Sam’s Big Idea
This probably wasn’t the first mention of all the Pickle’s children’s names, in fact I’m sure it wasn’t. But to be fair of both families, I have to make fun of the Pickle’s family names. First of all the last name, really, Pickle, there are worse last names, and don’t get offended if your last name is either Pickle or Lamb, or if your first name is any of the ones I have or will mention, but the Pickle family’s first names are bad too. I mean Chub, especially Chub Pickle, and then there is Ted and Rose, normally enough names, but Ted Pickle and Rose Pickle. I don’t know if this was intention on Tim Winton’s part to have humorous sounding names or if it is more along the lines of getting the right feel of the time this is set in cause maybe these names were popular back then, but there are just too many odd combinations in my book.
Well the big idea is plain and simple, divide up the house into two parts. Unfortunately for Rose Pickle, her room was on the wrong side. It is interesting to note that the Pickles gave up what Rose calls the “sunny side” of the house. It’s not revealed yet if the Lamb family have moved in next door. I’m not even sure if the guy helping Sam put up a dividing fence, was Lest Lamb (I didn’t mention his name when I made fun of his children’s name, his is bad enough, personally I think names should not alliterate), anyhow, the only description was of a tall, darklooking bloke, whose guts Rose hated. I don’t recall if the Lamb family were in any way dark, but soon enough the new neighbors will be introduced.
Even the Only Miracle that Ever Happened to You
Well the Lamb family have left their farm and their house, and it appears that someone has already moved in. But it seems that the Lamb family have realised that their ‘miracle’ was not as good as it seemed (in her words “You can’t stay in a town when everything blows up in your face – especially the only miracle that ever happened to you). Fish Lamb is not how he used to be, from a short passage of ‘narration’ about him you can tell, easily. it almost appears as if the Lambs have lost some of their faith in God, understandable, since they were so excited about their miracle, and were sadly mistaken.
But there is a little hint about how the two families will meet. Oriel Lamb was looking in the Classified section of her newspaper, I will guess that the Pickle family have placed a good old ad in there, and the Lamb family will answer that ad. It’s unclear whether that man in the previous chapter was indeed Lest Lamb, if it was, this chapter has gone back in time.
Is it at all strange that the Lambs were looking for somewhere to stay in the Classifieds, or is it more strange that they seemed to have a whole list of them or was it just the time? And choosing Number One Cloud Street, did not disappoint, especially when they expected a ‘scabby little bungalow’. The Lambs have indeed lost faith, or at least they were keen not to express their religion, when Sam asks if they were ‘Cathlicks?’, he replies “No. No, nothing”. Even Sam Pickle cannot laugh at their names, “It’s gunna sound like a counter lunch – Lamb and Pickles.”
Even Ted Pickle can quickly see that Fish is a ‘slowbo’, but Rose doesn’t believe it, which still makes me think she’ll ‘fall in love’ with him. Another interesting point is that even the three kids comment on and ‘make fun of’ their dad’s gambling. Rose says, “If yer yer father’s son yull bet on anythin.” I’m sure it makes adults think how much their children actually pick up. Rose earlier made a comment to her father about his gambling, which would have hurt him deeply. Having your wife say something is bad enough, but your own child, well that’s terrible. And true to the times Rose was reading for a hiding.
Looks like I was right, Rose thinks Fish (though his name is not said, his staring at the sky, makes me think of him) is beautiful. I guess we will see her trying to come to terms with his ‘disability’ and plenty of people will tell her to forget him, but she won’t. Maybe this will be the couple (or one of them) that has children 20 years down the track.
HOLD ON! Maybe the guy that was fascinated with the water, and committed suicide (at least I hope (not in that way) he did, cause otherwise I’ll look like a fool) is Fish Lamb. I mean his name is Fish, and fish live in the sea (duh!) but maybe that’s a connection. Also he didn’t quite seem with it, and Fish isn’t all with it either, so maybe it is Fish.