Story Starter: Snail…And Judy Murray!

What's the link between a snail and Judy Murray?

I know: Snail and Judy Murray in the same sentence. How….?

It started with another walk. Yes, again. I walk miles in a week; thank you, Fitbit. And I stepped over this little chap gamely making his slow way across the road. I hope he reached the other side safely.

Looking at this pic makes me think of so many different things.

Children, as in children’s stories or books, and reading to them. Packing up all your possessions to cross the road, the country, the world… Travelling light.  Taking your time. Pests. Birds. Thrushes. Anvils….

It will make you think of a thousand more themes, I’m sure.

And now to Judy Murray….

You know we’re in our new old building. It’s becoming a very interesting place to work. Book club. Walking club. Running club. Quiz nights. There’s lots going on. And this week, we had a remarkable evening when Judy Murray came to talk to the staff. Yes, that Judy M. I’ve never watched “Strictly”, don’t follow her on Twitter, know her only really as Andy and Jamie’s mum.

Well. What a woman. Totally inspirational. A self-starter. If something needs doing, she gets on with it, and doesn’t wait for someone else to sort it out for her. Doesn’t take no for an answer. Isn’t afraid to ask for the right kind of help when it’s needed, and learns from it. And she was fun and likeable, too.

I can use her as an example of the kind of female characters I want to see in our stories, too. Not passive flowers who let someone else sort out their problems, their loneliness, their love lives, whose happiness is dependent on another person. Quick example of what I mean….

Christmas story. Divorced mum home alone, doesn’t bother cooking for herself, or switching on or even bothering with Christmas decorations. And that so annoys me. What an attitude. The message coming out of this is that she doesn’t think she’s worth it, and if she doesn’t think so, who else will? In that scenario she waits for someone else to rescue her Christmas for her.

Instead she’s more likeable if she festoons her house with decs, cooks herself a self-indulgent meal of all her favourites, has a really nice glass of wine, buys herself a gift and relishes her own company… It’s only when she values herself that other people will, too.

I bet Judy Murray wouldn’t wait for the phone to ring.

PS The specs on fence? They’ve gone! Hurrah! Wouldn’t it be lovely to imagine that this blog was instrumental? That someone heard of the loss and they happened to be a People’s Friend reader and spotted the pic on our website when I wrote my blog about them. I said where I’d seen them, so they hotfooted it down to the path, and reunited lost and loser. Happy ending. Aaaahhh…..



Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.