(OK, I finally worked out how I’m going to handle this whole Photo-a-Day thing, and how I’m going to handle it is, I’m going to just keep posting the photos on Instagram, and then blog about the ones I really like, or which have a story to them, or something. That way you don’t have to look at 365 blurry photos of the sky, and I don’t end up writing 20,000 words about them, but I still get to document my life in photos, and also get some really lazy blog content into the bargain. And I probably WILL still write 20,000 words about them, just so’s you know.)
So! A couple of weeks ago, Terry surprised me with the news that he had bought us tickets to see the Counting Crows for my birthday this year.
(They’re not actually playing on my birthday, or even anywhere near it. Rude of them, actually.)
Now, I know it’s not trendy to like Counting Crows, but luckily I don’t give a crap about being trendy, because I LOVE them. I discovered them back when I was a tortured journalist (as opposed to being a tortured blogger, obviously. “Older, not wiser” has been the motto of my life.), and I couldn’t help but notice they were singing the story of my life, which is all about love, and loss and, er, growing up in a small town on the east coast of America, and then moving to L.A. in search of a dream that is never realised. So, you know, maybe not EXACTLY my life, but whatever: I RELATED.
(I just realised that describing myself as a “tortured journalist”, might have been misleading. I meant that I was tortured emotionally, obviously. I wasn’t, like, John McCarthy or anything. Glad to have cleared that up.)
Anyway, I love Counting Crows, is what I’m trying to say. So when Terry told me he’d bought us tickets to see them, my first thought was, “YAY! Counting Crows! I bet Adam Duritz will notice me in the crowd, recognise me as his number 1 fan, and pull me up on stage, to join him in a quick rendition of Mr Jones. Awesome!”
(And now I’ve made it sound like I stalk Adam Duritz or something. I don’t. I’m not allowed to, ever since the restraining order.)
My second thought was, “Hmmm. Maybe I should get some singing lessons, just in case.”
And then my third thought? Well, obviously my THIRD thought was, “OMG, what will I WEAR?”
Things like this, you see, present me with my biggest fashion dilemmas ever. (Yes, it took me a while to get us back on topic, but I got there in the end…) The fact is that my wardrobe is sadly lacking in clothes of a practical nature. If you want me to go out to dinner (in the 1950s), accompany you to a bar (in the 1950s), or attend a wedding, say (in the 1950s, natch), I will be able to pull something out of that closet without even having to think about it. But if you ask me to go on a hike, or on a coastal walk, or to help you weed your garden (Note: never ask me to help you garden. I will cut you.), I’m out. I’m not joking: the “practical” section of my wardrobe boils down to either:
So, if you were to ask me to help you move house, say, I’d turn up looking like I was going to either run a marathon or climb Everest. Or I’d turn up dressed like a pin-up girl, obviously. None of these would really be appropriate for that particular activity, and none of them will be appropriate for a rock concert either. I mean, if we were in the seated area, that would fine. I’d just go with the pin-up option. But we’re standing. The last time I was in the standing area at a concert was at Bob Dylan in 2011. “It’ll be fine,” I thought. “It’ll be a bunch of old hippies, all flashing V signs and swinging their beads and stuff.” Yeah, not so much. Someone stamped on my toe so hard I seriously thought it was broken (And, indeed, the toenail died. Sad for it.), and … actually, no, sorry, I can’t talk about the Other Things that happened that night. It’s too soon.
What I’m trying to say here, then, is that not even I would wear stilettos and a sundress for something like this. I need shoes that can be stamped on. Clothes that I can fight dance in. A comfortable, practical outfit that will allow me to be on my feet for several hours, in the middle of a probably violent crowd, without my feet hurting, or, well, my dress getting creased. Because I would HATE IT if my dress got creased.
At the end of the day, though, I’m still not prepared to give up my heels, so I bought these:
They’re biker boots. But they have a little heel! They are TOTALLY not my usual style, but they’re super-comfortable, and I think they’ll protect my toes if someone tries to break them again. As for what I’ll wear WITH them… my thought-process hasn’t extended that far. I’m sure I’ll work it out, though. Probably the morning after the concert, knowing my luck.
Because I’m the kind of person who puts a pretty, bokeh effect on the photo of her concert ticket, though, and to go some way towards combating the whole BIKER thing, I also bought these:
(excuse crappy, low-light iPhone photo…)
And the balance of the universe was restored. WHEW.
Without R.E.M., my adolescence would have been different. Without Automatic for the People, I would never have known the joy of being a whiny, introspective emo kid, who shut herself into her bedroom all day to listen to music and write lyrics in her journal. I would maybe also have had a boyfriend, rather than saving myself for a probably-gay rock star, but hey, them’s the breaks. In retrospect, modelling myself on Michael Stipe probably wasn’t the best move in terms of my already shaky high-school reputation, but I did it, and let’s face it: I would probably do it again.
Without Reveal, my first summer with Terry would’ve been different, too. It was the soundtrack to that summer, in the same way that the R.E.M. back catalogue became the soundtrack to various other stages of my life, after I’d gone out and tracked down every single thing they’d ever released, and arranged them in chronological order in my bedroom.
