It was rather sad this week to hear of the passing of Sue Townsend. 'The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole' and 'The Growing Pains Of Adrian Mole' are two of the books that helped me most through the teenage years of angst - reassuring me that perhaps I wasn't particularly weird or anything.
In fact, reading has been one of those things that has been pretty consistent in my life. Before I'd even started school mum was teaching me to read and the library was one of my favourite places, along with the local shop (reliable source of 1/2p 'fruit salad' and 'black jack' chewy sweets).
Earliest recollections of reading centre around the 'Ant & Bee' books, followed by the likes of 'Topsy & Tim' before discovering the delights of the 'Thomas The Tank Engine' books. Being the early seventies these were the original stories by Rev Awdry, and quite some time before Ringo Starr had found them to be a useful way to supplement the income from his Beatles royalties.
I suppose the next phase was when I moved on to Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' books - adventure stories set in a time when England was all about private schools, cricket, no swearing and of course the inevitable lashings of ginger beer.
Then came the grey teenage wilderness that was assisted by the likes of 'Adrian Mole', 'Thunder and Lightnings', and 'Codename Icarus', after which I was introduced to authors such as James Herbert and Shaun Hutson, leaving me to spend many years indulging in assorted twisted and gory fantasies. However there's only so many times you can read stories of hauntings, demonic posessions and dismemberment before you get a wee bit jaded and in need of something a bit different.
I'm happy to say that over the years my literary tastes have become increasingly varied, although I do still go through phases where I'll focus on either fantasy, crime fiction, or sci-fi. These phases are generally interspersed with a random selection of oddities including the odd bit of classic literature, although I still hold the firm opinion that Thomas Hardy is an overrated purveyor of tedious mind-numbing drivel.
Looking back at what I've written so far I'm wondering why I'm bothering really. I wrote nothing last week due to a complete lack of ideas, and I suppose having had a week off work my mind is now in a relaxed enough state to ponder the more trivial aspects of my past. There's been little going on over the past week to provoke much in the way of bile with the possible exception of the discovery that Audi man has a cousin. He's just as much of an arrogant shit-bag and he goes by the title of 'rambler'.
Don't be surprised if at some point in the not too distant future there's a rant about these self-righteous arseholes and their firm belief that anyone not wearing a rucksack and who could in any way be perceived to be impeding their 'right of way' (even when the path is in fact a National Cycle Route) is evil personified. Even now I can feel the bile rising once again.....