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As well as my adoration for anything published by Persephone books and my annual binge on George Elliot, I do have some very low-brow tastes. I occasionally buy Grazia magazine. I have watched Take Me Out. I always reach for the magazine of any weekend paper before reading the news. So I tried to show Dulcie a bit of sympathy in the library this week when she picked a book that frankly appalled me.

The library is a dangerous place yet we are drawn there at least twice a week. I find it financially draining, as I break my resolve to take out one book at a time and leave with armfuls, which I obviously can’t read within the allotted time and end up with nasty fines. Himself the Elf can make anywhere dangerous. He pulls and wobbles and is drawn to sharp corners on tables and unstable chairs. He has learnt this week to throw. Not just letting go of things or flinging them, but to properly HURL. It fills him with glee and he winds himself up into a frenzy of exhilaration, and of course, the library provides many, many missiles. I find shelves empty faster than I can refill them and order is swiftly, and loudly, replaced with chaos as he ricochets around, hands always busy.

Strangely, I find this easier to cope with than the dangers the library presents for Dulcie, who cannot resist the carousels of DVDs which we are not getting out, we are just here to look at books, yes, you may look at the DVD cases, and yes, I know they have Barbie and the Magic of the Crystal Rainbow Castle or whatever it is you are clutching but we are not getting it. Because I haven’t got any money with me. Well, yes, obviously I have some money with me because yes, we did get change in the supermarket, you’re right, but it isn’t for taking out DVDs etc. etc. Continue reading


To celebrate National Children’s Book Week, I’m going to be offering recommendations of books to readers of the blog – click here for more details.

There is a gentle slope from our house to the town, perfect for Dulcie and her new scooter. She should be able to glide down it, feeling a freedom and independence in her speed but so far, she hasn’t. I am wary of it but that isn’t the reason. I might be obsessed with hand washing, and five a day of fruit and vegetables, and only having 20 minutes screen time a day, and avoiding t-shirts with slogans on or franchised characters, and only using the phoenetic alphabet, and paraben-free baby wipes, and having no bubbles in the bath, and other middle-class preoccupations about child-rearing, but I’m pretty relaxed about her possibly falling off her scooter. Continue reading