That’s not my children’s book

That's not my carMy son Samuel, who is 9 months old, has a book called "That's not my car".  Each page has a picture of a car on it, with wording along the lines of "That's not my car, its windows are too shiny."  Each car has a different tactile surface somewhere on it, illustrating the point.  The final page rejoices with "That's my car! It's bumpers are so squishy."  Samuel loves it.  In fact it's such a fantastic concept (stolen, no doubt, from Terry Pratchet's Thud!) that children's book shelves are now overflowing with variants on this theme.  That's not my dinosaur.  That's not my train.  That's not my dog.  And so on.And it got me to thinking - what titles might I have suggested if I had been in the publishing company's board meeting when they were deciding to extend the range?  Here are a few possibilities, very few of which would have made it to print.

  • That's not my telephone bill.
  • That's not my tax return form.
  • That's not my computer.
  • That's not my underwear.
  • That's not my cup of tea.
  • (more…)

By Matthew, ago

The waiting game

The body is an incredible invention.  I've often marvelled at its beauty, its intricacy, its delicacy, its toughness, and above all its ability to heal itself.  It's that last one that I've been wondering at most recently, in light of the little umbilical hernia I managed to get and the corrective surgery that followed.  Perhaps I put my body's healing abilities on a pedestal, or maybe I was just impatient, but I found myself surprised that well over a month after the surgery I'm still having problems with it.The surgery itself went very well.  Not that I remember very much of it, of course.  Apparently when I came to after the operation I turned down a cup of tea three times before accepting, and had some garibaldi biscuits, none of which I have any memory of whatsoever (and yes, I still feel cheated because of that).  After the op I spent a lot of time lying down, resting, not doing very much, giving my body all the time it needed to get itself straight again.  Well, I say "all the time it needed", in fact I was back at work the following week, because I'd convinced myself that sitting at a desk didn't constitute effort.(more…)

By Matthew, ago

It’s all Greek to me

Greek AlphabetI'm learning Greek.  To be more specific, New Testament Greek.  And boy does it make my brain hurt.Thankfully I'm not doing this alone, Ellie is learning with me.  Or, to be precise, I'm learning with her.  Technically it's her course, I'm just looking over her shoulder.  It's a module from the distance learning course she's doing from St John's College Nottingham, teaching the basics of New Testament Greek using 1 John as a reference book.  It's quite a challenge, what with the completely different alphabet and sentence structure and whatnot, so she decided it would be easier for her to learn if there was someone learning with her, so she had someone to talk about it with.So I'm learning Greek.(more…)

By Matthew, ago