Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sunday Scribblings - "Talisman"

The Talisman is one of my most favourite books EVER, by Stephen King and Peter Straub. It’s a fabulous adventure/fantasy/horror epic that has as its protagonist a young tweenager, Jack Sawyer. You might think that, with the hero being a 12-year-old boy, it’s meant for young readers – or at least that it’s “young adult” fiction. Not a bit of it! But it’s completely riveting... the basic storyline is that Jack has to save his mother, who is dying of cancer, by finding the magic jewel, the Talisman. His adventures in this world and its parallel, the “Territories”, form the basis of this novel – although “adventures” is really too mild a word for the dangers that Jack goes through. (For a more in-depth review of the plot, check this out: The Talisman.

The storyline might have been developed by both King and Straub, but if you ask me, the writing is entirely King – and vintage King at that. Purely out of curiosity (“how good would this guy have to be for Stephen King to hook up with him”), I looked up a book by Peter Straub, but I have to say I found it very hard going. It just wasn’t my kind of interesting. I guess my curiosity was resolved, though - the answer to my question being “not all THAT good”.

If you haven’t read The Talisman, I suggest you do – it’s a brilliant book and will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you’re anything like me, you’ll end up reading faster and faster just to see what happens at the end, and then bitterly regret it when the book does come to an end! Be warned, it’s not all happy endings, because Stephen King does not hesitate when it comes to sacrificing characters that you like very much... but it’s also not a down-and-out tragedy.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

A hairy tale

I’ve personally always preferred to keep my hair at a medium length, just short of touching my shoulders, and that’s the way it’s been ever since I could afford to go to a hairdresser by myself. It’s been shorter than that sometimes, but never longer. It’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve grown my hair out to over shoulder-length, simply because my husband has begged me to not cut it short. As with most men - especially those who don’t have hair any more - he thinks that long hair is beautiful.

The one advantage of having long(ish) hair is that I don’t need to get it cut as often - although, as my hairdresser said to me the other day, leaving it untouched for nearly 5 months is very uncool and does my hair no favours. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

So, as I was saying, any time I mention the words “hair-cut” in Pete’s hearing, he puts on his most puppyish face and begs me (he dare not warn me! Haha) not to give in to my instinct for short hair. It makes me feel quite gleeful (more than I should admit to publicly, I think!) to torment him saying that I’m going to lop off 6 inches and get it to chin-length.

Anyway, last Saturday I decided that I WOULD get my hair trimmed as it was looking very definitely straggly and split-endy. With Pete’s usual exhortations ringing in my ears, I instructed my hairdresser to only trim as much hair as was required to get it into shape. This turned out to be about 2 inches off the ends and somewhat less off the layers, so that the longest part of my hair now falls to just short of my shoulder-blades.

I went home fully expecting that Pete would immediately notice how much shorter my hair was and would shed tears of sorrow at the loss of the length. I suppose should have known better - he’s only a man, after all.
Pete: “Didn’t you get your hair cut?”
Me: “Of course I did! See?” turning my back to him so that he could check my hair out.
Pete: “It looks longer now.”
Me: “What???
Pete, looking pleased: “Yeah, it looks longer.”
Me: “....”

Next time, buster, it’s going to be the full 6 inches. We’ll see if you still think it looks longer after cutting than before. Men!!! Grrrr...