Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Eve Garnett The Family from One End Street

My sister gave my great niece this book recently and I started to re-read it.  First met when I was 11 and oh I loved it.  I identified with one of the characters Lily Rose who was full of ideas, not good according to her mother and tried to be helpful, sometimes with disastrous consequences.

I don't think she ever said, but my Mum probably disapproved in some way of the Ruggles family  Too large, noisy and to her mind disorganised.

Being rather clumsy but well meaning I felt I'd have fitted in there. In some ways they were a junior version of the Larkins family and I've always loved the idea of them.  That kind of expansive, outrageous behaviour though Mrs Ruggles often was mortified by what Lily Rose did.  (The green petticoat)

It was a great joke in our family that every holiday would be marked by  me falling, walking into something or doing something silly.  When I think back it was because I was interested in what was happening around me, so I walked into a lamppost because I was paying attention to something I'd seen.

These days I'd defend my behaviour by saying I was developing a certain kind of social skill.  The kind that absorbs what happens around you.  Like sitting in a waiting room and checking who comes in every time the door opens.  Not everyone does that and they say it can give clues for ideal jobs. 

That's my excuse anyway.  Maybe that's why I became a librarian when I left school. Or maybe it was just the lure of the books.

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