Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tied Together With A Spool Of Blue Thread

I am involved in my usual activity at this time of year which is trying to get through as many of the Man Booker shortlist as I can before the winner is announced. I know that compared to others who set themselves such challenges as cycling bareback across the Gobi Desert whilst wearing a Mr Blobby suit, this might sound like small beer, but a challenge is a challenge and, compared to the rest of the year when the greatest challenge I face is getting up to the bar to order another pint, it is a significant annual event in my calendar. I have almost finished Anne Tyler's "A Spool Of Blue Thread" (just the last bit threaded around the bobbin to go, so to speak) and it has made me think about whether there is any such thing as a "normal family".

That is a normal family in the picture at the head of this post. I have no idea who they are (although I feel I have known the man on the right of the photograph all my life); the photograph came from a job lot of unwanted photographs I bought on eBay. But they look like such a normal family - and therefore their lives will be threaded together by the usual collection of secrets, tragedies, and love affairs. Tied together with a spool of blue thread no doubt.


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed Spain...Could not see the Blood Moon for clouds and rain and as to normal family, nope...Thanks for your comment at mine.

  2. Note the white shoes of the chap on the extreme left walking by. No-one wears white shoes anymore - unless of course you're a navigating officer on a ship (although I think whites have even fallen out of fashion these days - maritime life is going to to dogs).

  3. You have my word on it: there is no such thing as a normal family. If there were, there would be no need for gossip.

  4. I always enjoy your stories! You are totally right, this family appears to be a merry, happy bunch and I'm glad you brought them to visit us!

  5. I think this is a family with a few small picadillos perhaps, but no major tragedies. They look so happy, and there is the grandmother with the little white collar.

  6. Very nice "normal"-looking family.
    Do you own a Mr Blobby suit?


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...