Sophia Money Coutts Wikipedia, Books, Comedian, Telegraph, Wiki, School, Twitter
Sophia Money Coutts Wikipedia, Books, Comedian, Telegraph, Wiki, School, Twitter – The first book I can recall receiving was A Ladybird Guide to the Royal Family. I don’t know why it was thought important for a four-year-old child to equip herself with knowledge of the monarchy, but I do recall waking up from an afternoon nap at my grandparents’ house in Kent to find a copy of the book being shoved into my small hands by an adult.
I attribute my eventual crush on Prince William to this book, as well as the belief that I would marry him when I was far too old (about 16 or 17). It was a fantastical idea, but isn’t that one of the greatest pleasures of a book—its capacity to inspire our imaginations? As a kid, I couldn’t have explained that. I only knew that I adored reading as an escape.
My parent’s divorce and my misery at school were diverted by books. I was irrationally envious of Eloise for having a pug and a turtle and living in a hotel. I despaired of having a flying broomstick like Mildred Hubble’s in The Worst Witch and despised that whiny, obsessive hair-brusher.
According to a writer friend who recently released a contemporary book set in a Swiss boarding school, youngsters are especially drawn to boarding stories because they are safe fantasy worlds without parents (with the exception of the occasional Voldemort). After marrying Prince William, my second life goal—and one made possible by Malory Towers—was to eat a midnight feast.
The majority of the books on my bedside table were vintage volumes that belonged to my mother before me, including copies of Just William with yellowed pages and loose, hard red covers.
Enid Blyton’s picnics with their pork pies, jam tarts, and Aunt Fanny’s scones were a welcome diversion for me as a tubby child who, according to one family member, “ate” my way through the divorce proceedings.
Another thing I learned painfully late in life was that ginger beer isn’t alcoholic. Even so, at least it wasn’t a real war; my parents and their solicitors were engaged in a conflict. In Goodnight Mister Tom, another of my childhood favourites, Young William had it even worse. I was both intrigued and scared by the thought of stitching somebody into their vest and trousers. How did he use the loo?
When I was in boarding school myself, I had a crush on Bill Bryson that rivalled Prince William’s. For a teenage girl from the Home Counties, a middle-aged, whiskery American might seem like an odd option, but I had fallen in love with his writing.
His account of being dragged to the toilet by his enraged landlady at a Dover B&B and shown a small floater that hadn’t flushed away had readers of Notes From A Small Island fascinated from the outset.
I continued to read all of his books after that, chuckling in my dorm room at Bill’s (he won’t mind if I call him Bill) tales about Australia, his unfit friend Stephen Katz’s Appalachian Trail hike, and the protracted car rides he took as a young American.
His brand of comedy has always made me smile, and it still does now. I also keep a copy of one of his novels next to my bed for those worrying moments at three in the morning.
Little girls will dress up in their mother’s high heels and lipstick as they pretend to be adults. Around this time, I also began removing Mum’s thrillers from the bookcases at home and bringing them to school in an effort to appear more mature.