Cadbury’s Novelty Cook­book

I got this late 70s/​early 80s book from a char­ity shop a while ago. A lot of famil­ies in the UK had it when I was a kid I think. I got it out because I prom­ised to make my friend a really ludicrous birth­day cake from inside. The recipes are fine, vari­ous flavoured sponge cakes with butter­cream icing (albeit with gratu­it­ous Cadbury’s product place­ment in every recipe). It’s the choice of cake themes in the book that’s a bit odd …

Fanzine Ynfytyn 26

This one is about the exper­i­ence of grow­ing up holi­day­ing in a cara­van at French camp­sites. A typic­al holi­day for Brit­ish people, but prob­ably weird and exot­ic for those from further away. Avail­able for £2 from my shop (includes UK post­age- inter­na­tion­al extra)

Categorised as Zines

Godless heathenry

The next issue of Being Edit­ors will be about C.S.Lewis and Phil­lip Pull­man. As a sneak preview, and to give contrib­ut­ors an idea of what my own reli­gious (or more to the point, non-reli­gious) back­ground  is, here is the article I wrote which leads in to anoth­er about why That Hideous Strength is a guilty pleas­ure- if you’d like to contrib­ute, find out more here

That Hideous Strength has always been a weird guilty pleas­ure. I’m not a Chris­ti­an, never have been, and didn’t grow up in a reli­gious envir­on­ment. People enjoy the Narnia books because they’re good children’s books and writ­ten with charm and wit, and they don’t Jesus you too hard (except for the last one). That Hideous Strength is noth­ing like that, the plot is weirdly cobbled togeth­er, and it’s full of rail­ing against every single one of C.S.Lewis’ person­al bugbears as a sexist old Chris­ti­an univer­sity don of the 1950s, and he doesn’t both­er to hide it. The relent­less sexism, homo­pho­bia and evan­gel­ising makes me want to throw the book against the wall as the godless hell-bound pinko lefty I am, but it’s just so glee­fully bizarre that I actu­ally quite enjoy it and have re-read it count­less times.

Categorised as Books, Zines

Costumes for Plays and Play­ing

When I was a kid I used to borrow this book again and again from the local library. The first thing I ever sewed myself was from it. A friend of mine at juni­or school’s older sister was in a school play of Toad of Toad Hall, and we went to watch. When you’re 7, 13 year olds seem incred­ibly impress­ive. What impressed me even more were the weasel costumes. I wanted one for myself. Armed with an offcut of brown fabric and a toy sewing machine I’d got at a boot­fair, I made a hood with ears like the ones in the book. It was wonky, and I was a bit ashamed of it though, and wished I knew how to sew straight (look­ing back, I’m not sure the toy sewing machine was actu­ally capable of a straight seam). My opin­ion of my sewing projects has improved slightly since.

Nature All Around

These are some pictures I scanned from a 1970s kids book at my dad’s house called Nature All Around. My uncle used to work for a non-fiction publish­er and we always seemed to have strange free books from his work around the place. It has draw­ings and photo­graphs of things chil­dren can spot around the aver­age brit­ish garden/​field/​beach and inform­a­tion about the lives of the vari­ous creatures.

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