All posts tagged: change

Why You Should Never Read a Book Twice (Unless it’s the Bible)

As a word-hungry kid I was given a book called A Peep Behind the Scenes by Mrs. O. F. Walton (which gives you an idea of just how old it is). The novel had a wonderful storyline following a girl who danced as part of a circus with all its colour and energy. Generally, I only read a book once and as a result A Peep Behind The Scenes remained on a literary pedestal in my mind. I raved about it. I recommended it. I heaped accolades on that author. That was until a few years ago when I picked it from the bookshelf and thought I’d revisit the narrative of my youth. Silly idea. It was nothing like I remembered, certainly not the punchy, exciting storyline preserved in my mind. I didn’t even bother finishing it – just flicked through a few chapters and returned it to the shelf. I’m sure you know the feeling. Like visiting the home of your childhood, everything is distorted by a younger perspective. You remember the ceilings being higher, the …

“His Friends Said He’d Fail if He Tried…”

In John Mayer’s latest album there’s a fantastical tune about a man who tinkers in his basement. That’s not the incredible bit. He was building himself a submarine from bits and bobs and finally launched it into the tide to open the hatch days later in Tokyo. “With the will to work hard and a library card, He took a homemade, fan blade, one-man submarine ride.” It’s not true. The song’s called Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967 and, while no such man crops up in history books, countless men and women have done what this fictional character did in Mr Mayer’s imaginings. They accomplished the impossible. “His wife told his kids he was crazy, And his friends said he’d fail if he tried…” Success stories spring from those who dare to question the status quo. I watched a sad documentary recently called The Truth About Child Brides, focusing in particular on the illegal but prolific custom of marrying girls off as young as six in countries like India. The girls, usually married to adult …