Morning, noon and night

Three random things I learned, or remembered, today

Archive for Books

Writing a book



When writing a story, apparently there are ways to develop a 3D character.

This link tells the difference between 2D and 3D characters.



The meaning of wiki



When I first discovered Wikipedia I realised I had encountered something new and exciting. However I never knew where the “wiki” part came from.

Apparently “wiki” is a Hawaiian word which means “hurry quick.” So it’s an encyclopedia that can be updated quickly and easily by readers.

I wonder who first thought of this?

1920’s headache remedies



This was the first aid treatment for headache in the 1920’s.

“There are many remedies for this. Try going out into the fresh air or take a cup of tea. Half a teaspoonful of sal volatile in water often helps and so does a mustard plaster placed on the nape of the neck. A cold application is also good and aspirin usually brings relief.”

Taken from “The Modern Housewife’s Book” (1920’s)

The seven dwarfs



Forgotten the names of the seven dwarfs?

They are:



Another coincidence



I didn’t mean to go to a book fair to buy a book for my daughter’s birthday.

Far from it.

My plan was to go to a craft shop in a country park to buy her a card and perhaps a small item, so she would have a parcel to open from me, since my “real” present was boring money. It just so happened there was a book fair that weekend.

Now, The Blue Fairy Book was not the only book I bought. No. It was the second book.

When I walked into the room, I was faced with rows and rows of books on shelves and tables. Why then, did I immediately pick up a humble little old red book that had no presence at all? Why did I choose it from all the others? There was no reason – my hand just picked it up.

I opened the book at random and read a bit of text. A woman called Mrs Barrowfield. How odd. That name is so familiar to me. I never knew a Mrs Barrowfield, but the name Barrowfield is part of my life. You see, Barrowfield House was the name of my grandparents’ home. The house where my mother was born.

I never knew my grandparents. They both died when my mother was a child.

I opened the first page. The old dog was called “Clyde.” My mother as a young woman, while living in Barrowfield House had a dog called “Clyde.” Barrowfield and Clyde. I knew the pair of them well. The house was demolished long before I was born, but Barrowfield House and the dog Clyde have fueled my imagination for as long as I can remember.

And so I bought the book “Wax Fruit” by Guy McCrone.

The 1948 edition.

For a fiver.




If you don’t believe in magic, then you have to believe in the power of coincidence.

Here is a tiny, tiny, tiny, coincidence.

On Sunday, I mentioned I had bought my daughter the Folio edition of “The Blue Fairy Book.” Funnily enough the illustration on the inside cover was very familiar to me. I used it a couple of weeks ago for a Powerpoint presentation. I knew it was from a Folio Society book but I didn’t know which one.

Yes, it was a tiny, tiny, tiny coincidence.

I bought the book partly because of it.

My daughter was well pleased. She informed me that we had come across an original first edition of one of the “Fairy Books” when we visited a book show a couple of years ago and it cost thousands of pounds. I had forgotten about that but eventually managed to retrieve the memory of the event from the depths of my brain.

I had a search in Abe books and, sure enough, there was an original first edition of the Blue Fairy Book selling for a lot of money. A lot.

Now, that is a “three tiny” coincidence. When I bought this book , there was another coincidence – a “two tiny” one this time. But that can wait till noon.

The Blue Fairy Book



It was my daughter’s birthday today and I gave her money. A boring, boring money present.

However, I visited a book fair yesterday and found a Folio Society copy of “The Blue Fairy Book” edited by Andrew Lang. I loved it, and although my daughter is an adult, I knew she would too. It is beautifully presented and contains wonderful illustrations by Charles van Sandwyke.

Here is an extract of something Lang wrote in 1891.

” There are not many people now, perhaps there are none, who can write really good fairy tales, because they do not believe enough in their own stories and because they want to be wittier than it has pleased Heaven to make them……..”

I wonder if “Harry Potter” has been so successful because J K Rowling believed enough.