Friday, 8 October 2010

Ellen's Tale: her birth.

Ellen was one of those short stories – well she was intended as one.

Ellen might appear at first to be quiet and well behaved but right from the beginning she’s had a mind of her own. 

Ellen leapt onto the page ready made and named, Bix following so close behind her heels were almost trampled.  I told them firmly they were ‘short’.  I reminded them of it at regular intervals.  They took not a blind bit of notice.  I hastily researched among friends and text books, how long a sort story was, Ellen and Bix had romped well pass the mark, maybe a novella?  They were not having any of it, they took over the keyboard and raced on.  I gave in as gracefully as I knew how and Ellen and Bix slid to a gentle halt when they were ready. 

Proving yet again I was rubbish at ‘short’.  Ah well.

Thinking about Ellen and how she came about is a lesson in how the different influences in one’s life all meld together in the mind.  When I settled down that day to start her Tale I had just finished reading a book about the global food market throughout history.  Fascinating read.  No real leap of the imagination to see the idea of the Sefuty Line being seeded then.

Then those that rode the line had to be bold and brave Heros because . . .? What kind of world would they inhabit?  Well we had been living through a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, following a century of such. . . you get the picture  . . . a world at war.  After that it was easy, my  long held concerns of planet trashing, the horror of modern warfare brought both the reason and the land mines. 

Once the new world was created, it was a matter of thinking about the lack of resources.  On my travels I had often been in places where these lacks are apparent.  Think about super foods and medicine based originally on plants but now manufactured in factories, project into the future and I had pastiles, artificial food. 

I am a confirmed carnivore, so much so that some friends have expressed concern at being shipwrecked with me! Many times travelling through areas of want, meat has not been on the menu, while respecting the reasons I did miss it, (I am sorry if I offend).  I just had to think how much I would miss my roast meat to summon up Grans dying request.

Whilst pruning the Buddleia I was thinking about another interest in my life Family History, and was prompted ponder on the wonder that are ‘The Archives’. I was preparing a small speech about them for a meeting. I host a group, in our local U3A, on Living History where we have been writing about our lives. Among the many passions of my life ‘archives’ loom large. The hidden stories concealed within them fascinate.  A recurring rant of mine at the meetings is for all of us to preserve our memories in the archives for future generations.  Of course Ellen and Bix would be archival material. 

She might have been intended as a short story but Ellen in her determined way has led me into different pasture indeed.  A series of ‘Sefuty Chronicles’ now jostle for space in my head, for room on my computer.

this post was originally published as two on my website.

I also blog about almost anything on

and mostly about books and reading on

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