Mr Tim Burton

I get quite giddy just saying his name.  Love, love, love this man's work.  The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands...I could go on and on. 

I love his world - the creepy, dank, grey-tone world that is somehow entirely wonderful and makes me so want to visit.  I secretly dream that one day I will find a circle of trees in a wood with doors to each of the holiday worlds... Actually, that's not really much of a secret.

One of my favourite books is his "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories" - in no small part because it brought about the following exchange between No.2 Son (aged about 5 at the time) and his Grandma.

No.2 Son:  "I like poems."
Grandma:  "Do you sweetheart, which is your favourite?"
No.2 Son:  "The Boy with Nails in His Eyes".
Grandma:  "Ah."

Derren Brown
Not even going to attempt to fill this space with any so-called 'facts' since the weirdy-beardy wizard only
tells us what he wants us to know! And how much of that is simply the product of his entirely deranged imagination?
Who knows? Who, I ask you, knows?
And should we believe them?

Anyway - he's brilliant, he's entertaining, he's easy on the eye and ear. He can paint. His books make me laugh out loud. His television programmes thrill and befuddle me in equal measure.
I love the way his explanations make perfect sense all the while he's saying them, but just when I think I've understood - pouf - it makes no sense any more. (Or perhaps that's just me. Whatever ... I like it).
But - of all his talents - what I love the most is the kindness of the man. It's apparent in his dealings with the people on his shows. He never humiliates or makes anyone look like a fool.
Admirable in so many ways - ladies and gentlemen . . . the Marvellous Mr Derren Brown.

My first entry (although where he'll end up is anybody's guess) is the fantastically marvellous and brilliant Harpo Marx.
I love all the brothers, but he is easily My Favourite and My Best.
I saw my first Marx Brothers film when I was about 12 or 13 years old - there was a season of them on one of the only four channels we had then.

I totally fell for his goofing around.  And then when he played his harp......*sigh*
I feel compelled to dig out my copy of 'Harpo Speaks!'

Lauren Child - maker of magical books that children and adults love to read.
I love her mixture of illustration and fabrics, I love her ideas, 
I love the way she writes.  Dammit, I wish I was her. 

Current favourite book of mine - That Pesky Rat.

Christabel Bielenberg 1909-2003

Christabel  Burton Bielenberg was an Englishwoman who, after marrying a German law student  in 1934, lived in Germany throughout WWII.
Her book, ‘The Past Is Myself’, recounts her experiences of life (as an anti-Nazi) during this time.

I am entirely awestruck by her honesty, bravery, love of family, resourcefulness, good humour and intelligence.  And endlessly grateful for her insights into German life.

And her life was certainly remarkable.   After coming to the attention of the Gestapo - when their  friend,  Adam von Trott du Solz, was executed for his part in the July 1944 plot against Hitler - Christabel’s husband, Peter, was arrested and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp. 
Incredibly, Christabel took herself to Gestapo Headquarters to plead for her husband – managing to convince the officer of Peter’s political innocence.
But there really is so much more to this story.   
Please, please, please, please read Christabel Bielenberg’s book ,‘The Past is Myself’.
She truly is...one of my Heroes.


  1. Wow! Thanks for, well, many things but for now thanks for introducing me to Derren Browns paintings. What a brilliant artist. Judi Dench might disagree though, he made her look a little alien there.

    1. I agree with you re JD. Think he was a bit hard on himself, too. But, hey, that's art innit? One mans meat...and all that. (That sounds a bit rude, doesn't it? Sorry)x

  2. Amazingly you can download Christabel Bielenberg's book on Kindle, it also comes with The Road Ahead. Thanks for this, it will be my next read, I will let you know how I get on.

  3. Two of my favourite books! I really hope you love them. I'll have to re-read them so we can have a proper discussion :) xxx