‘Twas The Night Before Book Day

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. Actually there was some scuttling behind the skirting, but that’s another story for another day.  And there was stirring, and there was sewing.  It was late and The Genealogist had her needle and thread out, for something other than a Brownie badge.  And she had a smile on her face, I’m told, riding high on a first prize down at The Rural.  It was that handful of pumpkin seeds, tossed into the salad in the few minutes available between finishing dinner and needing to be in the hall.

So she sat sewing, a yellow band, a blue t-shirt.  And the school bus would be filled with who-knows-what.  For on Book Day the instructions were to bring a book, and be dressed as your favourite character.

That’s easy, thought I, as I gave Girl Urchin a copy of The Gruffalo; straight from bed to bus, no effort required.  Or they could go together, squabbling as they do, The Twits.  Again not much to do there.

But no, we were usurped.  Horrid Henry it had to be; I’m sure its because the hairbrush could be ignored, as if it wasn’t every day.  And Little Missy morphed into someone called Rosalind, a Jacqueline Wilson creation that also needed a new shirt, in pink.

What a great idea.  It had me thinking, casting my mind back near half a century.  What would we have done, should anyone have dared think out of the box in those days?  Forget Alf Tupper and Roy Race, comics not allowed.  Books only.

Well we had The Nancy Boys and Hardy Drew stuff, and those awful Bobsey Twins were on the shelf, which is probably where I heard of this mysterious stuff called maple syrup.  There were adventures on Secret Islands with Lashings of Ginger Beer, so there might have been some Dicks; and some Georges.  I have vague memories of a couple of nameless lads in spacesuits on a rocket to somewhere.  Brer Rabbit, with his Tar Baby, now that would have taken a bit of work.  Jennings, or Darbyshire?

But I suspect I might have gone for the knee-breeches and stockings, perhaps a frilled shirt, on home soil.  David Balfour might just have had the edge on Jim Hawkins.  In fact as it’s World Book Day maybe we should all be doing as the children are, and spending the day in costume.  Perhaps I’d opt for young Davie yet, if only I could find Catriona.  The ‘young’ bit might be a stretch.  Who said Uncle Ebenezer?

Today Matthew, I’m going to be…..

So who would you have gone to school as way back then?  And who would you be this World Book Day?  It’s quite a thought.

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2 Comments

Filed under On the Bedside Table, Urchins & Joys

2 responses to “‘Twas The Night Before Book Day

  1. Hmmmm? Now there’s a thought! At the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool there’s a kid’s activity room where they can dress up as a character from one of the famous paintings. I always thought they should do that for adults too! Quite fancy being Venus comin out of her shell! Or Psamathe, the goddess of sand, painted by Frederic Leighton, though I’d require a lot more carefully placed drapery! As for book characters…..maybe a wild Cathy Earnshaw, roaming about the windswept moors with acrobatic lapwings ‘peewitting’ above her head…. But definitely NOT Janet from the Janet and John books we had to read at school!!!!!
    Thanks for the interesting interlude Keith! Off to Greece in the campervan Monday. Hope you’re well.

  2. bigsis

    I had the joy of having to do the dressing up thing in school today too -lots of head scratching and rooting about in the drama cupboard. Thought about the Famous Five, quickly dismissed the Bobbsey Twins and settled for Heidi!! Had to wear a label too for a competition the kids were doing “The Hidden Gift” – could have been worse! All in all a great day with lots of happy faces -even in the staff room!!!!!

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