From Desk Till Dawn

My mainly music & nerd bird blog

Eggs and Tadpoles

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I grew up in a small seaside town, the type that Morrissey was scorning in Everyday Is Like Sunday. From a young age I learnt how to sneak into holiday camps, how to prise a Winkle from its shell and that if a bird shat on you it was good luck. I also fell in love with books.

Brixham had a small, tiny library in the town centre. It was essentially a hut. Spurred on by my mothers bedtime readings of The Hobbit, Funny Bones and Mrs. Gaddy and the Ghost (my favourite) we would visit the library on a weekly basis and choose a book for the week. A practise that I sadly suspect has declined over the years.

The book that I took out of the library the most was what I referred to as “the eggs and tadpoles book”. For some unknown reason (Feminism, a belief that we should choose our own books, a belief that knowledge is power) my mum let me continually check this book out of the library. Continually. I don’t exaggerate. I loved that book. It was a polite and inoffensive introduction to the reproductive system which left the below image burnt in my brain.

My odd obsession thankfully did not result in an over sexed teenager (in fact the extreme opposite as I was a painfully awkward teenager with bad skin and slightly batty enough to remain ensconced in my own strange little world but that’s another story), leaving my mum worry free and eventually able to be head of the local schools library once we were all at senior school. It seems her entire life, even that strange land us children can’t get our heads around, the time before there was an us, my mum has surrounded herself with books.

I have strong memories of seeing books being dried on the radiators, their pages crinkling under the heat and the print blurring from the shock of water, after she’d inevitably dropped them in the bath. A habit passed down from mother to daughter along with a love of reading.

It’s National Libraries Day on Saturday 4th February. It’s so important we keep literacy alive and our libraries from becoming extinct. Do go support your local library, even if it means getting out a book on the reproductive system.

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