Sunday, October 30

A New Milestone

I didn't even notice!  Oh my goodness gracious me!  I can't believe I didn't notice! 

Yesterday, completely without realising it, we met another milestone at Bouquets of Sharpened Pencils!  With my tribute to Enid Bagnold, I unsuspectingly published my 200th post! 

So today, to make up for the lack of celebration, we will celebrate our 201th post! 

It's amazing what we've gotten up to since I started in March.  It feels like an eternity - an enternity of realising my opinions, my friendships and my ambitions, inspirations and motives for life.  Wow.  It is incredible really, and strange.

I suppose thanks are in order.  Thankyou all for the comments, the encouragement, the thoughts and feelings that you shared. 

Though Bouquets mightn't have shaped out to be quite what I dreamed while I was nursing her in the baby stages, but, as my dear beloved James Barrie said, 'The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.'

This is too true, and I feel that though my intial hopes have not quite been met, everything we've done has been more fun than I imagined it could be, and the people I've met through the experience have been completely unexpected and beautiful.  Every now and then in life you meet some people who are really wonderful, and I'm so glad that my dear Bouquets has given me a chance to meet a few more.

Thursday, October 27

National Bagnold

Today, the 27th of October is the birthday of Enid Bagnold, British author and playwright.  She was born this day, 1889, and passed away on the 31st of March, 1981.  This wonderful woman was responsible for the 1935 book National Velvet, which is undoubtedly one of my all time favourites.  Because her book is so important to me, I thought it would be fitting to, even in so hideously brief a manner, to think of her. 

Very unhappily, I was unable to get an excerpt from National Velvet to share, not owning a copy and no being able to access one on the internet, so that's a bummer.  But I recommend it extremely as an amazingly authentic and delightful story that sounds with an unexpected auro of sweetness.  So a thankyou to Enid Bagnold for giving it to the world.

Tuesday, October 25

A Tantalising Tarantella

Yes, isn't it great how thinking about beautiful words gets you excited?  It got me taste-testing dictionaries and thesauruses like the best sort of connoisseur, rolling sips of fine words around my mouth before giving in to their sweet intoxication. I'm glad you jumped to suggest some of your favourites.

Tangled up in blue loves such beautiful words as 'harpsichord', 'gobbledygook', 'zephyr', 'isthmus', 'bamboozled', 'tarantula', 'artifice', 'beguiling', 'epistolary', 'turtle', 'plectrum' and 'kaleidoscope'.  I love 'plectrum' as well, because of the twanging plick it makes with your tongue.  And 'tarantula' reminds me of 'tarantella', which I equally enjoy the sound of. 

Many Colours of Happiness loves 'cobblestones' and 'kerplunk!' and my brother is adamant that 'napkin' deserves a spot amongst the greats.  It 'napkin' does, than I think that 'catnip' does too. 

How about onomatopoeia? The word, as well as other words that fall under its glorious banner?  Sizzle, buzz, swish, hiss, clatter...  Just thinking about these makes me laugh!  It is a tantalising tarantella of beautiful words! 

Monday, October 24

The Wonder of Words

Somebody made my life sparkle today.  It so happens that when that someone was reading Francis Whiting's article, The Lyrical Language of Love and Life, on the words that she and her fans adore, they thought of me.  So they popped in and gave it to me accompanied with a little list of their own favourites.  Well.  It was thrillingly sweet and surprising, and it's got me thinking about the words that I love most.  I can hardly restrain myself.  I am swinging my mind from branch to branch of the language tree, adoring the sound of words! 

"Dumpling" was one that Francis Whiting liked.  And after toying with it and rolling it about my mouth like a gobstopper, I found I agree.  "Dum" like a heavy tolling bell, and "pling", like a ping-pong ball bouncing.  Awesome. 

