8 May 2010

Driving my Fforde

Today was a productive day, in many ways. It was my morning for the sleep-in, which I very much enjoyed - I had a small furry companion snuggled up with me and I didn't wake until nearly 9, which felt very decadent! Hubby and I take turns to have a bit of a rest in the weekends: one of us gets up early with small daughter on Saturday, one on Sunday. This weekend we had a bit of a debate about which way it was going to go, as it's both Mother's Day and hubby's birthday tomorrow!

After the rest, we had a bit of a house-blitz, including a major reshuffle of the study. We'd been meaning to move a lot of old babygear into the roof for storage for ages, and once we'd done that we got all enthused with several rubbish bags and did a major chuck-out of old papers etc in the study. It felt really good, and now it's a much more useable and friendly space.

Tonight: I'm sitting listening to the silence and the clock slowly ticking. Hubby is photographing a rock concert; small daughter is asleep; cat is walking by himself somewhere. I've been reading a bit of one of my favourite authors: Jasper Fforde's fabulous Well of Lost Plots, and revelling in his creative, wacky, and hilarious storytelling.

Some of my book-mad friends introduced me to Jasper's writing a few years ago and I instantly loved him. His first novel, The Eyre Affair, introduces a sort of alternative 1985 where everyone is book-mad (people rename themselves after famous poets!), the Crimean War has lasted 135 years, Wales is a Socialist Republic, there are a group of Special Operations people called the ChronoGuard who maintain time as we know it, and there is a tax on cheese... The protagonist Thursday Next is a Literary Detective, hunting down faked Shakespeare and forged Johnsons, and in the end enters the novel Jane Eyre to catch the antagonist, changing the ending in the process. It all sounds rather odd but its very funny and extremely well written, especially if you know a little bit about literature and literary history. The rest of the novels in the series have Thursday in various wonderful adventures in the BookWorld, the place where books are created, and working in the backstory of books to maintain the solidarity of the written word (which apparently can change on a whim of the characters!).

There are five Thursday Next novels so far (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, and First Among Sequels), and two other novels in a series called Nursery Crime (sort of Patricia Cornwell-meets-Humpty Dumpty-in-an-alternate-universe!), The Big Over Easy and The Fourth Bear. There's also a new book (which I haven't yet read) called Shades of Grey, which apparently is set in a world without colour - or where colour is rationed. Looking forward to that one! His books are fabulously inventive and quite original, as well as being wonderfully written and laugh-out-loud funny.

About to head to bed, I think, and do some more listening to the silence.

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