When I logged in early in the morning, I saw that Leanne had nudged me sometime during the night - ".... psst....BB&B post..." she had written on my Facebook wall. What of it, I thought? Was there something in the blog that I should be reading/ should have read? It was definitely not my turn to post- I was doing Writing Wednesday this week, and I had it covered, hadn't I? I still went across and checked the schedule- you got it- I was supposed to have posted the Reading Monday post 14 hours back.
I don't have a Time Machine, and even if I did, I wouldn't want to go back to January 24, noon GMT. At that particular moment, I was stuck in a harrowing traffic jam that took more than 45 minutes to clear. 45 minutes of breathing pure, unadultrated fumes from three wheelers which had never passed an emission test in their lives. And when after that, and after a meeting which I always knew would be an utter waste of time, I got back home, I had found that the lock on my front door decided to disown its key, and the locksmith had to be called to break the lock open. No, I would not want to go back to noon GMT, even if I could.
Which means, I am posting, but I am posting well after I should have. Blame it on too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Or, more accurately, blame it on my sheer unwillingness to simplify life by removing from it things that I have decided I cannot do without. 'How do you find time to run', other mothers ask me. 'I make time", I tell them- I don't have the recipe for making time (and even if I did, I would probably leave it in the oven too long and end up with charred time), but I do shift things around so I can run, because I want to run. 'You seem to have a new book everyday', my colleage observes, 'it takes me weeks to finish one book.' What can I say except that I am not sure I would be able to wait weeks to find out who the murderer is.
I know you are thinking that all this is leading nowhere. But trust me, I am getting somewhere. I am getting to some of my favourite characters. Like most of us here, I have been reading from as far back as I can remember. When I screw up my brains, and think, really think, I find that most of my early memories are in some way or the other centred around books and reading. I do vaguely remember 'doing' a lot of things, but actual snatches of discrete events are all linked to books.
I must have met thousands of people through books; perhaps even more than I have in real life. Many of them are indistinguishable from dozens more. Many are forgotten except for one or two characteristics that make them unforgettable. But a few are memorable. Are there any who are so memorable they have stayed with me for a quarter of a century? There are a few.
Scarlett O' Hara. Beautiful, enigmatic, flawed. I started out disliking her, gradually started developing a grudging admiration for her, and by the end of the book found I loved the person she had become. Definitely one of my favourite characters. Why do I admire her as much as I do? Becaues of her single-minded devotion to what she considers her purpose in life- Tara, and all the people who make up Tara. Nothing dare come in her way of achieving her purpose- if something dared, she would sweep it out of the way no matter what it took.
Ricky Braithwaite. To most teenage girls, 'To Sir With Love' was a love story. To me, it was always the story of a man who could have given up, but chose not to, and therefore ended up leaving a lasting impact on the impressionable minds in his charge. I never fell in love with Braithwaite, nor developed a crush on 'Sir'- I merely admired one man and his tenacious struggle to do his best against all odds.
Jo March. I last read 'Little Woman' before I entered my teens, so remember practically nothing about the story. What I do remember about Jo March is her strength and determination. And the sense of fun she retained against all odds.
I haven't re-read any of these books in two decades, but if I close my eyes, I can still 'see' Scarlett, Braithwaite and Jo March. By any yardstick, they are 'Memorable', even if only for me. And what is the one thing they all have in common- a purpose, a desire to make the most of their situation, and the ability to fill up their day with things they couldn't do without.
If they had blogs, do you think they would have missed a couple of days?
What about you? Do you have any characters you haven't met for years, but who you still love?