Not suitable for people with irony deficiency and
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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Slap Update, Other Books and Channelling Our Inner Picasso

Dahlings, please forgive my lack of posting.  Boys1 and 2 are on half-term.  Shocking, as it seems just the other day that they went back after Christmas. 

Evidence of half term:

Spider suspension.

Small boy writing practice. I don't dare tell him that "jealousy" is misspelled. Else there may be "irritation" and  "kicking".

The weather has been lousy so we decided to do some Art.  Grandma Whacker gave Boy 1 paints for Christmas.  Thank you Grandma!!

When we started it, it looked like this.

But pretty soon it looked like this.

Then a hairdryer got involved.  Boy 1 said it was standard practice for arty types.

Boy 2 produced a picture of an evil apple.  He called it "Evil Apple".

Boy 1 did something very clever with interlocking doves.

Afterwards I hosed down the kitchen, the boys and myself, and then had a restoring cup of tea. We'll do art again soon - some time next year.

Thank you to Linda in Chile and to Kate B who recommended this book.

I got it through our library. For free.  Amazon wanted to charge me £62 for a copy, on the basis that it is an exotic Australian import.  £62, has the world gone mad?  I am looking forward to this and may even let Boy 2 read it as well.


   I found it absorbing and thought provoking but found most of the characters grotesque, almost caricatures, particularly Hector, Harry and Gary. In fact Hector and Harry seemed very much the same.  And I found it all very unrealistic: most parents I know, male and female are busy working, working and working, juggling appointments, doing the school run, making Tudor costumes, taking the car to the garage, cleaning paint off small boys, going to the supermarket, our time and minds filled with the minutiae of everyday living.  The book's characters seemed concerned mostly with sex, both marital and extra marital, drinking and pill popping.  I guess they have superior time management skills and the constitutions of an ox. I also found Aisha and Sandy and even Rosie surprisingly subservient to their husbands.  And it was so over the top, the writer just had to push it with everything e.g. Rosie has to still be breast feeding a 4 year old; teenage Richie celebrates graduating high school by shooting up speed for the first time, Aisha just has to have fab one night stand sex at a conference....enough already!  So I agree with Nik and Kate, I can't believe this represents middle class families living in Melbourne.  Kylie/Mouse directed me to an excellent review that a friend of hers did, please look once you have read the book.

As an antidote to all this torrid stuff, I have turned to this.  I want something gentle and quietly observed.  With no bonking.  What's the betting I get to page 42 and all sorts of shenanigans breaks loose!

I am also planning on reading this, I have heard good things about it.

While on the subject of reading, do you find blogging and reading blogs means you read fewer novels?  I do, which I find a shame. I am intrigued by this lady who for a year read a book a day, and still continues to read at an amazing pace.

  How does she do it?  Of course she must read very quickly but does she only sleep 4 hours a night?  Do her family get annoyed that she always has her head in a book?  Does she ever get headaches which stop her reading?  Has her eyesight got worst?   Whatever, she is a great source of interesting books to read.

 Finally, look what a very kind and thoughtful friend gave me.  She had read me going on in the blog about Clock Failure.  Thank you S. so nice of you.  The cutest little clock ever.


  1. The artwork is fantastic. They'll be hanging in the Tate Britain in no time.

    Art projects leave me full of dread because I always want to snatch the brush out of his hands and colour INSIDE the lines...which is not the goal of the exercise. Wait till they want to build Airfix models. Without you. wrist glued to the IKEA table was enough for me.

    Like the clock but wish you still had the same clock as me. We could have been clock sisters.

    Books - Didn't fancy The Slap, but shall peruse the others at some point methinks.

    I don't read any less now that I am reading blogs. But I sometimes fail to eat.

    Happy Half term :-D

    Ali x

  2. Well that's one less book on my to-read list.That leaves me with only a million more to go. One year, I'll count the number of books I've read in a twelve month period. Not nearly 365!

  3. Jane Gardam!

    I had almost forgotten about her. Will have to track down this novel.

    Glad all is well with you, Blighty.

    I wonder if adults can do art days too?

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  4. The truth will out. Boys 1 and 2 are NOT little rugger hooligans. They are talented artists. You tricky little family you:). Seriously. Those are good.

  5. Half term again! My kids would have enjoyed being educated in Britain, school is always on holiday or is this just an illusion?
    The painting scene brings back memories. My girl in particular was/is/continues to be artistic/creative and for over 20 years our house has been subjected to her creative abilities. So look out Blights the Evil Apple and Interlocking Doves may just be the start.
    Yes to never reading anymore due to reading blogs and am trying to harness in my computer time and be very disciplined because I always had a book on the go but not anymore which just isn't right.

