In which there is a little colour and I remember about Howl

Hurrah for antibiotics! I’m feeling a lot better and can have a proper conversation without a five minute coughing fit after every third and a half word. And the garden is waking up, I spotted the first bit of colour this year (apart from the green and brown, which clearly are colours, and the plethora of plastic toys that are a more or less permanent feature but don’t count because they don’t photosynthesise) and it’s purple.IMG_0080

I haven’t done much this week what with still feeling grotty but I did manage to finish a book. I used to read almost constantly – I spent the best part of my A levels either skulking in the music practice cupboard, bashing the piano loudly and hoping they wouldn’t hear it through the wall in the next room (which was where I should have been for a maths lesson) or when I didn’t need to be in the maths department I was normally sat in the corridor there working my way steadily through the fiction section of the college library. So it is very strange to not have the time to read and when there is time there is normally too much going on to concentrate on it anyway; I’ve been reading ‘Anna Karenina’ since August which has to be some kind of record, I think that even beats ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The book that I finished wasn’t that one, I was telling someone about ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ by Diana Wynne Jones the other day and then I realised I couldn’t really remember what happened in it so I thought I’d better read it again. It is another book (like Mr. Milne’s) that has chapters ‘In which’ things happen. One of them is ‘Chapter Six – in which Howl expresses his feelings with green slime’, there now, don’t you just want to read it to find out what all the slime is about?

I won’t tell you too much about it in case you do want to read it. ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’ is about Sophie who should be young but is old because of a curse and can do magic without realising, she talks to things and tells them what to do or to be and talks life into them without knowing she is doing it. Another character is Calcifer, a rather grumpy fire demon, who makes the castle move and the castle belongs to Wizard Howl/Howell Jenkins who is from a strange land (can you guess which one with a name like that?) and who according to Sophie is a ‘slitherer-outer’ and who according to Calcifer is ‘heartless’. It’s a lovely story, it has shooting stars, the sosban fach song, mermaids, seven league boots, the Witch of the Waste, a yummy cake shop and the castle is fantastic – it scuttles around the hillside and is somehow in four places at once which is very useful and it is a different shape inside than it is out.

I like reading, I will read most things, grown-up books are ok and I enjoy them but fairy tales are great and kids books always seem like a lot more fun and anyway who says I have to grow up?