I once hit my Nan over the head with a cricket bat. It was on a beach in Wales and I was about four years old. Nan was wicket keeper, and I wasn’t very good at cricket. To be fair, she wasn’t down for too long and I’m not sure that she actually lost consciousness. However, the accident did get me into quite a lot of trouble as I recall. The balance was soon to be redressed as she took me to the park that winter and let me play on the thin ice that covered the duck pond. A pond which fortunately, as it turned out, wasn’t as deep as it was cold. I think we both learned valuable lessons that year.
However, my ‘Nan story’ for this blog occurred a few years later. My mother was round at my Nan’s house for a cup of tea. There was a knock on the door. Nan got up and answered it, whilst my mum sat and listened to hear who was there. It turned out to be a middle-aged woman selling house insurance. Nan told the sales-woman that she didn’t need to buy any, and so the woman moved on to Mr. Cadby’s house, which was the next door along the terrace. My Nan spotted this, and, in an attempt to be helpful, leaned out of her doorway to give advice. “Oooh, he’s not in today. ……………He’s dead!” she volunteered confidently in the direction of the sales-woman, with the implication that Mr. Cadby might very well be in at a later date, should she decide to call back.
The woman responded in an equally Monty Python-esk manner: “Oooh, that I’ll explain it then, dear,” and then carried on happily towards the next house. Nan returned to her cup of tea, and Mum was in fits of giggles.
The message here is to think about what you’re about to say, and then communicate it clearly. This is something the character Mr. Choli could do with learning in the Tinfish Series of children books that I’ve written. He is regularly required to send messages back to Mr. Vinegar to relay the state of progress for his expedition. Invariably, however, the message is not understood or misinterpreted, leading to vast amounts of confusion all round.
About Chris Wardle:
Chris Wardle holds a bachelor’s degree in physical geography as well as a Master’s degree for water supply in developing countries.
Over the last ten years Chris has traveled extensively in developing countries working on charity projects in poor communities. He has been able to draw on his numerous experiences to inspire his creative works, particularly living for long periods in communities with different cultures in Africa and Asia.
An orphaned kitten in Northern Uganda was the inspiration for Mr. Choli’s character in the Tinfish series. He now lives in the UK with Chris’s family (via a few months with a foster family in France to organise his European passport).