Harry Potter, The Cursed Dad?

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, review, J.K. Rowling, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Draco Malfoy, Scorpius Malfoy, Albus Potter,

Here be spoilers (but not big ones ).

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Has ever a book had such a build up? In this household we’ve had seven books, eight  movies, badges, games, colouring books and pencils beyond count, at least five dressing-up costumes (including homemade wands and hand-knit Gryffindor scarves) and one very serious obsession with Alan Rickman. Let’s just say expectations were high. Click here to continue reading…

 

Carrie Bradshaw, part 2.

first professional publication, bookwitty, comfort zone,

Hah, I got you there…you thought you were in for another photo of Yours Truly posing provocatively in a blue paper jumpsuit. Sorry, no.

In fact, I am here at my desk, on this gloriously sunny June morning, to say Thank You.

To all of you who have looked or liked and especially to those who have commented and complimented. You gave me the boost I needed to take a wobbly baby step outside my comfort zone.

first professional publication, bookwitty, comfort zone,

I made an tentative approach to the people at Bookwitty and submitted this little story as, I hoped, a gateway piece. To my surprise and delight, they came back asking for some longer articles.

Bookwitty requested a Q&A format for a piece on Eat Your Books. Waaaaaah! What did that mean? Was I supposed to just contact Eat Your Books and ask to speak to the owner? Errrr, exactly, yes.

So, I did. I made believe I was some sort of proper journalist person. Okay I admit it, I landed on Carrie Bradshaw again. Sadly, still no ostrich feather dress.

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Jane Kelly, the lovely co-founder of Eat Your Books, must surely have suspected that she was in the shaky hands of a rank amateur. She was gracious and kind and, more or less, wrote the whole thing for me. Click here to read my first professional article.

On the crest of a creative wave, I wrote two more articles.

This one about my sourdough bread baking adventure and this one about the SultanaBun Family Summer Holiday Book Club.

If you go directly to the Bookwitty Home Page, you will notice two of my articles right there on the front page!!! My profile and the first article were there yesterday. Heart-thumping stuff, I tell you!

I feel weirdly guilty about cheating my loyal blog readers because these would have been blog posts. Please, please, make the extra click through to Bookwitty, have a read and, if you like them, click the wit it button. As it stands, I have exactly zero readers on Bookwitty so I am relying on you! If I can make a go of this I might just be able to make a contribution to the household finances and feel a whole lot better about myself.

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I’m completely flattened now so I’m going out to bask in the sunshine. The beaches are jammers and we have all stripped to our knickers. Every bed sheet in the country has been washed, our freckles are starting to blend into something approximating a tan and B&Q have sold out of barbecues. The weather has been so fine that pundits are already predicting a baby boom next March. The relationship that we Irish have with the weather is beyond ridiculous.

No links to like this week, other than my own. Now, how cool is that?

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Little House On The Prairie. Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Indian camp. laura Ingalls Wilder. Little house On The Prairie.

It’s a heck of a book that kills off the loyal family dog in Chapter Two.

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I wasn’t sure that Small Girl would have the patience for Little House On The Prairie. There aren’t too many illustrations and she is only 4 ¾ (she’s claiming the ¾ and I’m clinging to it). Her reading material so far has required an abundance of princesses or fairies, ideally Fairy Princesses.

I need not have worried. We were on to a winner at the first mention of Kansas (major Wizard Of Oz phase on-going).

‘Do you like it?’ I enquired after Chapter One.
‘I love it’, she said and my heart turned over.

I got nervous again when the Ingalls’ dog, Jack, is lost as the family fords a deep creek. I considered editing as I read but poor Jack’s disappearance didn’t seem to affect Small Girl as much as it did me. Anyway, the episode is crucial to the story.

Pa did not whistle about his work as usual, and after a while he said, ‘And what we’ll do in a wild country without a good watchdog I don’t know.’

Laura Ingalls Wilder. Little House On The Prairie. Two Stout Doors.

The book hits harder than the TV series. This is in no way at all a girlie tale. This is a detailed and factual account of a huge adventure. There is no shortage of genuine peril and mortal danger.

Charles Ingalls packs his wife and children into a wagon and drives away from a life he finds over-crowded and claustrophobic. He sets out to find open space and seeks a place where he can live the life he wants to live. If only we were all so brave.

He finds his spot,

‘I tell you, Caroline, there’s everything we want here. We can live like kings’.

parks the wagon and settles in.

Much of the warmth of the book comes from Laura’s pride in the way her father provides for and protects his family.  He builds a house and a stable, he digs a well, he hunts for food, he wards off wolves and fire and in his spare time he makes a rocking-chair. Charles Ingalls is a proper hero.

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Poor Mrs Ingalls is a bit hard done by. This smiling, uncomplaining, resourceful woman goes almost unnoticed. I wish her heroic efforts had been recorded in more detail. Laura describes at great length how her father hung a door with no nails or hinges but has no interest at all in how her mother turned the house into a home on the prairie.

Indian camp. laura Ingalls Wilder. Little house On The Prairie.

Small Girl took this book to heart. I think this might be the first time she has really identified with a character in a book. Laura doesn’t always want to do what she’s told and she whines a bit and stomps her foot now and then.

The upshot is that, when Small Girl looks askance at her carrots, I only have to raise an eyebrow and say, ‘Oh my, what would Mrs Ingalls think?’ to find the plate is cleaned.

She can’t possibly have understood every word. I’m  not sure myself what is meant by a bluff or a creek-bottom and the construction of the windlass for the well left me mighty confused.

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It really didn’t matter. We huddled side-by-side, in bed, in a deck-chair, in a blanket fort, and ventured forth together into a whole new world.

 

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Ten Things Found In Dobby (The House Elf From Harry Potter)’s Pocket. By Alice, Age 9.

I sat down at my desk to write about apple sauce but was distracted by my daughter’s school copy which was lying on the keyboard.

Flicking through it, I came to this homework assignment. I can’t resist sharing it with you.IMG_6696

Ten Things Found in Dobby the House Elf from Harry Potter’s Pocket.

A stripy snotty handkerchief.
A cloth covered in spiderwebs.
A very spotty smelly button.
A tissue that’s kind of sticky.
An extremely old paper.
A very hairy murry mint.
And the lid of a leaky biro.
A broken plate that broke years ago.
And a very horrible recipe for disaster.
And last of last of all his most treasured thing. The key to his freedom Harry Potter’s smelly sock!IMG_6697

I love everything about this except the fact that it was, most likely, inspired by a turning out of her own pockets! I love that she enjoyed a book enough to write about it. I love her hand-writing. I love the green colouring pencil to highlight the odour of Harry’s sock. I love that her teacher drew a smiley face. IMG_6698

She’s a sweetie, my girl.