Meet Selwyn

Earlier this year I wrote three posts about some characters who had popped into my head; they did’t have a story, but they did have a location:

The Lidd family live in a very nice but modest red brick home in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century town of Strand. Strand itself is a fiction although it is the location of most of my novels. A small town, later to become a city is by the sea and at the time of the Lidds the port was busy with both fishing boats and cargo ships.

The Lidds are a ‘nice’ middle class family with two sons, Reginald and Percy – I have no idea of the plot, that hasn’t arrived in my head yet, but there are a couple of other characters attached to them, Molly or maybe Maisie Beans is a maid, a live-in maid who was born into a similar family to the Lidds but was orphaned and fell on hard times:

I have the feeling that like her name she is quite a quirky character, maybe described as ‘odd’ by cruel contemporaries, or ‘a funny little thing’ by patronising others. I think when she was at school, everyone quite liked her but she wasn’t anyone’s particular friend. if on occasion someone tried to bully her then she would look at them in rather a plain faced way, her head on one side, as if puzzled by their unkindness. Others would always stick up for her, but they themselves would probably tease her not thinking that what they were doing was the thin edge of the bullying wedge.

Another regular in the lives of the Lidds is Mr Peate the odd-job man.

Peter Peate (known locally as Pete-Peate) is a taciturn man, and often stands silently scratching his head as he thinks of how to answer. He is by no means stupid, nor ill-educated and reads voraciously – his favoured author is Wilkie Collins, but he thinks he has a new favourite in Joseph Conrad, whose first book, Almayer’s Folly,  was published recently in 1895. He has some extraordinary expressions – for example instead of ‘what the deuce?’ he says ‘what the beagle?’ However, Percy and Reginald’s favourite by far is ‘You can’t sue a goose’. which he applies to a variety of situations.
“How long will it take to fix the gutter, Mr Peate?” “Well, m’am, hard to say, you can’t sue a goose you know.”
“This weather has taken a turn for the worse, Mr Peate, will you be able to finish the paving?” “I will indeed, sir, it’s a hard frost we have to fear, then you can’t sue a goose in weather like that!”
“You’ve done a fine job there, Mr Peate.” “Thank you Mr Lidd, thank you sir, I always say, you can’t sue a goose!”

Now I have another person, Selwyn; he’s a contemporary of Reginald and Percy Lidd – was he at school with them? I’m not sure. He is extremely intelligent but a little too pleased to show it. He has not quite formed as a character yet, nor how he is connected to the Lidds – maybe a nephew, a distant cousin, Is he secretly in love with an unobtainable person, and this makes him bitter. I can see him clearly, but just not sure who exactly he is!!

My featured image of Selwyn is a photo I saw in a charity shop, I didn’t buy it, but I rather wish I had!

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