Thursday 10 November 2011

Birthday Presents!

As promised, today I'm going to show off my birthday presents!  Dark Puss requested that I show you all my non-bookish presents alongside my more literary gifts... here's the whole kid and kaboodle.

These can mostly explain themselves, but I want to draw your attention to a few awesome items.  Firstly, check out the iron(y) T-shirt.  How cool?  (Well, not especially cool, but very me.)  And the Scrabble mug.  And the Fiendish word game (the family Thomas had fun with that.) 

A few of the items may need a bit of explaining to some - the cellophaned pack at the back is a walking survival kit, given by Our Vicar's Wife after she was horrified at tales of Col and I climbing Snowdon unprepared... The 'What's Occurrin'?' T-shirt and 'Oh, Doris, Where's The Salad?' mug (complete with tea that I was drinking while I prepared the shot) are references to the excellent TV show Gavin & Stacey - if you haven't seen it, do.

The DVDs almost explain themselves - two are 80s 'classics' that my friend believes I should watch... Miranda and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day are tried and true gems.

Before I go on to the books bit - huge thanks to Mum, Dad, Colin, Lorna, Mel, Debs, Cath, Sarah, Paul, Dave, Ellie, Phoebe, Verity, Clare, Helen, Adrian, and Margaret for these lovely gifts!

Onto books!  This is Stuck-in-a-Book, after all.

The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel - this, from my bro, is the only book I openly *asked* for - can't wait to start dipping into this one.

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus - Verity spotted this on my Amazon wishlist, had a copy, and very kindly gave it to me!

Moominpappa at Sea by Tove Jansson - I was so touched to receive this from Margaret S, a reader of this blog, who knew that I wanted to try Tove's children's books.

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym - and in one of the beautiful new Virago editions!

How The Heather Looks: A Joyous Journey to the British Source of Children's Books by Joan Bodger - chosen by a friend who knows me well!  Does what it says on the tin, I suspect...

Bluestockings by Jane Robinson - a friend from university posted this down from Scotland - I'm clearly not shy about letting my literary tastes be known, and it is all to the good!

The Second Puffin Quiz Book - from a member of my pub quiz team, obviously hoping I'll swot up a bit(!)

The Great British Bake-Off Book - couldn't want this more!  It's gorgeous, and will extend my repetoire of cakes etc.

The Complete Miss Marple Short Stories by Agatha Christie - isn't this Folio edition absolutely gorgeous?  I had admired it online somewhere, and so was delighted by it.

Aren't I a lucky boy with my gifts??

On an entirely unrelated note - a few of you asked about Mary Essex, after my first lines game the other day - I will get onto replying, and indeed, to that end, have started reading one of her books!


  1. Happy Birthday! Your family knows your tastes well. This is my dream birthday too. :) Hope you enjoy all these great reads. Salivating over your "The Library at Night" - let me know as soon as you've posted your review.

  2. Wow, look at all your presents! You clearly have a family and lots of friends who know you well. I am more than a little covetous of the walking survival kit (I am a big fan of survival kits in general). And look at all your books! I love The Library at Night and am intrigued by How the Heather Looks (which has a lovely cover). I've had Bluestockings on my shelf for a few years now but still haven't read it though I'm excited to (I'm also excited about Robinson's new book about the WI). I also can't wait to see what you make from The Great British Bake-Off Book!

  3. How The Heather Looks: A Joyous Journey to the British Source of Children's Books by Joan Bodger - another of my favorite books!! Of course, it is a trip through the eyes of an American family.

    Even the son had a feeling for the sources of images in the books he'd read - visiting places where authors & illustrators lived.

  4. How the Heather Looks: one of my favorites, and one I know is on the bookshelf in the back hall. I remember how much I loved reading it. (And have you read "Bequest of Wings" by Annis Duff, which pointed me toward this book?

    Happy Birthday!

    Barbara M.

  5. Hi Si

    Good to see the collection - better organised then when it appeared on our floor together with masses of wrapping paper!

    I think it is Kit and Caboodle(most variations seem to be commercial names for clothing!)
    There are several phrases similar to the whole kit and caboodle, which is first recorded in that form in 1884. Most of them are of US origin and all the early citations are American. Caboodle was never in common use outside the USA and now has died out everywhere, apart from its use in this phrase.

  6. Nice presents! Love the Scrabble mug - want one now desperately. It's lovely to get bookish non-book presents.

  7. Great gifts, Simon! And I definitely approve, esp. the Moomintrolls! Am a great Moomintroll fan, but failed completely to interest either of my two children in them (and now they're adults, younger one just went up to Oxford!) But I'm really squinting at the photo to see what the DVD of "80's classics" is...can you tell us, please, even though this is a book blog?

  8. 'The Library at Night' is a fascinating book - I rambled a bit about it on my blog, though I quickly went off on a tangent!

    I enjoyed reading Bluestockings as well...

  9. You "are" a lucky boy and destined for great things!

    I love Gavin and Stacey too -- the most interesting bunch of characters ever created. My favorite episode is the first episode in the second series in which one-by-one the characters remove to the restaurant toilets (all except poor Smithy).

    Lots of tempting books in your haul! I look forward to reading more about them on your blog.

  10. Happy birthday (belatedly), Simon! I think you will enjoy How the Heather Looks - I certainly did - and Bluestockings is fascinating.

    Incidentally, the phrase as I know it is either "the whole caboodle" or "the whole kit and boodle", but this is only from reading dialogue; I haven't investigated it.

  11. What wonderful gifts! Especially the What's Occurrin' T-shirt!

  12. Right now I'm a little envious of you-all those books! I'm especially envious of the Agatha Christie short stories collection. Lucky you! Hope you had a great birthday!

  13. There is nothing more exciting than a clutch of new books! Best birthday wishes.

  14. Spoilt boy!!! I *want* a "What's Occurin'" T. !


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