This will almost certainly be dedicated for Caroline, for mishearing my comment about that autumnal Summer’s day…, for this is how the story that follows started life, a little after 7.30am on the daily drive to work. Over the half hour that followed and the 45 minutes coming home this evening, we have sketched out the life and times, and idiosyncracies of one Mr Tumnal…

Mr Tumnal

He’s a young man, in his early thirties, black hair, and slender. He’s a teacher of English and Creative Writing, and he’s old before his time; his work clothes consisting of jumpers and corduory jacket with the felt patches on the elbows. But he’s a likeable and friendly, popular teacher dispite this. He’s quiet and uncomplicated, happiest when talking around his subject area. He lives in a big, old, Victorian house in Jericho, Oxford. He has a wife, and a daughter of eleven years who is adorable, who loves her father, and who is loved by her father. He has a passion for photography and is a member of a local photographers society and helps run a night course at college.

Mr Tumnal, his wife, and child, are the imaginary lives of Lewis (Louis) Tumnal, a young man, in his early thirties, black hair, and slender. A teacher of English and Creative Writing, he is old before his time; his work clothes consist of jumpers and corduory jacket with the felt patches on the elbows. But he’s a likeable and friendly, popular teacher dispite this, not unattractive by any means. Quiet and uncomplicated, he happiest when talking around his subject area. He is withdrawn and lonely, a batchelor, ill at ease with himself in social situations. With few friends, he goes to a night course in photography which he loves, but he keeps himself very much to himself. That is, untill he meets Kathryn…

Kathryn joins the photography class mid-term and immediately forms a bond of friendship with Louis. Is uncertainty around people, and particularly women, makes for an awkward friendship though. It is all the more awkward for Mr Tumnal, and the life he believes to lead with his wife and child. As his relationship with Kathryn develops, so his marriage falls apart, and his make believe world spills out into the real world…

It’s funny how stories present themselves. All this from a mis-pronounciation in the car on the way to work, and two over-active minds. I really think that this could work into a story – maybe not a novel yet – but certainly a short story…