One of the things I love doing is browsing in the children’s section of Waterstone’s. The amazing range of books available nowadays; tactile, audible, some even incorporating glove puppets….they are a joy [which could never be replicated with a Kindle, could they???].
So, with half an hour to spend, I was idling there the other day when I spotted a book by a wonderful writer:- Shirley Hughes. My daughters loved her Alfie* books when they were small, and so my eye was drawn to one I hadn’t seen before…then I had to look again! Since when did she become a political writer? A year of Tories????? What a strange book to write for small children. I’m all for educating them, but surely this was a step too far!
Happily, I soon figured out my mistake – by taking a step closer I could see it was actually A Year of Stories. Phew! But then I started noticing other rather misleading words. On the bus to Liverpool, mentioned in my earlier post, I saw a car with ANGER written on the back. It was a big 4 wheel drive type, very shiny and expensive looking. I have long thought DUSTER a silly name for a car – [when will the dishcloth and tea-towel models be following?] but to actually call a model ANGER – this is just inviting road rage, isn’t it. The car pulled away slightly to reveal it was actually a RANGER. Phew again. A much more peaceful-sounding name.
I do, however, still chuckle when I remember my absolute horror whilst strolling in the lovely Northumbrian seaside town of Seahouses. Ambling down an arcade, ice cream in hand, thinking about puffins, Vikings and other such Northumbrian-related matters I was suddenly confronted by a very large sign, proudly stating SEMEN. Yup….you read that right. I wondered if this was the red-light district [although the sign was a very innocent-looking blue and white]. Not sure whether to investigate more closely or just hurry past in the very British ‘none-of-my-business’ way, I took another step and the mystery was solved. The AMU and TS from either end of the sign were now, thankfully, in view. Seahouses is not the vice capital of Northumbria after all….unless you know differently?