Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Happy Birthday Agatha!

This short paragraph is the beginning of a nostalgic blog on the BBC’s Agatha Christie page.
I remember the year when Nima read us a chapter or two of A Pocket Full of Rye after dinner each night. It must have been 1953 and I can remember the game as if it were yesterday. All the family sitting round the drawing-room at Greenway, coffee cups empty on the tray, a little cigar smoke rising from my grandfather's cigar, mauve chintzy covers on the chairs and a piano in the corner of the room. Nima sat in a deep chair with a light directly above her and spectacles, a strange butterfly shape, were pushed slightly forward…”
Gorgeous, isn’t it? 120 years ago today, Agatha was born and yet today we still love to read her as her burgeoning sales figures show. She epitomizes all that makes us feel cosy, secure, grounded and optimistic, even though her crime novels contain more than their fair share of murder and mayhem. Tonight, it's out with the Cluedo, which somehow also makes me feel cosy and secure. During our family get-together, we’ll dress up barmily, one of the kids will be the detective and one the victim when we play Murder In the Dark. And then, after dinner, my husband will read from 4.50 from Paddington. I hope Agatha will tune in from wherever she is, for she has been a great mentor through her novels and scripts to so many of us. The youngest in the family have yet to sample her magic and I do envy them the discovery. For my generation she is timeless, ageless and priceless – so here’s to you Agatha, Happy Birthday, and long may they always continue.

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