Thursday, 22 July 2010

Happy Holidays

Today is the first day of the school summer holidays – well for us it is. I’ve made a chart and pencilled in places to go, people to see, things to do. Today we found another new (to us) play park which has everything the kids want in it – and it was clean and deserted!

It’s in a quiet village and there is a big playing field as well and friendly horses in the field next door. We also saw woodpeckers and rabbits. Result! We now have another picnic/play spot to add to the chart.

A while back I bought a parcel of 10 assorted books from The Book People for £9.99. I’ve probably mentioned this – more than once. I do tend to bang on a bit about my bargains don’t I?

I didn’t read them all – some I just couldn’t finish, but I did find a few gems and most sparkling among them was The Last Anniversary by Australian writer Liane Moriarty.

It is a lovely book with an intriguing story and interesting and likeable characters. And it was one of those I just couldn’t put down.

What is it about? Well I’m rubbish at reviews and I’ve never been able to write a decent book report, but I’ll give you a taster.

The setting is Scribbly Gum Island and it has, like all islands worth their salt, a mystery – the Munro Baby Mystery around which life on the island revolves.

Recently I read Liane Moriarty’s latest book What Alice Forgot. It’s about Alice who bumps her head and comes round having lost her memory only to find that she’s not the happily married pregnant 29 year old she thinks she is, but a 39 year old mother of three in the midst of a divorce.

There is a lot of humour and while it is a page turner it isn’t light and fluffy by any means and it has a great ending. When I put it down I had a tear in my eye and a feeling of satisfaction.

And what do I have to look forward to now? Two and a quarter inches of Stephen King that’s what. That is how fat Under the Dome is. I read the first chapter of that a while back, either in the back of another of his books or online, I can’t remember. But that chapter is as vivid to me as if I’d watched it on the big screen and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

I hear tell that it is on a par with The Stand. I feel a little quiver of excitement every time I see it sitting there waiting to be opened. I’ve already had a peek – and there’s a map in the front and a list of characters and I have to say I have a fondness for books that have maps or family trees or diagrams or whatever in the front.

But back to What Alice Forgot. It got me thinking. If I banged my head (which given my accident-proneness wouldn’t be a surprise) and woke up thinking it was ten years ago how much would have changed? My god I’d get a shock when I looked in the mirror for a start! Actually that happens anyway.

And quite unrelated – aren’t the daddy long legses out early this year? Every night at least one turns up and starts messing around my bedside light. You hear it flitting about getting more and more frantic until it touches the bulb then it lands with a sort of splatty thud.

It stays where it is sprawled out for a few minutes, then it’s up and at ‘em again, flapping round wondering why its wings are scorched and its feet are singed. I used to be scared of them, refusing to sleep until they were removed – but not any more. I’ve scorched my wings a few times myself.

And where do they go? They’re never in evidence in the morning, there are no corpses under the lamp – perhaps they find their way back out of the window when the sun comes up. I like to think so.


  1. You're going to have a busy summer, Teresa. I'm not familiar with the Stephen King novel. I hope it isn't about a giant daddy longlegs that gets trapped under an upturned glass bowl!

  2. I once blacked out and banged my head. When I woke up I was convinced I was married to Carol Vorderman. Made a nice little story for a charity mag.

  3. Daddy long legs always remind me of my mum's stories of growing up in a Home. She was orphaned at the age of eight and she and her brothers were placed in cottages with house mother and father, despite the fact that they had grandparents and other real family living close by.
    Because the grandparents, etc, couldn't take all eight kids together in one house, the authorities put them in the Homes, where, you've guessed it, they split them up.
    One of the things the kids would do in her cottage was pull the wings off daddy long legs and see how long they lived.
    Barbaric, I know, but it just says so much about their lives.

  4. I love the splatty thud reference! LOL! Have a wonderful holiday!

    Julie xx

  5. I was at the seaside with a friend years ago, when we were teenagers. She went into the ladies on the seafront and didn't come out again. When I went to investigate, she was quivering in a corner, too afraid to walk past a wall that was covered in daddy longlegses sheltering from the wind. I made her close her eyes, and I led her out feeling like a real heroine. Those bugs had the right idea, though. It was a horrid, windy, rainy day. Typical Lancashire seaside weather!

  6. I'd never heard of Liane Moriarty - think I'll have to go on a book hunt.


  7. I haven't encountered any giant daddy long legs in the book so far, Martin!

    How long did you think you were married to Carol Vorderman, Keith! I hope you realised before you went home for your tea!

    That's so sad, Sue. A terrible thing when families are split up like that. Bad enough to lose your parents and be parted from grandparents, but to then lose brothers and sisters as well - heartbreaking. I saw that happen to a friend and she never got over it.

    Thanks Julie :-)

    Thank goodness you were there, hydra! Now I come to think about it, they do tend to gather in shelters and public loos - maybe they do it for maximum scare impact!

    I love the two books of hers I've read, Suzanne. She really knows people if you know what I mean.

  8. I read this post on Friday, and on my trip to the library had a look for anything by Liane Moriarty. There was nothing of hers on that section of the shelf, but instead I found the third novel by Clare Morrall - 'The Language of Others'. I really enjoyed her first novel 'Astonishing Splashes of Colour', and I'm now enjoying this one. So, thanks for leading me to it in a round-about way!

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  10. I hadn't heard of Clare Morrall, Joanne - I've added her to my list to look out for! Thanks for the tip.

    Thanks for the link reberto.alberto. I haven't had time to check it out yet and will try to do so soon.