MFA Sunday school


Bartholomew Gregor Wallace



Physical traits (height, weight, hair and eye colour, scars, distinguishing characteristics

Bart is 5 ft 5, he has a round face with startlingly bright blue eyes that twinkle with mischief. His beard is thick and white but is well kept, trimmed carefully. His eyes are heavily crinkled from a lifetime of laughter, humour and hard work. He still has a full head of hair, snow white.

Basic familial relationships (are they married, have children, no siblings, two mothers?)

Still married to Iris, his wife of 72 years. They have no children, no grandchildren but were always the favourite uncle and aunt, great uncle great aunt.

Sunday: what did he/she eat for breakfast today?  Is this usual?  Unusual?  And why?

On Sunday morning Bart got up and walked through the little cottage he shares with Iris, his life long wife, to the kitchen where he makes them both porridge. He can still move about without a stick when he’s in the house. Bart is still strong. He slowly carries the tray of porridge, coffee and orange juice through to their bedroom where Iris sits in bed reading. Every weekend is the same, she makes breakfast in bed on a Saturday, normally just cereal and juice as she can’t carry as much, Bart makes it on Sundays. Then they get up after reading the papers and go to Mass together. During the week, they both get up and eat in their country kitchen at their heavy oak table.

Monday: what sort of relationship does he/she have with his/her parents?  Are they still alive?  Does he/she see his/her parents?  Why or why not?

Parents are both dead. His father died in World War II. Bart also joined up in 1939 at the tender age of 19 yet he came home to look after his mother and Iris who had moved in with her while they were both at war. He was very close to his mother, Iris was like a daughter to her and they looked after her in their house until her death at the impressive age of 108.

Tuesday: what is your character wearing at this exact moment?  Are these his/her normal clothes or are they wearing something for a special occasion?

On Tuesdays Bart likes to go out for a walk around the rural village in which they have lived all their lives. He carries and uses his stick that has a carved ivory head. It was a stick he brought home from the war in Burma, to be a present for his father, who sadly never returned. His jacket is grey and crisp. He wears a white shirt and bright pink bow tie. His trousers are a khaki green, neatly pressed to his army standards and matching in colour to his tweed flat cap. His shoes are black, leather soled and years old, though still as polished and clean as they had been when new.

Wednesday: if your character is old enough to vote, how is she/he voting in the next election?  If your character is too young to vote, how closely do they follow political issues?

Since Winston Churchill he has unfailingly thought himself Conservative. That is until recently. He would never call himself a ‘Tory’,  in fact he struggles often to agree with their policies when he sees the poor being treated unfairly but in the last few years he has grown tired of caring. The ties he felt towards Britain, her independence from Europe and general nationalism have waned completely and he has stopped voting and stopped following politics at all. He and Iris have settled into a quiet retirement life where their worlds revolve simply around each other.

Thursday: where would your character like to go on vacation?  Why?

Bart has travelled. With Iris, and without. Now they don’t really go away, they are both 92 and tired of travel. They take short day trips when their Grand Niece Vivian comes to take them out with her children. Occasionally she and her husband drive them down to Cornwall once or twice a year where they all stay in a beautiful cottage that belongs to Bart and Iris, but which they have pretty much already passed onto Vivian.

Friday: describe where your character lives.

Their cottage is surrounded by trees and flowers. It is a large one. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, all which were extended and decorated by Vivian’s husband Joe. There are five rooms downstairs, a huge lounge, a study bursting with books, a dining room, a large family sized country kitchen and a sun room overlooking the garden. The beams are original, over 600 years old and the roof is thatched. The windows, every pane, are made up of many diamond glass sections, some off coloured with age, lined with lead. The floors are uneven and slope outwards in places. It is a home which they made many years ago which was never filled. A home that has carried them through almost 70 years of life, that has been redecorated many times, that has been treasured.

Saturday: does your character like him/herself?  What are their favourite personal traits?  What do they wish they could change about themselves?

Bart loves his singing voice. He has a soft tenor voice which he still uses every Sunday at church, which he used to sing Iris to sleep when she was sad, or ill, or suffering the grief of losing another child. It is a calm and gentle voice, heavenly almost. Bart is happy. He and Iris have had a good life, if tainted often by grief that came in many forms. He lives now with no regrets. Years ago he would have given anything to change his inability to give up. He was so stubborn, he often pushed Iris into trying again, or going away when perhaps he should have listened more to her. She would always accommodate him, thinking that if he had faith, if he didn’t want to give up then she shouldn’t hold him back.