Here a some of my favourites:
  • ameliorate  (because it sounds like it would smell of gardenia air-freshener)
  • rumbumptious (because it's so poncy-poncy and bouncy and fat and fun)
  • resplendent (because it glitters)
  • jocular
  • jaunty
  • magnumopus
  • equilibrium
  • phantasmagoria (because it is just as whimsical and wonderful as it sounds)
  • quixotic (quiz-otic) (because it's chivalrous and over the top and very fun to pronounce)
  • soporific (because I always see Benjamin Bunny and his children sleeping in Mr Macgregor's lawn clippings with paper bags on their heads when I hear it - thankyou dear Beatrix Potter)
  • sagacious (because it sounds slow, wise and benevolent)
"Chocolaterie!"  Pronounce shock-a-lat-er-eee with a heavy French accent and it will feel like hot, melted chocolate in your mouth.

Hokey-pokey!  Higgledy-piggedly!  Fiddle-sticks!  Knick-knacks!  The click clack of "coquetterie" as it clops on your teeth. 
Cobblestones.  Embellish.  Quirky.  Quibble.  Somnolent.  Replete.  Aren't they fun to say? 

What words do you love? 

Sunday, October 23

High on Helium

Yesterday was an epiphany of awesomeness.  First of all a birthday party for one of my closest friends consisting of pass-the-parcel, hotdogs, pinata, lollies, dancing, balloons, and presents.  One of my favourite parts was that the party was being held across the road from my house, so super-convenience in that factor!  We had planned a small sleepover for afterwards, so once the last party-goers has been picked up, we packed up, stole back to my house with the helium balloons and fetched my gear for the sleepover (sleeping bag, pajamas, DVDs, toothbrush etcetera).  Then we drove to the birthday girl's house and until midnight, we sucked up the air from the helium balloons and sang songs while giggling hysterically.  We followed that up with a movie which went until two in the morning, and by that time we were painfully tired.  Funnily enough, our faces also hurt from smiling too much.  Strange are the effects of great happiness.

Friday, October 21

A Tempest in the School Teapot

Now for my great idea!  Here we go!  The deep breath before the plunge.

I have a drama assignment which is due unnervingly soon.  For it, I am requiring to whip up, out of nothing, a script that reflects issues, values and ideals that I believe "encompass" Australian identity from a heritage or contemporary perspective.  Which basically means that I can do anything as long as it has something distinctly Australian in it somewhere.

With this incredibly broad guideline, I fiddled and flirted with ideas for a week or so, but even after discussing how I could play with and further these ideas with my teacher, I still felt as though I was getting no where. 

Then, right out of the blue, one of my close friends gave me this simple but profound suggestion.  Why don't I use a short story that I've written as a framework for my play?  For a couple of seconds, this was flatly swilling around my mind, and then I remembered, all of a sudden and sizzling with brilliance, a short story that I wrote earlier this year and with which you are familiar. 

Do you remember my Extraordinarily Ordinary challenge?   I challenged you to write a paragraph or more that either made something ordinary extraordinary or made something extraordinary ordinary.  My response to the challenge was this: 


When the ceiling began to leak, they used every cup, bowl, pot, pan, jug and vase they could find to catch the drips in. That is, every cup, bowl, pot, pan, jug, and vase they could find except for grandma's white and blue bone china teacup.

There was certainly something sacred about her teacup. There was never any discussion. Even when everything else was used up, nobody considered for a moment using that particular teacup. There was an unspoken agreement, heavy like an ancient and venerated charm in the air. Grandma has always taken tea in that cup.

To use Grandma's teacup would have been much the same as eating out of her majesty, the Queen's own crown. It needed no discussion. They knew without speaking, nearly without thinking, that it was wrong. Just the same as respecting royalty, Grandma's white and blue bone china teacup was sacred. So the drips continue to tinkle hour after hour like fairy chimes into every last cup, bowl, pot, pan, jug, and vase they could find.
I then thought deeply about the phrase "a storm in a teacup".  I would imagine you know what it means but I'll still outline it.  It pretty well means, to use a similar cliche, "to make mountains out of molehills", or to make a big deal of something that is unimportant.

Hence a lovely connected to the story itself.  I was making the teacup more important than it would normally be. There is also, of course, the more literal sense of the storm actually dripping into the teacup through the leaky roof.

