Half-finished notes, scrawled snippets of conversation, observations made on the run, photographs of people known and unknown, scraps of paper with puzzling sketches on them, receipts, matchbooks, postcards, and other assorted paraphernalia have all ended up in a Peek Frean’s tin biscuit box.
For nearly 40 years, Jim Christy has thrown — willynilly, with neither rhyme nor reason — such seemingly random items into the box.
There has been absolutely no system to it; maybe, the author says, “I thought ‘I’ll pay more attention to this later’ or perhaps, ‘I’ve got to check that one out some day … give it the attention it deserves.’”
Since Christy is a restless traveller, investigative journalist and raconteur, many of these items have rich and alluring stories attached to them. The Peek Frean’s biscuit box has provided the essential ingredients for a fascinating assortment of highly entertaining anecdotal tales.
Christy has brought these stories to life in his new book, Sweet Assorted: 121 Takes From a Tin Box.
He is heading out on a reading tour of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast next month to present some of these stories, and he’s coming to the Ladysmith Library Thursday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.