The adventure of a lifetime with Timothy Spall, his wife Shane, and a boat called Matilda
SHANE SPALL is from a large Midlands family. Her mother called her
Number Five and her father after a character in a Western, played
by Alan Ladd.
As a teenager in the 70s she worked in a Quaker hotel in Birmingham and on her day off would sit in New Street station and wonder where everyone was going. She now knows they were mostly going to work or coming home. The day that the young actor Timothy Spall arrived at New Street in 1981 she was in a council flat a few miles away. They could have been ships that had passed in the night but he sought her out because he had fallen passionately in love with her when he had accidentally touched her arm one night. The young actor now gets to play parts called 'old man' but is considered to be a 'national treasure'. He's a bit of a show off, but his wife doesn't mind, she keeps his feet on the ground. They have three children and used to have a bulldog that couldn't swim and a goldfish but they fostered it out as it got lonely staying home on its own.
A beautifully crafted, moving and funny book, stuffed with
adventure and massive, palpable love. I want to belong to the Spall
family NOW, please -- Dawn French
Shane and Tim Spall stand shoulder to shoulder in a sea adventure that's funny, delightful, scary - and given their minimal knowledge of seafaring at the outset, occasionally beggars belief. It's a laugh and cry book - I really loved it -- Jo Brand
Tender, warm and wise: like all the best adventures, Shane Spall's wonderful travel memoir stays in the memory long after the trip itself is over... -- Michael Simkins
[The Spalls at Sea is] a brilliantly watchable seafaring series' * Guardian *