Previously undiscovered self-made recordings were announced today. The reels of tape, over 13 hours long, were discovered by the author's grandson in a cardboard box at Christie's former home in Torquay.
Only a handful of recordings of her voice are known to exist - including a 1955 interview for the BBC and a 1974 recording for the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive in which she recounts her experiences in a World War I dispensary which gave her a working knowledge of poisons - something which would be exploited in her murder mysteries.
There are some insights into her family life in the tapes and she explains that Miss Marple shared many characteristics with her own grandmother.
Christie said of her grandmother: "Although a completely cheerful person, she always expected the worst of anyone and everything. And with almost frightening accuracy [she was] usually proved right."
Her grandmother would say "I shouldn't be surprised if so-and-so was going on," Christie said. "And although with no grounds for these assertions, that was exactly what was going on."
I was inspired by this story, and it underscored once again, something I heard at a poetry workshop last week in St.Ives, hosted by Ann Kelley (Costa Childrens Fiction winner 2007 - The Bower Bird). She encourages writers to seize the moment, capture the ideas and images of the everyday. She introduced us to a poem by Raymond Carver, titled "Sunday Night". It begins...
"Make use of the things around you.
This light rain
outside the window, for one..."
Now, what was it my grandmother used to say?