Saturday, June 7, 2008

A Book Tag (which went disastrously wrong.)

STOP! ….In the name of love…….. Oh lord….I’m off into my Diana Ross impression…. (Never a good sign – it usually means impending madness will soon follow…) Anyway…yes do stop and get a coffee because this is a book tag and as I’m rather fond of books I’m probably going to go on for some considerable time. (Again.) Is that OK? I hope so….

Well, my thanks to
Mrs G (Eve’s Lungs) for passing me this book tag. I really enjoyed the last tag from Usha; so we’ll just have to see what happens with this one! It may not of course actually follow exactly as per the instructions… However, these are the correct instructions I received from Mrs G;

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people, and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

Well as my desk is situated right next to one of my book cases I merely reached out to my left, without looking, felt for the nearest book and pulled out…

Society and Puritanism in Pre-Revolutionary England by Christopher Hill.

(Yawn, yawn…. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz……stand back from the window…...)

Anyway, just to verify this - here is a picture of my desk and the offending book case. Please notice how clean and tidy my desk looks. It is ALWAYS this way; it is absolutely never, ever, littered with chocolate wrappers, coffee cups, mail, books, papers, biscuit crumbs, tissues and of course small effigies of Pierce Brosnan. (I keep those by the side of my bed…for inspiration.)

Unfortunately, for you readers, the shelf at hand level is one which houses some of my old history books from those dark, distant college days. However, the good news is I didn’t pull out the book next to it which was Marx/Engels The Socialist Revolution. (In which case readers you would have my full permission to jump.) The book on the other side was a little more interesting though - Stephen Venables’ A Slender Thread; an autobiography of the first Briton to reach the summit of Everest without supplementary oxygen. I read it a few years ago but as I recall it was quite an interesting read which is why it hasn’t made it to the charity shop/school fair yet. Anyway, just for your interest here are some of the other books on that shelf;

Papillion by Henri Charriere. (A man with delusions of being a butterfly attempts to escape from a top notch security complex. NB - flapping his arms did not get him over the perimeter.)

Surface with Daring by Douglas Reeman. (Boating escapades during WWII -not to be read if you’re just about to go canoeing, swimming or if your particularly nervous about having a bath.)

Most Secret War by R.V Jones. ( Ssh… sorry I can’t tell you what its about.. it’s a secret….)

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. (A man disguised as a moth has delusions of being a serial killer; he also happens to hate lamb chops; it’s a sad, sad tale of gross misfortune.)

Stallion Gate by Martin Cruz Smith. (Horses escape through a broken gate and travel the world looking for a mystical saddle – no I couldn’t believe it either.)

Keep Me Close by Clare & Francis. (A joint autobiography by Siamese twins.)

The Government of Elizabethan England by A.G.R Smith. (Lizzy gets down and dirty with the troops; risqué edition.)

France 1814 -1940; a history by J P T Bury. (Why bother? I didn’t. Just kept it cos I like to look knowledgeable.)

The Karma Sutra by An Over Enthuasstic Exhibitionist. (Umm... cough, cough…how did that get there? It’s not mine…….)

Bring on the Empty Horses by David Niven. (Blow- up horses search for a mystical saddle…again I couldn’t believe it; I always thought David Niven was soooo sophisticated…..)

American Politics Today by J.D Lees, R A Maidment and M Tappin. (Laughable.)

Henry VIII by J.J Scarisbrick. (A man with six wives who died of exhaustion - Lucky Bastard.)

Pregnancy by Gordon Bourne. (A one way ticket to sleepless nights, no sex and 50 denier tights.) To which I say…


Oh....mind you… sometimes I wonder if some women know about childbirth… I once read a
Sheila Kitzinger’s book where she said many women find child birth orgasmic. Orgasmic? Is Ms Kitzinger crazy?? OK…this is sensitive subject… but NO woman I know has EVER implied the experience was remotely sexually pleasurable. Of course I can only talk from my own experience… and that was more like being run over by a 10 ton truck and having all your innards squeezed out at 100 mph. Not pleasant.

Anyhow, having read Ms Kitzinger’s book I came to the conclusion that she was not in her right mind or had overdosed on some pethedine.

(And please no one leave a comment saying they had……. enjoyed childbirth. Otherwise I’ll end up being all bitter and twisted… which Mrs T would not like to be as she far too nice to be angry at stupid, silly authors who clearly don’t know what they are talking about and wear silly flowery dresses, idiotic sandals and……

Oh yes………ummmmmm….where was I?

Ah yes…books….

Well, being as inefficient as I am and skim reading Mrs G’s instructions I went to the fifth line not the fifth sentence which read….

the Englishwere naturally lazy and spend half their time taking tobacco.”

