Hope everyone celebrating U.S. Thanksgiving is having a great holiday weekend and everyone else is having a great weekend! When I consider things I’m thankful for, everyone who visits this site and posts and takes part in interesting discussions is high on the list.
I started my Thanksgiving day fixing green beans with almonds to take to my cousin’s for the family dinner, while listening to a CD of Bryn Terfel singing Rodgers & Hammerstein songs (my own Thanksgiving tradition). Snapping beans and toasting almonds, I found myself remembering a Thanksgiving when I was teenager. As I was cooking with my mom that day, I wondered what the characters I was currently writing about (a 1930s mostly British group) would do on Thanksgiving. I quickly realized of course they’d do nothing because they wouldn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. Even so, I day-dreamed what the modern American versions of those characters would do for the Thanksgiving holiday.
And this Thanksgiving, driving to my cousin’s, I imagined a modern, U.S.-based Charles and Mélanie driving to a Thanksgiving dinner at Bel and Oliver’s. Mélanie, in a stylish rose-colored dress, was doing the driving, while Charles, in a dress shirt but no tie, kept an eye on Colin and Jessica (the latter in a car seat) in the back seat. David and Simon would have be at the dinner too, of course. Being family, they’d have arrived first, perhaps bringing the appetizers (Mel, I suspect, baked the dessert). David would take people’s coats while Oliver bar-tended.Of course David and Bel’s parents would have to be present as well, which would have added interesting tension to the evening. Perhaps Lady Frances could distract them.
Gisèle (in jeans and a silky top) would get down the floor the play with the children. She and Andrew might bring the salad or a vegetable dish, but I suspect Andrew would be the one to prepare it. And Quen and Aspasia might put in an appearance (unless they’d gone to see Aspasia’s family or paid a duty visit to Glenister), bringing a bottle of excellent champagne. Aspasia would wear a simple dress with the spectacular pearls Quen gave her. Being eminently practical, she’d help with the gravy. Simon would take lots of photographs. Charles would sit down at the piano at some point during the evening (perhaps just at the point a political argument broke out between Carfax and Simon). Colin and Jessica might fall asleep in the Lydgate children’s room before the party broke up. Charles and Me would carry them to the car.
Does anyone else do this? Imagine characters (your own or other writers’) in a completely different setting, different era, different country? I find it actually can give an interesting perspective on the characters and their relationships. I’m intrigued that I saw Mel doing the driving, that I was sure the modern version of her would be a good pastry chef, that I knew Gisèle wouldn’t be much of a cook but Andrew might be.
Speaking of David’s parents, his week’s Fraser Correspondence addition is Lord Castlereagh’s reply to Lord Carfax’s letter from last week.