Before I go any further, I would just like to explain that we can also use multi-media conventions in our play as well, which might take the form of a video or audio clip or a powerpoint. 
OK. So I was thinking the play will start with two minutes of unbroken rain sounds on a backing track.  It will continue on during the play, but will be very soft in the background while there is dialogue.  This is a sample of the track, and it does pretty well exactly the same thing for exactly half an hour, which is going to be very appropriate for my designs. 

Picture the scene: two sisters, one older, one quite young, will be sitting in the middle of the stage on a black drama block, surrounded by pots, pans, cups etcetera, scattered about on the floor.   Behind them and to the left will be a cabinent, in which will sit the grandmother's china teacup, alone. 
There is still one leak and this drips on the younger girl's head. She asks if they can put a cup under it, but the elder replies that there is none left but grandma's china teacup, and then that gets them talking about why they mustn't use that one. The elder girl tells the younger sister the story of the teacup.

Their grandmother's house was washed away in the '74 floods, and she lost everything except that particular teacup. Because she was rich, some people thought that the house wouldn't matter - that she had plenty of money to rebuild and furniture a brand new home and shouldn't be weighed down by that old one, ('a storm in a teacup'), but it was much much more to her than just a home. It was her childhood memories and everything she had ever done was based in that home. She had a deep emotional connection with that house, with that plot of land. The teacup was the only memory that had been saved from complete destruction.

Now, there is a dramatic convention that we can use that will be handy here.  While a character is telling a story, actors an be out the front, acting the story out as she tells it, like her imagination's visualisation. I was thinking that while she is telling this story, the whole thing will be acted out on the front of the stage before them, so you're constantly watching something.  And I would love to act out the flood itself, and have actors in complete drama blacks so they're invisible against the black background, supporting the grandmother on a raft as if she is floating.  Her teacup can thus float past and the whole scene will have a sense of magic about it. 

Right at the end, they'll stop talking after making a really good, metaphorical point, (yes, still working on it), and then they will sit in silence with the rain sounds in the background for two minutes before the blackout.

I am amazingly excited about it, because I not only have something solid and tangible to work with, but I am exceedingly happy with it.  It is probably one of the only times I've been able to use all of my very own material and ideas for a big assignment like this.  And I think that the result could prove to be very wonderful indeed.  I swear to share it as soon as it's written!

(Points for anyone who recognised the post title as one of the chapter titles from Anne of Green Gables.)

Thursday, October 20

A Puttering Post

Wow.  I officially feel very very loved.  I have had not one, not two, not three, but four absolutely gorgeous comments from two beautiful people.  Two from Tangled up in blue and two from Nanny S-A.  Both of you made me giggle and blush in a sincerely girly way today, and there is nothing I like better.  So thankyou for the sweet-heartedness of your compliments and encouragments, and I will keep puttering through my assignments with the happy knowledge that I am appreciated.  So are you!

I do have a lot to say tonight, but I might leave the bulk of it for tomorrow because otherwise I will never finish my math assignment.  I'm very excited to tell you though, so expect to hear some good news from me tomorrow (hopefully).  I will, however, whet your appetite sufficiently... it involves a short story I've written, 'A Storm in a Teacup'...  Very excited! 

Anyway, what I wanted to say tonight, is that after rendering James Herriot pretty well my staple diet for the last week, I am happy, as well as disenchanted, to inform you that my rejuvenating and invigorating vacation with him is drawing to a close.  And the next book on my list, in case you haven't happened to check, is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  Now, I'm aware that this will tickle the fancy of a Many Colours of Happiness at least, because she has often hinted to me at how much she enjoys this book.  So I'm very excited about getting underway with that one, and similarly looking forward to being able to share in an experience and having your thoughts on it too.  Anyway, good fun, and on to putter on my math assignment.

Wednesday, October 19

The Book I Never Want to End

It seems that it's becoming increasingly tricky to find the willpower, time and material for a good blog nowadays.  I think it's partially due to the build up of assignments and lethargy surrounding the pointy end of term four, and partially due to the fact that the book I am reading is not terribly quotable.  Like I've said before, you need to take the whole chapter to get the joke.  But boy, regardless of whether they've been bloggable or not, I've been loving the jokes. 

