Sunday, 18 March 2012

Famous Five Adventure Games and old school Usborne Puzzle Adventures

We didn't actually read any of these today. In fact, we didn't read much of anything today, save the obligatory chapter of Beast Quest for C and Mr M's nightly chapter of Harry Potter for A. I was roundly told off earlier for saying to C "Let's go and read a book because Mummy's hardly written any blog posts for March so far". Surely, chided Mr M, the blog should come from the reading rather than the reading happening because of the blog." Quite right too.

So, anyway, today was Mothering Sunday. MIL and I had our obligatory slightly dead daffodils at Mass this morning. I had two gorgeous cards, slightly dog-eared from their journey home in the book bags of the respective children. A's was full of effusive praise for my parenting skills. C's was full of thanks for time spent on the Wii and lunch. Priorities...

We spent the day, as we so often do on Sunday, with Mr M's parents who live relatively nearby. MIL made a lovely Sunday lunch. The kids ate chocolate beanies and watched Boomerang. We played a few rounds of Count Your Chickens, my Mother's Day present from MIL and the kids. It was possibly the most frustrating game we have ever played in our lives, as setting up the chicken was an extremely difficult and fiddly task, out of the technological comfort zones of all of the grown-ups present, let alone the children. It is a testament to the general good-natured mood of the day that said game did not go hurtling out of the window after about half an hour of "play", involving attempting to balance a plastic chicken onto its incredibly precarious nest.

In the evening MIL and I took A and C for a walk in the local park to get some of that fabulous turn-of-the-season fresh air. It was pretty much a perfect day.

I had two childhood homes that I can recall; one until I was 11 and the other that we lived in until I left home at 22. My childhood bedroom is no longer in the family, so to speak. The smallest bedroom at Mr M's final childhood home, feels like the closest thing to my childhood bedroom. I was 21 when it became "my"room when I went to stay at the house. It's a lovely cosy little room, and the very best thing about it is that the bed is right next to the radiator. When you are cold and want to snuggle up with a book, it's warm as toast and comforting like a lovely comfy jumper, especially if you take a cuppa up with you. A has now claimed it as her room, C preferring the room where the toys are now kept. Sometimes I go up, and there she is, snuggled in "my" bed with a book and a drink. I snuck up there for a nap on Christmas day; not telling her where I was going, lest she got territorial.

There is a book shelf in the room, and it holds an eclectic selection of old books that belong to Mr M and his brothers, random acquisitions of mine which have been brought to Granny's house and never found their way home, and books MIL has bought for the A and C over the years. They have their favourites at Granny's as they do at home. Currently in vogue are the Usborne Puzzle Adventures, the ones before they were modernized with the wonderful illustrations by the late, great Stephen Cartwright, who will always be my favourite Usborne artist. Granny's help is often required in solving these.

One Sunday A found a Famous Five Adventure Game book. My brother and I had two of these books when we were kids, and they were one of my most exciting finds in WHSmith EVER. You had a book, a dice (with each of the characters on it) and various cards such as a picnic hamper and compass. You had to use your cards to help you to work out clues along the way, and then turn to the correct page, like a choose your own adventure but much, much more fun. I absolutely loved mine, and was ridiculously excited when A came downstairs clutching The Whispering Island game book. It is fair to say that she tired of it quickly, not having experienced the delights of the intrepid five yet. I, however, sat on the floor quite happily for a couple of hours, until I had solved the mystery. Happy memories. The only trouble with the books is that they were horrendously badly made, and pages used to fall out at random. This one was in very good condition, but I would not be confident buying one second-hand in case there was a vital page or card missing.

I am hoping that one day, the kids will grow into this and get as much pleasure from the book as I did. However, if they don't, I may just have to sneak up to "my" old bed with a cuppa and the book, and read it again myself.

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