Sunday, 10 March 2013

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning

When I was five years old, my Mom bought a book for me and my brother, Alex. We were on holidays at the time, staying in a small, cosy lodging near the sea side. My brother and I shared a room, and one night my Mom, after a short bout of shopping, arrived home with a present for us, something to quell the boredom that a seaside holiday in Ireland can bring to two young, fidgety children: a book. Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning, to be exact.

I don't know how much of that is true. I have a an awful memory. I may have made half of that up, conjuring up a romantic image from tattered patches of my childhood. One way or another, we somehow acquired Snicket's book, the first in a series of thirteen that would follow me through out my youth until I was eleven.

Now, being five years old at the time, my reading abilities were a tad sub-par for the task of reading such a book. Luckily, my Dad happily stepped in to read to us, my brother and I, a chapter a night before bed. This nightly ritual would carry on into my life, even when I was old enough to eagerly devour the books myself, because my Dad didn't just read to us. He would narrate Snicket's tale with extraordinary ease, his voice flowing over each sentence, each word, each full stop like they were criss-crossing streets and he had walked them countless times. Never stuttering, never quavering.

That's probably not true as well. I'm probably romanticising these memories, looking back at them with misty, nostalgic filters.

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