“…fizzle, frazzle, and shout HOORAY!!”

At George’s insistence, as he stirred up his giant metal pan of medicine, every child in the Bristol Hippodrome, plus some of the adults, were screaming the spell at the top of their voices, as desperate as George to turn his horrid Grandma into a kind, sweet old lady.

“Bull and cow cure, ” mused George, examining the animal medicines in the shed, “that would be perfect for an old cow! Shall I put it in?”

“YESSSSSS!” screeched Belle on my right, “put it IIINNNN!”

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It’s a well-known scientific fact* that the book is always better than the film version of a story. Seriously, try to name me an example where a film surpasses a book – there just isn’t one.

It’s all to do with the power of your imagination.

I remember the first time I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a child. The impossibly fantastic sugary creations that came out of Willy Wonka’s incredible mind where just that – impossible. In my head though, it was all infinitely plausible, my imagination had no boundaries. “Violet! You’re turning violet, Violet!” I could really taste that gum in my mind – the hot tomato soup, the succulent roast beef, the not quite perfected dessert…

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It hardly seems like any time at all since I was ‘looking forward’ to six weeks of summer holidays, yet here we are, with only a few days until they are back to school and I can return to messing about on the internet in peace. I mean working of course.

I’ve never been terribly organised when it comes to getting ready to go back to school, so was actually pretty impressed to find myself in Clarks on Monday, a good week and a half before term begins. Despite my valiant attempts at beating the crowds, it was still packed with excitable children and panic-stricken parents, and the dreaded ticket system was in operation. They were on 83 when we arrived and we were number 92. It didn’t take too long though, and when they called out ‘number 92!’ I resisted the urge to ask for 4oz of olives and half a dozen slices of crumbed ham, so all was well.

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I would love to be one of those mothers who enjoys spending hours baking, painting, and building airplanes out of lolly sticks, but I’m just not.

Apart from the odd bit of cutting and sticking – who doesn’t like cutting pretty pictures out of magazines? – I hate pretty much all kids’ craft activities.

Seriously, they are DULL. View Post

This month I have been reading Freedom, the new book from Jonathan Franzen.

I haven’t read anything by Franzen before, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, and if I’m honest I was rather daunted by sheer chunkiness of it. 570 pages to be exact.

I do love reading, I really do. So much so that in 2008 I made a resolution to read 100 books in the year, and managed 104. But, at the moment I just don’t seem to have the time – I read four pages in bed, fall asleep, then have to go back two the next night to remind myself what happened. I thought Freedom was going to take me years…

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OK, it’s not that bad really, not blood and guts gruesome, but everyone I’ve told in real life has been consistently repulsed, so I thought I would share – lucky you!

I recently went on a date, a blind date in fact, with a man I met through a dating site before I got too scared and hid my profile, and who I had kept in touch with via email.

It was a fairly regular, suitably awkward first date in most ways. I arrived early and settled myself on a sofa with the paper so I could be calm and collected when he arrived, and not do my usual trick of turning up ten minutes late, fighting the urge to run away and hide under a duvet. I was served by a rather dishy waiter, who maintained eye contact for slightly longer than was strictly necessary, and who rather threw me off my stride as a result – I couldn’t help but keep glimpsing him throughout the lunch and thinking ‘Hmm… I’d rather be on a date with you…’

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