Sunday, April 08, 2007

In the Car

I can’t read in the car. As you may have suspected if you read my previous post, it makes me sick, very, very fast.

But Emily can read in the car, and she does. Lots and lots. By the time we reached France she had read four quite substantial novels plus several “trashy magazines” as she calls them. She reads very fast but with excellent recall.

She reads a lot when we’re actually there, too. Every time we go on holiday I do my best to buy or borrow enough books for Emily: but there is no such thing as enough and she always runs out. Then she starts on everyone else’s. Where is that book I was so enjoying that I left by my bedside? Oh, look, gone. And where is it? Do I need to ask? Just like being at home, really.

Of course I don’t really mind at all, because what if I had a daughter who didn’t like reading? Aaaaargh! As soon as she’s read all her books, all everyone else’s books and every printed word in the place, that’s when car journeys get tricky, so she and Gareth play Animal, Vegetable or Mineral, or Twenty Questions as you might call it, or Four Hundred and Eighty-Two Questions as happens frequently in Gareth and Emily’s version.

“Play the game”, says Emily, or “I’ve got something” and off they go, that’s it for the next fifty miles or so. The subjects range from the very simple to the somewhat obscure: “Of course you should be able to guess Caedmon’s Cross in Whitby!” and “Which have more people on the planet heard of, the constellation of Orion or Brad and Angelina’s baby?”

The thing is, Emily mustn’t be allowed to get bored, because when she gets bored she starts singing A Million Green Bottles. Remember Ten Green Bottles? You start off with ten green bottles hanging on the wall, and then if one green bottle should accidentally fall there’ll be nine green bottles hanging on the wall. Nine green bottles, hanging on the wall, and if one green bottle should accidentally fall, there’ll be - -

Now imagine it starting at a million. You can see why we take lots of books.


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