Hmm. Yes…that’s what happens when you’re too lazy to read the instructions properly. However, I’d just like to point out that I don’t smoke and have never done; I’m also a very, very good girl…well…most of the time….but you know when I see the chocolate counter I have these strange uncontrollable urges…..

Ok…the fifth sentence actually is...

Problems of labour discipline were of general concern to statesman and divines during our period. As early as 1536………”

STOOOOOOOOPPPPP!! I can take no more…, no, no! My history days, indeed my intellectual days, are over. I am a shell of an intellect……. Here’s the fifth sentence and more of the book I am actually reading…

Peep, peep! That night everything ran like clockwork. Thomas and Percy steamed through the stations making good time everywhere they went. Toot toot! At a station, Thomas noticed a woman looking worried. She had brown hair, blue eyes and 3 children in tow. Her Ford Cmax had broken down and now her children were looking worried.

“We can give you a ride,” said Thomas, “But it will be rather uncomfortable.”

“No thank you then,” replied the woman drawing out her flame thrower, “I can’t stand steam engines and especially ones that talk…”

Worriedly, Thomas sped away into the night as the flames licked his coal wagon… igniting and turning him into a burning mass…

The woman smiled mysteriously and the boys cried for a moment… and then they got out their cameras.

Wow, that was really great! You should try reading this book and if you’d like to hear my review of that fab book A Cow on the Line by the Rev Awdry click here.

Well that about wraps it up for today. See ya all soon!

Mrs T

All writing in this blog is the sole copyright of Jane Turley and not to be infringed upon on pain of death. A very painful death. With steak knives. And dishcloths. Need I say more?

© Jane Turley 2008

Ps I tag anyone who would like to do it but don’t forget to tell me when you have!

Pps. All those books are actually on my shelf…except the Karma Sutra…


is on my desk….. ..

Oh Good Lord! (MrsT’s eyes pop out of her head as she peruses the book upside down.)

How DO they do THAT???? !!!!

OOOOooo…ummmmmmmm…… Unbelievable!!


  1. I agree with you entirely about that childbirth matter and I have similar suspicions such as yours about Ms. Kitzinger.
    You converted a simple tag into such an interesting tag. And that extract was so lovely, poignant and I now have to read all of it.

    Hehehe about that kamasutra bit - i guess a lot of it is pure imagination. No one can actually enjoy sex in those positions when they are panting to keep their balance and not fall off.
    I guess that guy w some fun at guys who may actually go ahead and try it all.

  2. Ah Hello Usha! Yes that Ms Kitzinger is one crrazzy lady! I wonder if she feels the same way about cooking? Heaven help us if she felt it necessary to describe cooking a marrrow! The very thought of it is making me want to pass out! (Not through excitement though I'm afraid there's something about Ms Kitzinger that just does not inspire me to feel overtly sexual in any way about marrows..whereas Mr Ramsey even though he annoys me at times could possibly have an alternative effect...

    Ah, thank you for your comments on the extract. Indeed I was overcome with emotion when I found "Thomas Meets His Maker " in W.H Smiths.... my day was suddenly filled with unbelievable joy... In fact I may have to post the next installment...

    Oh, you meant the other extract..why thank you Usha. Thank you indeed.

    Re; The Kamra Sutra; I have a mechanical crane. I find it helps.

  3. I think this book tag went disastrously right (if that works). Enjoyed it a lot, although I'm a little upset about some of the things you said about Thomas the Tank Engine ... even though I preferred your version. And so I come away feeling confused, mixed up. I may need therapy now.

  4. Paul - Therapy?? Therapy??

    You see, that's what happens when you leave 'Ol Blighty and go and live in Austraila.


  5. Except, despite it being an American term, therapy in Australia involves a bottle of red, or a cold beer, or (for some) a box of chocolates.

  6. Ah well, Paul, it looks like I'm going to have to forgive you then! For a moment I thought we were going to get into a deep philosophical talk about the benefits of pistons and gauges which would have been mind blowingly borrring and may have given me cause to draw out my flame thrower again. However, a bottle of red, a cold beer or indeed some chocolates are a very acceptable way to sooth one's nerves... especially after the sad and dramatic loss of the dearly daparted Thomas.....O woe, woe....

  7. Ms K a total fruitcake, that's for sure! Didn't her daughter give birth in a birthing pool with mum in attendance? And it all went swimmingly (groan) well? She probably had a video made too. I speak as one who aspired to such smelly-candle fruitcakery but ended up having two Caesareans (one an emergency!) I am obviously totally bitter and twisted ...

    I also completely agree with you about Thomas the Tank Engine. I can hardly bear to think of the time I wasted to type that: I'm sorry but I simply will not dignify the whole oeuvre (now there's a word I don't use very often) with any more of my life! Bitter and twisted? Gnash, gnash!

  8. You are right Mrs B... Ms K is a nutter! And I have to say I am not convinced about birthing pools. Humans are not natural swimmers or indeed fliers. I wouldn't want to give birth jumping from a jumbo jet so why would I want to do it in a large bath??

    The day I burnt those Thomas the Tank Engine Videos in the back garden was the best day of my life...

    The smoke drifted lazily in the air, winding its way through the evening blossoms as the last of the embers glowed in the dusk.... Mrs T lay upon her chaise longue,stroking her pussy, sipping wine and eating dark, sensuous chocolate. She rejoiced that never again would she hear that awful music....

    And then she remembered the shelf full of Thomas books! And her soul began to burn with rage,her body convulse and her eyes turn red with hate. It was time for Thomas TO DIE !!!!!!

    Yeah, I can get carried away at times.......

  9. Having had the benefit of a reasonable night's sleep, I should perhaps say that I realise Thomas .. is not meant to appeal to the likes of me BUT some kids's stuff did. I loved Fireman Sam (when it was still done with puppets) and Postman Pat at a pinch. (All together now: 'Postman Pat! Postman Pat! Postman Pat and his black-and-white cat ...') Teletubbies was so weird, I couldn't believe they were getting away with it.

    I say all this so that if I ever get round to commenting on your extract (I will try!), you will, as they say, see where I'm coming from! Also, I have to say that I just didn't get English Literature - but perhaps I just wasn't, er, emotionally mature enough to have sensible thoughts on Shakespeare etc. But that WAS a long time ago ...

    What was it those wretched trains said? Pip, pip? As if!

  10. Ah yes...well Fireman Sam - at least the early ones - were actally quite clever and I seem to recall they had quite a few malapropisms in them which were quite amusing. I might add that Mrs T actally did amateur dramatics with two of the makers of Fireman Sam so she is a little prejudiced. A very, very small claim to fame (obviously I cannot compete with the likes of Mrs A who has met everyone - well apart from Pierce which is actually fortunate for her as no doubt I would pull her eyeballs from her sockets.....)

    Postman Pat? No, no, no Mrs B!!! He spends far too much time in the fields with the sheep.... But hey I kinda liked the Telly Tubbies... I think it was the Tellytubby toast and custard that did it for me..Yum, yum.

    English Literature in schools is a litle bit of a sore point with me I'm afraid. Of course it is necessary for any good student of literature to appreciate Shakespeare, Dickens, Keats et al. But these days teenage life is so remote even from that which we experienced ** years ago I think it has become too difficult for some of the children to have any empathy at all with such work There are some tremendous modern classics that could be added to the curriculum which I feel inspire more children to appreciate literature and discussion. How about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time for example?

    Master Sam, who is just taking his O levels has lost all interet in his O level literature yet he is actually very well readcompared to his contempoaries. Unfortunately, Romeo and Juliet, An Inspector calls and Of Mice and Men didn't do it for him.

    Perhaps it is time to update the curriculum and leave some of the older classics to A level. What d'you reckon Mrs B and what about Mr P B (II) if he's still reading?

  11. OK, I decided to give this a go. I found the nearest book which I have been reading recently. It doesnt have over 100 pages, so I went to page 12 instead. Here are the paragraphs:

    Find the monkey (open flap) HERE IS THE MONKEY

    Find the Giraffe (open flap) HERE IS THE GIRAFFE

    Find the idiot (picks up mirror) HERE IS THE IDIOT

    Wow, that really was more fun then I thought it was going to be.

  12. Um... Master're supposed to read those books after the baby is born not before... but obviously you're getting a lot of pleasure out of them!

    Hey... and you forgot the sound effects; I always do the sound effects; it's the highlight of my day.


  13. What kind of animals do you have? My giraffe has NEVER made that sound!

    And I got these books a LONG time before wifey got preggers. It is one of my faves. I wish I understood it though. It has interweaving storylines...and where is the damn monkey! The sneaky little sod.

  14. Mrs T, only you could make a mild innocent book tag into this! You've included the Kamasutra, oh, oh, oh.
    Luckily (so say you), I've never read any Thomas the Tank engine books. They weren't available here when my offspring were growing up.
    As for that Mrs. K, I'm sure she's lying about having given birth.

  15. Ms Kitzinger probably never delivered a child - I can remember mine very hazily but it certainly wasnt orgasmic.
    And about the Kamasutra - Mrs T - one has to be very Indian and very supple , from doing a lot of yoga, so that one can tie oneself(and one's partner) up into all those positions .( Blush blush )
    But of course my private view is that they did it with mirrors .Nobody could contort themselves to that extent.
    ... and to think it was a simple book tag . Poor La Delirante- must point her to your blog, Mrs T.


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