I like: home
I like February 2005

Quiet round here lately. I've been reading How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson (which I can't recommend highly enough) and taking its advice to heart. Back properly tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone for the Flickr invites. My world is a brighter place.

I think I'm in love. Flickr love. After looking at other people's photos for so long I finally signed up for an account. I thought it would be useful but I didn't expect it to be so easy to use, or so much fun. There's something very liberating about getting all these photos off my hard disk and into the open. Fly! Be free! And it's like librarian's heaven cataloguing them all and adding subject headings. Who'd've thought I took so many pictures of balconies? So to start with, last summer's holiday photos of Nice and Monaco are there, with a trip to the Maeght Foundation, an amazing collection of 1950s art with Miro sculptures, Calder mobiles and lots of Giacometti men. There are other odds and sods as well - cafes, day trips, exhibitions. Anyone who wants to be my flickr friend - can you send me an invite? I'm hooked.

This one's for all you lovers out there:

Little but often:



The little old man who could not read I've recently been reunited with my favourite childhood book - The Little Old Man Who Could Not Read by Irma Simonton Black (illustrated by Seymour Fleishman). It's about a little old man who is so busy making wooden toys that he never learns to read. When his wife goes away for the weekend and leaves him to do the shopping, chaos ensues. He buys greaseproof paper instead of spaghetti, coffee instead of pasta sauce and soap flakes instead of sugar. Oh Little Old Man! When his wife comes home he begs her to teach him to read and the first word he learns is spaghetti. That might not sound like much of a pageturner but I remember how much I loved this book (and the follow-up The Little Old Man Who Cooked and Cleaned). We never had a copy, but got it out of the library every week. When I grew up, no one could remember what the book was and it took a year at library school to find it, then another 10 to track down a copy. It's not the most exciting book in the world or the most beautifully drawn, but it's such a warm story. He's such a stubborn old fool - you can just imagine the type. Another childhood favourite was William the Dragon by Polly Donnison, about a spoilt dragon who only eats roast potatoes. One day when the potatoes are burnt they fire the chef and William goes on hunger strike until he is reinstated. Again, that loses something in the telling. It seemed suitably epic at the age of 4. Likewise the Caroline books by Pierre Probst, particularly Caroline at the Seaside. This is where I wish I like had comments as I bet you've all got books like these, half-remembered but well-loved. Anyone else trying to find something from a childhood memory might find the Booksleuth discussion board useful.

Domo arigato, Mr Roboto:

I'm a bit behind this week. For starters:

And new likes.