanding of the world and our place in it. Kind of like my perception that your elusive writing cave is as well hidden as Voldemort’s horcruxes once were. My experiences in locating it have not been successful – yet – though the memories that pertain to your writing cave are coloured by my perception (that it’s well-hidden) and thus are transformed into something akin to the truth.

But is it really that difficult to find? Perhaps it’s hiding in plain sight and I’m merely overlooking the obvious. Never mind that I have yet to locate it. We both know it’s just a matter of time. And resources. And getting that @%&#* satellite system to sync with Google maps on my iPhone and, well, we don’t have to go into all of that right now. The point is, what we think we know as the truth, whether obtained through science or our own observations, is not entirely or even necessarily the truth.

But do we need to know the absolute truth anyway? And does such a thing even exist?

One thing’s for certain, though. The writing cave will be found.

And that, friend, is the truth.

Truthfully yours,



*Editor’s note: The views, ideas, and opinions expressed in the Letters from Benedict series are works of fiction and obviously did not come from the actor himself. This series is just my way of expressing adoration for Mr. Cumberbatch and his work and is not intended to be seen or read as a true collaborative writing endeavor with him.

18 thoughts on “Letters from Benedict: On Flash Mobs, Copenhagen, & the Perception of Truth

  1. on ,
    Gloria Richard said:

    Benedict, this letter from you sounded like you wandered about your luxurious (no doubt) flat in your pyjama* bottoms quite frustrated with your inability to find The Writing Cave. I must say the tone was quite sexydemanding.

    [That is how you spell pyjamas, right?]

    I slobber over love a man who expresses his Alpha, followed by snark, and ponderings about the state of mankind.

    I would assist in your quest to locate The Writing Cave, but the only Intel I have so far is to turn north when I reach California and keep driving. I will pass additional details on to you. I have a feeling a visit from you would add sizzle to Tami’s body writing.

    [No *blush* from me on that last sentence. I only resort to those when “flatulence” and “public” share a sentence with “I had.”]

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Dear Gloria,

      Yes, you’re spot on with the spelling of pyjamas. Well done. Demanding tone or not, it has been nearly ten months since the kasbah queen went dark on the writing cave’s location and I have yet to pinpoint it’s whereabouts. I shall be most interested in your intel. North of California you say? Good work. Let’s be in touch.

      And I wouldn’t expect an author of steamy romance novels to blush so easily. I can see what my next challenge is now.


  2. I too would like to help smooth the way so you can focus everything on that one final push to finish the novel. Do you suppose Benedict needs any help? We’re almost neighbors, you know. I could run over with a cup of sugar, or…

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Benedict could definitely use some help. You know how he gets when I’m away. Naked dance parties and such. Not that I have any problems with that, mind you. He might need some… direction is all. And some sugar for his proper English tea. 😉

        • on ,
          Tami Clayton said:

          I’m sure you do, Liv. Never doubted it for a minute. 🙂

          (Somewhat Odd and Slightly Disturbing Side Note: Anyone else’s brain now playing Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’? All this talk of sugar seems to have brought it on. That’s the kind of song that NEVER leaves your head until you chase it out with an equally annoying big hair band song. Gonna be a long night. *sigh*)

  3. Surprised, Ben, that you didn’t seize the opportunity to also mention the metric system that *cough* everybody else uses. LOL

    The ghostly spirits of a real-life anyone sounds interesting, let alone nuclear scientist. Note to self, must set aside 2 hours. Thanks for providing a handy link, you are ever the gentleman.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Dear Sherry,

      Ah, yes, the metric system. Americans are so quaint with their “feet” and “inches” and “gallons” for measurements, aren’t they? It must be in their rebellious nature to do things so differently from the rest of the world. One can only guess. No, there’s no innate bitterness left over from the Boston Tea Party, though that was an unfortunate waste of some mighty fine tea.

      You’re most welcome for the link to Copenhagen. Pour yourself a cup of Earl Gray, settle in to a cosy spot, and enjoy.


  4. Benedict seems awfully determined to find your writing cave and with his detective skills, he just may do it. Have tea and krumpets ready!

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      I guess I should spend time tidying up a bit, too, on the off-chance he does locate it. Best get back to work on that novel – I can’t have him distracting me on this final stretch.

  5. Tami, didn’t you attend the Golden Globes incognito? Sounds like you had an excellent disguise, as Benedict thought all that yelling came from “up north”. Throw the guy a bone already and give him a “real” hint for the location of the Writing Cave. Not a hint that would let him get farther than you’d like, but just enough to fuel his Sherlock instincts. You never know, he might reward you with a back stage pass to watch him film an episode or two. 😉

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Alas, I was not able to attend the Golden Globes. I was hoping Ellen might ask me to do red carpet interviews. I’m thinking my spam folder must have eaten that email because I never saw it. As for throwing the guy a bone, he doesn’t need one. Clever as they come. Though I’d be so very tempted to do so for an opportunity to see a taping or premiere of anything he’s in. 🙂

  6. Dear Benedict,
    I have no intel to share and aid in your quest. I didn’t see you on the awards show, but I only watched the emcees give their intro (which was GREAT).

    Absolute truth is only your and my perception. That’s the truth. 🙂

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      Dear Brinda,

      Should you ever acquire some intel, I would happily read you some poetry or a play in exchange for any information leading to the whereabouts of the writing cave.

      That is also the truth.


  7. Although I sympathize with Benedict’s frustration in not having YET located the writing cave (admittedly much of this sympathy has do with a soft spot for angsty men wearing only *Pyjama* bottoms.), I especially love that an ordinary (read–Extraordinary) writer can continually outsmart the otherwise genius detective. Such stunts very much inspire those of us who are, quite simply, not particularly genius.

    ***Note to Benedict. I sincerely appreciate the invitation to your not so secret Naked Dance Party. I will thoughtfully consider, however it most hinges on whether my favorite *naked suit* is dance ready in time.

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      ‘Tis easy to outsmart someone who has no clue he’s being outsmarted. That is my best (and only) strategy. Don’t know if that qualifies for genius accolades, but since you’re generously handing them out today, I’ll let myself bask in it for a minute before I graciously and sheepishly give it to someone more worthy than I.

      I’ve found the image that Gloria has painted of the angsty, pyjama bottom wearing Benedict wandering about his luxurious flat to be playing on my sympathies, too. Darn that Gloria and her seductive words. 😉

      ***Note to Barbara: Naked dance parties are a come as you are sort of soiree. Just sayin’. -B

    • on ,
      Tami Clayton said:

      This reminds me of “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!” from the Brady Bunch. 🙂

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