In my last year of high school, I had to do a creative writing course as part of my English mark, and I decided to be a little brat about it. For one thing, I refused to allow anyone to read my stuff. (To this day, the only people who ever read those stories – with the exception of one of them, which I grudgingly allowed my teacher to see – are the examiners who marked them.), and for another, I announced that I COULD NOT BE CREATIVE unless I was listening to music AT ALL TIMES. Then I tried to flounce from the course in protest at the OMGHORROR that was being inflicted upon me. (You would’ve hated me as a teenager, seriously. If you think I’m bad now, you should read my journals from my R.E.M. stage…) To my absolute amazement, the school called my bluff on this, and I was allowed to sit in class listening to R.E.M and Smashing Pumpkins on my headphones (Yes! I was the bitch with the tinny headphone music! If I could go back in time and slap myself, I would. And not just for that, either.), and I extended this to listening to those bands (and some others) at all other times, too. I would wake up in the morning and switch on the stereo before I did anything else. I would walk to school with my earphones in, and I wouldn’t take them out until I was back home, at which point it was back to the stereo. My parents realised they were powerless to stop this: all they could do was beg me not to play THAT Kristen Hersh album more than once per day. (During this time, I also converted my parents to R.E.M. They gave in at the point where they realised they knew all the songs anyway, having been forced to listen to them approximately 3,986,285 times in any given week.)
I sometimes miss those days, when my life was seeped in music, and I felt like I couldn’t function without it. Life is quieter now. I can’t concentrate on writing if there’s music playing (I listen too hard and start typing out the lyrics. That’s probably what I did in my creative writing class, now I come to think of it.), and because I’m writing more or less all the time, music has become relegated to in the car, when I’m out running (which doesn’t happen very often at the moment) and occasional other times. And that makes me sad.
In my second year of university, R.E.M came to Edinburgh. None of my friends would come to see them (The concert was during the summer, and most of them had gone home. And also, they hated them.), so I got up at the crack of dawn one morning and stood in a phone box on South Bridge Street, dialling and redialling the ticket hotline until I finally got through and secured a ticket. (I have no idea why I did this, by the way: I mean, we had a phone in the flat? I think it might have been that I had an early lecture, and that was the closest phone, but that would mean I was actually ATTENDING early morning lectures at that point and, well, let’s just say that doesn’t sound like me after first year.)
The concert was on one of those rare, blazing hot summer days. I got the train into the city early, and got myself a spot near the stage, where I proceeded to have my scalp burnt to a crisp by the sun for the hours that I waited there patiently. I remember I had planned this so badly that not only had I failed to bring sunscreen, I’d also failed to bring a book, or anything else to pass the time. So I just sat there with my thoughts. If I’d been a normal person, this story would end with me bonding with my fellow R.E.M. fans and forming lifelong friendships with them, but I was too shy, so I just sat there and hoped no one would try to speak to me. It was worth it, though. The support act was Belly (who I also loved), and during their set, Michael Stipe just casually walked out onto the stage, a few feet away from me.
I. ALMOST. DIED.
When the band came on, the crowd surged forward, and the crush was too much for me to survive at the front of the stage for a full concert, so I wormed my way out and went to get a drink. And when I came back, they played So. Central Rain, which was – and is – one of my favourite tracks of theirs (Did you never call? I waited on your call. These rivers of suggestion are driving me away…) and I danced on my own at the edge of the crowd and felt completely happy, and only a little bit self-conscious.
As I said on Twitter yesterday, I’m glad they waited until now to break up. If it had happened in my teens, or my early twenties, I don’t think I’d have handled it well. I imagine the band all sitting around a table saying, “No, no, we can’t break up NOW: Amber’s still too young (mentally). We’ll have to wait until she leaves high school. Until she leaves university. Until she gets married. Until… you know, we can’t wait forever here: let’s just do it.”
And so they did, and I’m a little sad. But at least I still have all of those CDs, arranged in chronological order…
(I also know that Michael Stipe still loves me, really, even although he rejected my Facebook friends request that one time. Here’s how I know:
RUBIN HAT! And OK, it’s really a panda. But at least he’s trying, you know?)
I LOVE scary movies. They’re my favourite kind, in fact. Not gore movies, you understand. I’m not keen on blood and guts and all that kind of thing, but give me a creepy old house with a mysterious secret and I will be ALL OVER IT like a particularly bad rash.
(The “mysterious old house with a dark secret” thing is my favourite fiction genre too, as Terry’s holiday journal from last year testifies.)
The thing about that, though, is that I’m an absolute baby about scary movies. Sure, I’ve gotten better over the past few years, probably because I’ve seen so many of the things now, but from time to time I will still end up scaring myself silly in the name of entertainment. And it turns out that this week was one of those times.
“You know,” I thought to myself on Friday night, “I don’t think I have enough on my plate this week, what with the impending holiday, the two months worth of content I still have to write before I can leave, the non-stop fighting with people who keep stealing my work… Why, I think I will add a good dose of Scaring Myself Stupid to the burden I have to carry right now!”
(NOTE: I’ve put the rest of this post under a jump because there may be spoilers. I’ve done my best to be vague, and I don’t think I’ve given too much away, but if you’re planning to see the movie, you may want to avoid this one.)
I don’t watch much TV. