'Once upon a time' is undoubtedly an outmoded way of beginning a child's story – unless you intend to give it a new twist. So I'm told. While 'now then, now then, now then' will probably result in parents refusing to read the bedtime story their offspring thought they were going to get. But how to be fresh and original these days and yet obtain that nuanced scary darkness that children love without plodding down the old roads?
I shall be attempting this.
Apart from One Hundred And One Dalmatians, the novel I repeatedly read as a child – and still do as an adult – is Wind In The Willows. I am also told that this book is out-dated and that modern children find it difficult to relate to. Well, bother and blow and hang all that! Let's just see what I can come up with in the next few weeks, shall we?
A few years ago I poisoned my wife. I was reminded of this last week when I made her nose bleed. Regarding the initial mishap/incident/oh-what-a-guilt-trip: I ignore her repeated assertions that she really doesn't like garlic and persuade her to sample a six-clove guacamole dip. She politely makes an in-road into her portion, but has to stop. It makes her sick.
And the second? The homemade chilli-con-carne of a few days ago makes her mouth numb and causes her to sneeze so violently her nasal blood vessels protest in a bright and fluid way.
And yet I tell people I like cooking.
On a forty-mile cycle ride on Monday, I come across some road-kill that is bigger than normal. This is a dead deer which has been here for some days. I have to turn back and inspect it a little more closely because, at first glance, I mistakenly think it is a dead kangaroo and such a bizarre find in a Suffolk lane would warrant a picture to be posted here. I am a bit disappointed to discover it's a native of these shores.
It does occur to me though that my thoughts about why the person who hit it didn't salvage the remains for the venison probably explains why occasionally my wife distrusts my cooking and why I may just have a sufficiently gruesome imagination to entertain the kids.
Especially if I provide the illustrations.
Though I doubt you'll never be able to watch Bambi with the same eyes again.