Thursday, 14 January 2010

Bedtime Stories

My mum was a great one for bedtime stories. She always read to us when we were small. Sometimes she even fell asleep mid-sentence, slurring with tiredness as she dropped off, which made it all the more entertaining. I fell asleep like this for the first time myself about five years ago - it wasn’t quite so funny then.

I still read at night to three of my children. In the summer we often get through a couple of Famous Five books – I try and censor the sexism as I go: occasionally Anne makes speeches telling the boys to tidy up their own mess. Last summer I decided that we ought to get into the 1950s mood by drinking ginger beer and eating boiled sweets as I read the stories. This went down very well and continued for several weeks until I had some pity on the children’s teeth and brought the whole thing to an end while their smiles were still intact. We got quite carried away with the whole Famous Five thing, though. One of my boys started saying things were ‘jolly’ this and ‘jolly’ that and we even made a papier mache Kirrin Island which mysteriously found its way into the recycling bin when the children weren’t watching.

Bed time stories make me feel nostalgic for a time when my life was simpler, when tiredness was decades away and my only responsibility was to enjoy the book. Those days seem so far away now, but I recently discovered that the BBC has a book at bedtime series. Fantastic news for people like me who miss their mother’s stories.

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