Saturday, 15 March 2008


Suddenly i find myself with open-and-being-read books all over the house;

Michael left one by the sofa which I have moved onto the shelf next to the bath and started re-reading, there is one in the car for such occasions as when I find myself waiting for the school bus or a friend’s plane, another on the pillow next to me in the bed which is the one I would say I was reading if you asked and will be moved before Krissie settles her head there again after her travels of five or six nations in only four weeks and now there is one that is on the desk in front of me- Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman, a collection of “short fictions and wonders”.

I found the book by chance yesterday in a shop that is not famed for its collection of English books but does have them.

The book passed my personal test; front cover looked good (a shiny skeletal leaf), nice title, on the back it said “Let me tell you a story……..” and that seemed promising. Reading further I found “Let me tell you stories of the months of the year, of ghosts and heartbreak….” the inside cover informed me that Neil Gaiman “has spent his adult life making things up and writing them down” and the opening page was so interesting that I read the whole introduction and now have a quartet of on-the-go books.

Here is a part of a poem/fiction contained within, titled Instructions.

“….know that diamonds and roses are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one’s lips as toads and frogs: colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.”

Neil explains in the introduction that these Instructions are “quite literally, a set of instructions for what to do when you find yourself in a fairy tale.”

It seems to link nicely with this picture that Minnie hurriedly rushed off before breakfast. She told me it was an Angel but that she didn’t like her tits. Her brother commented that it was a hairy Angel.

I got to read the Instructions to Minnie at the café after ballet class.

Sometimes when I touch her shoulder blades I can feel that they were once part of her own wings.

Neil Gaiman's Instructions

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