I read several chapters of James Herriot's All Things Bright and Beautiful when I was on the train into the city this afternoon.  James writes each chapter as a story in itself, and because he was actually there, and it actually happened to him, often many years ago, he is not only capable of giving you a good story, but he is able to give you a good story with a great ending because he can tell you all about what happened ten to twenty years down the track following on.  It works so unbelievably well, and sometimes the things that life throws him are so priceless that I even burst out laughing on the train. 

He totally gets my style of humour.  Maybe I'm not the greatest at dishing it up, but taking it, I'm a sucker for Herriot's anecdotes.  He is utterly hilarious in a very sincere, authentic and refreshing way.  It is the book that I never want to end.

Monday, October 17

A Moment of Being

I've been daydreaming a bit today.  I've been watching music videos.  Not because I like the songs exactly, but because certain music videos make you drift into reveries.  I would love to make my own movies.  I think, and it seems like my body has actually made this decision already, that I just have got to get myself a video camera.  I don't want to talk and act and sing or whatever else.  I just want to be.  And I want to put all these moments of being into one long feeling of being with a song over the top that reflects what my being is.  Because not only will I then have made a movie of a moment in which I was thinking and feeling something memorable, but I can put in these moments, and force to watch these moments, people that I want to remember.  Yes.  That's definitely what I need to do. 

Sunday, October 16

The League of Productivity Busters

I feel kind of guilty leaving you in a stupor of silence and waiting like this.  The last two days have been both crammed full of study, brainstorming for an impossible English monologue that I have to present this Wednesday, and daydreaming i.e. procrastinating.  Actually, I'm not a fan of the word 'procrastinating'.  A quick visit to the online thesaurus has left me both rejuvenated and satisfied.  Try these on for size. 


I actually like all of these words better than 'procrastinating'.  'Frivoling' is great isn't it?  'Puttering' is nearly onomatopoeic for the sort of squelching denial my brain goes through during a session of procrastination.  But this list of words is so nice in itself.  That's a thing I sometimes struggle with.  Lists of synomyns often sounds so good together that I just want to list them all at the risk of sounding incredibly flowery.  Actuallym, these words are so good that they might need to become the League of Productivity Busters. 

Wednesday, October 12

Share a Coke

A warm shower separates now and my return home tonight after a gruelling shift at work.  My original partner for the shift swapped times, so I ended up hanging around almost in silence when I had been looking so forwards to the lively conversations I could have struck up. 

But before hand I got up to some fun with my best friend, which, though unproductive despite its masquerade of a study session, was probably very good for me.  We walked down to my work together - a quiet, shady stroll into the cul-de-sacs and up into town where the late afternoon traffic was minimal and the shadows were summery and dark behind the coffee shops.  We timed our departure so we'd have some spare time together to kill before I started work, so we went into Woolies for some afternoon tea. 

You know this scheme of Coke-Cola's at the moment, of putting names on the bottles and cans etcetera, encouraging you to share it with a person with that name?  Well, I've been keeping an eye out for those for a while, and have never quite turned my gaze in the right direction.  But this afternoon we found them alright, and out of all the jumbled, miscellanous names, we managed to find the name of one of our close friends.  Unfortunately, as they were not there,  and we were thirsty and excited at finding their name, we ended up drinking it ourselves.  What originally read Share a Coke with M__, now reads Share a Coke with M___ in mind.  So we did.  We sat down in the park and drank the Coke with M___  firmly fixed in our minds.  Or at least we tried to while snorting down the bubbles that wanted so desperately to get out our noses.  I actually really don't like Coke. 

But anyway.  I didn't have anything else to say. 

Monday, October 10

Real Friends

Well, the verdict is in.  I am talking about next year's school captain.

Despite many many assurances and even one psychic prediction, I did not get a position as either school captain or vice captain.  Needless to say, I am disappointed, but it wasn't entirely a surprise.  The girls who did get in are great girls; both all rounders with good relationships with their teachers and the principal.  And I'm pleased with both the boys, as one of my close friends got vice and the school captain is very gentlemanly, chivalrous, well-spoken, well-read, and fairly, dare I say it,  handsome.  I can rest assured that his uncanny knack of wording things beautifully will produce some meltingly good speeches next year.  I'm happy.

