Here’s the thing. We’re on a boat crossing the Atlantic. It’s going to take, we imagine, more than two weeks but less than three. Our immediate world is very small as we have 43 feet to walk up and down. There’s sea and sky and weather and wildlife and maybe other boats but that’s our current existence. What am I going to think up and write about when routine and repetition visit us each day?
Then I remembered the letters I used to exchange with my Grandad as a teenager and a student. He lived in a very small hamlet a stones throw across the border into Scotland. He would drive the three miles once a week to do his shopping in Berwick upon Tweed, visiting the same shops each week. He was a keen gardener and spent time each and every day in his greenhouses, veggie and flower plots. He didn’t really go to many other places, just very occasionally to visit a relative or friend.
He did however the write the most enlightening, amusing and erudite letters about nothing in particular…. The visit of the postman, his trip to buy tea, seeing Miss Cook outside her house. I still have all his letters. They were all identical in form. Blue Basildon Bond writing paper, two sheets of, written on both sides using a black fountain pen. It was always a real pleasure to see one of those blue envelopes waiting for me. I loved those letters about nothing in particular.
So my plan over the next few days is to write about nothing in particular and try and make it interesting so you too can occasionally have a Basildon Bond Blue Letter.