Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

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’.

Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe“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.

2 thoughts on “Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

  1. Hahaha, I mean, as a woman who dropped everything to move to New York in my twenties, I think you’re doing just fine. I did it because there was a specific job that I wanted in New York (ie publishing) and New York was the best place to have a job like that; and I didn’t move there until I had the job. You know? Like I don’t think moving to the big city qua moving to the big city is fundamentally valuable. This book sounds delightful though.


    1. Haha, I couldn’t even take that leap, not that I’ve ever been certain exactly what I would love to do. I think it’s a bit of a fundamental for me, just because it’s more of a big change I’m scared of, so it would have more impact.

      As someone who has lived in London, I’d love you to read it and hear what you think. 😀


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