But I suppose that even despite my qualms, the many enthusiastic and warm encouragements of my friends, (who have all formed themselves into a sort of campaigning management team! oh gosh!) had led me to dare to hope it might have turned out differently... 

I am very aware that because all four of the captains are quite close to home with me, it is going to be an ongoing regret for me.  But in a way, and I will tell you how, I am nearly grateful. 

Of course, both of my parents have made me understand how much less I will have to worry about, being free from that weighty responsibility, and I know that they're perfectly right.  But there is something so much deeper than that.

They told us in assembly.  Sitting in rows of grades and classes on the ground in the basketball court, I was directly in front of one of my best friends.  Just as they were about to reveal the winner of the last female position, she took my hand and squeezed it just as hard as I needed.  I squeezed back and waited.  Yes.  That meant everything to me. 

When we had learnt who of the candidates had been short listed several weeks ago, one of my close friends didn't make it.  This was such a shock to me because  she was the one person I had been sure would go the whole way.  I was so disappointed for her, and I gave her a great hug.  I told her "You deserved it more than anyone in the shortlist.  You were my first choice from the start". And that was that. 

Today, she took me up in a great hug and said "You deserved it more than anyone up there.  You were my first choice from the start."  Well, you know what?  I think that I'm glad I didn't make it.  Just to hear those perfectly sincere, heart-warming words of compassion and friendship was worth it.  It meant more to me than getting captain. 

I have learnt something amazing about my friends today.  They don't need any exciting reason like that to value me.  They are real friends, who will care for me anyway.  To really properly realise that is by far the best outcome. 

Sunday, October 9

Ticklish Tales

I turned and had my first view of Granville Bennett.

He seemed to fill the room.  Not over tall but of tremendous bulk.  Fat, I though at first, but as he came nearer it seemed to me that the tissue of which he was composed wasn't distributed like fat.  He wasn't flabby, he didn't stick out in any particular place, he was just a big wide, solid, hard-looking man.  From the middle of a pleasant blunt-featured face the most magnificent pipe I had ever seen stuck forth shining and glorious, giving out delicious wisps of expensive smoke.  It was an enormous pipe, in fact it would have looked downright silly with a smaller man but on him it was a thing of beauty.  I had a final impression of a beautifully cut dark suit and sparkling shirt cuffs as he held out a hand. 

"James Herriot!"  He said it as somebody else might have said "Winston Churchill."

Chapter 18, All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot, published 1976.

I really enjoyed reading this description of small-animal veterinary surgeon, Granville Bennett.  He develops as a very large, munificent, overwhelming character, who in perfect benevolence nearly fills James to bursting point with four points of beer, three massive pickled onions and a stack of mustard and roast beef sandwiches.  The constrast in characters and the story from James' point of view is just ticklingly hilarious, as always.  It is amazing how beautifully he writes up his own personal experiences so that they are just enchanting!

Saturday, October 8

The Punchline

Q: How many letters are there in the alphabet?

Today I've made some Christmas cards, read and laughed myself silly over an absolutely fantastic chapter of All Things Bright and Beautiful, had a salad for lunch, gotten a stage of my math assignment off my chest and reorganised my wishlist on the Book Depository.  I seriously need to buy a book!

Anyway, I regret not having much more to tell you, but the way James Herriot's books are, it's not easy to give you an excerpt.  Each chapter functions as a fully rounded whole and to read a single passage out of it really doesn't give you anything. 

I think he is the sort of man that my dad would admire.  My dad loves it in movies (and books) when something is said at the start, and then repeated at the end to give you the punchline, or the power of the story etcetera.  This is just what James Herriot does all the time.  He leaves clues, hints, lines, words like bread crumbs after Hanzel and Gretel through the forest to led you back right at the end.  And these clues that he sowed right at the beginning are suddenly meaningful, and you're hit with the cleverness of the story, and, in my case, a gut-wrenching laugh.  He's a genius at punchlines.  It is probably the most satisfying reading I have done in years! 