  6. I do wish I'd had the foresight to tack an art studio on the back of the house as it would make life much easier and way more interesting for the kids! Hence, art and craft are rare and VERY exciting events in our house.

    I was so relieved when I discovered the children had regular access to creative pursuits at preschool. I felt far less guilty for stifling their passion for paint. I'm a much bigger fan of drawing! I do think ant farms are second to worst presents though.

    The Slap sounds very gratuitous. Mind you, Major Pettigrew sounds fraught with tension! Can't wait to hear all about it.

    Best of luck with the holidays x

  7. The Slap freaked me right out and made me very scared for my children's futures. The drug taking was the worst bit. I thought the men were vile.
    Apparently it is being made into a mini series. Maybe they will call it Slap and Tickle.
    Well done on the art day. We have real art lovers here who also specialise in icy pole stick sculpture, a lost art form really. It's school swimming sports day today for my eldest who has just started high school. I keep dashing down for the races and then leaving. It is soooo not cool for mum to be hanging around. I am ridiculously proud and have to wear sunglasses to hide my tears of pride.

  8. Art days in the legend house always end in tears. Mine.
    Major Pettigrew's last stand? Heart failure after an overdose of Viagra, I bet.

  9. Dear All, I got it all wrong, it is Interlocking Ducks, not Doves. How could I have got it so wrong!
    Dear Deb at the Moerks, your son must be a very good swimmer. I was reduced to tears ( of hysterical, nervous laughter) at last year's swim gala - Boy 1 failed to emerge from changing room and Sports Master had to go find him - the whole gala was held up as Boy 1 in first race; he had lost his trunks, poor kid, I spent the rest of the term conducting "Who swiped my son's trunks investigations" I really had to hold myself back from peering down all the boy's trunks to check name labels...probably just as well I did not..

    Siobhan - I agree with you on art - best kept for school under controlled conditions; cannot think of anything worst than an ant farm!
    legion - that makes me laugh - I am hoping that Major P keeps his trews on throughout.

  10. Legion??? Wot? I meant Legend. Sorry.

  11. LPC - thanks for the compliment - under those grubby litte exteriors are 2 er grubby little tikes fighting to get out. Which reminds me. bath time calls.

  12. Hello, I enjoyed the Slap but wasn't everyone horrible?? Enjoyed Major Pettigrew's Last Stand too. Can't believe my Mouse (Divorce Lawyer to the Stars) is giving you book advice! It's a Small World!!!!

  13. Dear Blighty thrilled to bits you managed to snaffle the Bum book through the British library system. There are some things the Brits do very well and obviously public libraries with quality Antipodean literature is one of them.
    I did not enjoy the Slap one bit. My L is still recovering from being given it to read by her London warden/mother. Harry Potter and Jodi Picoult it is not.
    I can't believe boys have to lines for writing practice but again that may be the superior British education systems master plan.

  14. Dear Mrs Blighty, I am hiding in my cabin girding my loins for the aggravation of getting everyone in my family and car off the ferry that has been home for four days. !#%>£€>%%!!??!!! So, how lovely to read your lovely post while doing so. At first I thought that 'Slap update' referred to news about some new makeup as slap is something Mr LiC's mum refers to as in she is off to put the slap on and I always thought it was an older Australian word. I am glad that you think that the characters could not be all so horrid as I tend to think people are like us and their sins consist of letting the ironing mount up, not telling their husbands what things really cost and letting the children eat too many treats. I marvel that anyone has any time for affairs what with school pickups etc. I find that I still read a lot but it is invariably a detective novel - I find that my concentration is shot. Any movement re the Rolex?

  15. PS, I did get round to honoring your award. Thank you.

  16. Happy half term! Ours started yesterday, might have to get the paint out too, lol. The artwork is wonderful, and the writing excercise so sweet. Wishing you and yours a wonderful Sunday!

  17. are you watching the Oscars Blights????

  18. Hi FF - are they on now? am so not up to speed. Mr B is watching important car programme. Or doc on war or diseases or something cheerful like that. Will go annoy him by demanding to change channels. xx

  19. Dear Blights,

    Thanks for posting about the Slap. I found it really annoying for the same reasons, I think. It's a tabloid book. Everything is so exaggerated. However, I do know a few real life characters like those of the book. Unfortunately. Your review was far superior to the one you linked to. He seemed to be taking a long time to say the world's gone mad making such a big fuss over The Bloody Slap.

    Off to get the NYT best seller from the free bookshop.


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