I’ve never been one for taking risks or getting out of my comfort zone. As an anxious day dreamer, I’ve been cursed/blessed with the ability to imagine the situations I’m too afraid to attempt.
Oft I wonder what trajectory my life would have taken if I had been a bit more like Nina Stibbe in my late teens / early-20s, or even if I’d actually bitten the bullet and moved to London in my mid-20s. It’s the time when opportunities are rife, adulthood is too far away to worry about and failure is just character building. Taking those leaps now feels like jumping from one mountain peak to another, not to mention a 30-year-old nanny with no previous experience just screams ‘dodgy’.
“In the 1980s Nina Stibbe wrote letters home to her sister in Leicester describing her trials and triumphs as a nanny to a London family. There’s a cat nobody likes, a visiting dog called Ted Hughes (Ted for short) and suppertime visits from a local playwright. Not to mention the two boys, their favourite football teams, and rude words, a very broad-minded mother and assorted nice chairs.
From the mystery of the unpaid milk bill and the avoidance of nuclear war to mealtime discussions on pie filler, the greats of English literature, swearing in German and sexually transmitted diseases, Love, Nina is a wonderful celebration of bad food, good company and the relative merits of Thomas Hardy and Enid Blyton.” GoodReads.
The way Nina writes to her sister, recounting her every day encounters is just the type of humour that tickles me. It’s subtle, unintentional humour. The hilarity of the ordinary. It’s the type of witty I try to be, that my friend Calum is (never say I’m not complementary, Calum) and that I will forever find amusing.
Mary-Kay (MK), Sam and Will are just as I imagine a literary, posh family would be. Course, cutting and loving. Blunt, the sort that does you good rather than is intended to upset.
I really urge you to read these letters, they are delightful.