In a way, I feel that James and I are growing into very good friends, which seems to inevitably be the case with all the characters I really love.  I admire him, feel concerned for him, get excited for him and generally harbour a warm affection as I read.  It's become quite like Sam Gamgee and I, or Anne Shirely and Matthew Cuthbert or Dr. Watson and I.  They're both characters I grew extremely attached to, to the point of requiring several week's mourning after finishing their books.  But isn't that so the joy of a really good book?  What characters are you closest to?

A: Twenty-four, because E.T. went home.

Friday, October 7

All Things Bright and Beautiful

I just thought I'd quickly pop in a post before I get onto my assignments for fear the time will just slip away from me to do it later tonight. 

Firstly, gorgeous weather today!  Wonderful!  It's actually nearly hot, and the sun is out, and that vicious cold wind has gone home to sulk.  It's just a beautiful spring day.  Finally. 

Secondly, I have so enjoyed and appreciated the comments I have received from Tangled up in blue and The many colours of happiness.  I love how I can say something and quickly find that I'm not the only one thinking it.  It's really lovely, and I feel like I have gained two great friends out of my blogging life.  Thankyou very much.  And in response to Tangled up in blue, I have read the first omnibus edition, All Creatures Great and Small.  I read it twice in fact, and it's one of my favourites.  But I haven't read All Things Wise and Wonderful yet.  I have all intention too, and I've even gone and added them to my Book Depository wishlist. 

Oh!  By the way!  Do you know about The Book Depository?  More people do than I expect, but for those who don't know about it yet, it's a very exciting discovery.  It's an online bookstore based in the UK from which you can buy pretty well any book ever for a cheaper price and have it shipped to you anywhere in the world completely free.  For me, it is absolutely essential, and I never buy them anywhere else.  They thing that makes it so exceptional is that you are not forced to settle for just whatever edition they have on the shelf at the time like in a bookstore.  Particularly for classics, you can rummage through basically every known edition, hard and softcover and find the one you really want.  And it is often a lot cheaper.  Definitely go check it out.  This is the url, but you can also follow the link at the start of this paragraph:

Thursday, October 6

Life's Too Short to Read Anything You Don't Really Enjoy

I have decided to call it quits with A Tale of Two Cities.  I'm not proud of it, but it has been good for me.  Someone I have great respect for said something along the lines of "If you're not enjoying it, don't read it.  Life's too short to read anything you don't really enjoy."  And another person I have respect for said something like, "You can always give it another go later." 

I adore Charles Dickens, and I found A Tale of Two Cities funny and beautifully written and interesting, but my heart wasn't in it.  I was putting off reading and so wasting my spare time with idleness.  Right now, with nine pieces of assessment to complete in six weeks, I absolutely cannot use my little droplets of spare time doing something that gives me just a little taste of pleasure.  I seriously need someting warm and friendly and constantly witty that will leave me with the satisfaction that by stopping my study to read, I've actually done something nice for myself!  It is essential! 

So I began All Things Bright and Beautiful by James Herriot.  I doubt if more than a hundred people on the face of the planet have read or even heard about this book.  I gain no satisfaction of accomplishment as I would with a Charles Dickens book, a book that lets you boast about your reading life and relate to crowds of other well-read people.  But I see that it  completely doesn't matter.  

James Herriot is just wonderful.  With a tinglingily witty and oven-roastedly delicious narrative, he tells chapter by chapter the strange and hilarious tales of his everyday life as a veterinary surgeon on call for farms and house pets.  Each chapter is a story all of itself.  I can read for ten minutes and feel rewarded.  Every chapter I laugh until my eyes water, because there is something so much heartier about these frank endearing country characters, windswept purple moors, pork rib dinners, gum boots, icy midnight emergency calls, pranks, gossips and inside-jokes in which you share a slice, than anything I've ever known.  Perhaps it's a piece of heaven. 

I have all intention of reading A Tale of Two Cities completely.  Maybe I'll do it in a week's time.  Maybe I'll do it in twenty years time.  But I'm going to really really enjoy it when I do it.  Life's too short. 

