Thursday, 12 March 2015

Buggerance

Buggerance !!

 I didn’t read much as a kid. There was too much going on in my young life, I had little time or need for fantasy in my day. It wasn’t until I started work in the Shipyard at Swan Hunters on the Tyne, in the North East of England, that I discovered the joy of a book.
At 16 years of age I found myself looking for a book to read during  downtime, meals etc. during the work day. Instead of coming off the ship, we’d have our tea breaks and lunch on board ship. Someone (another apprentice ) introduced me to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ – the rest, as they say – is history.
I don’t know when it was that I started reading Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ series. I have a feeling I was first attracted to one of his books by the wonderful ‘Josh Kirby’ illustration on the cover. It may have been ‘The Light fantastic’ it could have been ‘Witches Abroad’. Whatever book it was – I knew I loved these stories, these characters and I wanted more.

“I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"
Death thought about it. CATS, he said eventually. CATS ARE NICE.”
― Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

I, like thousands if not millions of others have waited for each and every episode from the discworld. I have read and re-read each book countless times. Each time seeing something new, realising and delighting in some little joke that Terry was sharing with his readers. Loosing myself in the fantasy comfort blanket that was the discworld.
I was fortunate to meet Terry a couple of times – at book signings of course, when he would share a laugh, sigh your book with some little extra gem. When I was buying a couple of books for my Kids ( Johnny & The Bomb and  The Unadulterated Cat) as well as the latest offering from the Discworld, he wrote wonderful little messages in the covers. They still have these books.

I asked him how he decided on writing the Discworld stories. He told me that he looked into a mirror and they were reflections of reality. I loved that simple yet concise description.

“Studies have shown that an ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant  Grandmother.”
― Terry Pratchett, Reaper Man

A couple of years ago, I was having trouble sleeping. I’d tried all sorts, hot milky drinks, exercise, counting naked pole dancing girls, jumping over my bed. Nothing worked. I then came across an article that said if when you went to bed, you read for 15 minutes - it would help to reset an active mind and help you relax and thus – sleep. Light hearted material was best.  I purchased copies of Terry’s books on my Kindle and each night I read a couple of chapters. I’m happy to tell you it works. Well, it worked for me.
I’m currently re-reading ‘Unseen Academicals’ and sleeping like a baby.
Thanks for the Memories Sir Terry. I hope someone takes up the mantle and carries on the Discworld. It would be sad to leave the lives of our friends like this. Perhaps Sir Terry’s daughter – Rhianna, has already been primed and is ready to take up the crown (well tiara) and continue the legacy?

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