For World Book Day this year, Auri decided to go to nursery dressed as a pirate (wearing one of her current favourite outfits). Last year, they all went in their pyjamas with their favourite books. The year before, she went in a dressing gown, as Arthur Dent from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I’m not sure she really understood at that point, but Euan had that planned for nearly a year.
One of the mistakes the tech stan makes is assuming more is always an improvement. That we always want more features, more apps, more enhancements. But when you have a well-functioning technology, often what you want is less.Maybe the Book Doesn’t Need to Be “Disrupted” in the First Place? by Lincoln Michel, 24th January 2023
I am resurfacing from a busy few days, including hosting a party for about eighteen children to celebrate Auri’s fourth birthday. Well, I say hosting – Euan actually organised the whole thing. Apart from a few on-the-day things, my sole contribution was sorting the party bags. Even at the party, I mostly looked after Elfi who, mercifully, slept peacefully until the cake was brought out (and even then fed quietly without fuss).
And don’t even ask me how Auri is four already.
Auri is an avid reader. She loves being read to, and she loves reading on her own. Almost every night without fail, you can guarantee she’ll get out of bed after we’ve wished her goodnight to keep choosing more and more books. By this time, Euan will already have read her several stories (every night when I’m feeding Elfi, I hear Auri make promises that the next book will be the last one, only for cries of “but only one mooooooooore!” when that book is finished).
When we kitted out her room with new furniture a year or two ago, I made sure that Auri could access her books easily, as that was one thing that was always so important to me growing up. Of course, it does mean that occasionally you enter the bedroom – at any time of day – to find an avalanche of stories has descended upon the carpet.
I have started reading Tove Jansson: Life, Art, Words by Boel Westin. Again.
The book had been on my reading list since it was first published, and on the shelf beneath my bedside table for nearly as long. I started reading it last year – or was it the year before, now? – and managed a few chapters, distracted, before life got in the way and it languished there by my bed for a while, then beneath my bedside table once again.
Reading it now – it feels disingenuous to say “re-reading” – I have no memory whatsoever of chunks of the chapters that I waded thickly through before. This time, I am absorbing everything, and it slips down easily. Not like before. I wanted to read the book – I had wanted to read it for a while – but the noise of the world meant that it stuck in my throat. I couldn’t absorb it, digest it.
I am exhausted. I can’t actually remember when I last slept through a whole night, what with a newborn baby and pregnancy-related insomnia before that. And a pre-schooler, and a dog who insists on stealing most of the space on the bed every night.
But that’s just physical tiredness, and par for the course right now. All-encompassing at times, yes, but bone-deep tiredness is always better than brain-deep tiredness. And, to my delight, I am increasingly finding myself in the marvellous situation of no longer feeling fuzzy around the edges when thinking. Every newsless day that goes past, I feel a little more alive. Sparks of clear thought are becoming more frequent, and I’m scribbling down ideas to ponder or develop further.