Tuesday, October 4

That Completely and Utterly Unforgettable Reading

I've had this quote saved in a private stash for a while, but I never had such an urge to unleash it until now.

'No book is really worth reading at that age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond,' - C. S. Lewis
This is an excellent statement, at least to an extent.  Before I turned ten and perhaps a couple of years afterwards, I read a lot of meaningless and pointless books that I will never read again and rarely remember.  Obviously, not everything you read will be great, and particularly at that age.  But there came a time, maybe around my eleventh, twelfth or even thirteenth birthday when I picked up E. Nesbit's Five Children and It and absolutely blew my preconceived perceptions of a good book out of the water, out of the ballpark, out of this world etcetera etcetera. 

That book was just the book that I needed then to make me adore reading even more than even - to urge me on, to inspire me and introduce me to a thousand delights.  And I read it over and over again, along with E. Nesbit's other books, especially my favourite, The Enchanted Castle, because regardless of how the years pass, they are still so beautiful to me.  They are really worthwhile, and as I get older, I will continue to enjoy them in new ways. 

My perceptions of things will mature.  My taste will mature.  My insight, understanding, knowledge, everything about me will change and develope as I change with time.  When I read those books over and over, I keep getting exciting new joy from them.  And those are the books that are really worth reading. 

There is a good list of books that I discovered from that time on that I will never ever forget.  Do you have a list?  This is mine:
  • The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  • The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
  • The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White
  • National Velvet by Enid Blyton
  • Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
  • The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit
  • The Story of the Amulet by E. Nesbit
These are books that we associate as being typically for children.  But no.  This reading is probably amongst the most worthwhile that I have ever enjoyed, and it was unforgettable.  They were completely and utterly unforgettable because I can always go back and read these books that I loved as a child and still feel that incredible joy that I wore when I first read them.  Only it's grown up a little. 

Monday, October 3


I'm very aware that I haven't been posting as frequently as usual, but I seem to loose the motivation when I have so much pointless time on my hands i.e. term three holiday.  Anyway, I'm back into term four today, and already my appetite is back, figuratively and literally, as nothing makes you hungrier than several hours of hard work. 

The day started off with a minor dissapointment.  Before we went on holidays, we were promised that we would find out the results of the school captaincy interviews today.  But no.  Not a peep.  I really wonder what is their problem.  It is getting very annoying.  They really can't meet their own deadlines, and they never think to tell us about their changes of heart.  Now we're all clueless.  It could be tomorrow.  It could be next year.  It could be in five weeks time at the academic awards night.  No one knows. 

Anyway, perhaps it doesn't interest you all that much, but the weather has been both strange and lovely today.  After a fine, warm albiet windy weekend, I was hoping for a nice start to the week, but it's turned cold again, with brisk winter winds whisking through the grounds and rustling everything as fervently as possible.  Then at lunch time, there was an immense clap of thunder and it just started pouring with rain, and still hasn't let off.  

We had a glorious time getting to the car after the bell.  It is my little custom to wait for all of my friends who travel in that direction, and walk with them as far as their stop.  This had the advantage of two umbrellas this afternoon and I waddled between them as best I could until the icy drippings from both umbrellas and the slanting rain on my legs was too much.  Then my brother and I just ran for it, and we laughed and laughed and got soaked all the way. 

I took an hour long bath when I got home, and read a play with my steaming legs over the side to avoid overheating.  You know that hot pulsating throb in your cheeks and that sudden sleepiness that comes from having a long, hot bath?  I completely understand why my grandmother always used to fall asleep in the tub.  It's completely soporific.  I thank Beatrix Potter with all my heart for that word!

In a burst of word-loving I looked up the etymology of it and found this:

soporific - 1680s, from Fr. soporifique (1687), formed in French from L. sopor (gen. soporis) "deep sleep," from a causative form of the PIE base *swep- "to sleep" (see somnolence).
Incredibly random, but I enjoyed just unloading this sort of thing onto this page.  I wish I was in the middle of writing a book right now.  I could just write and write and write!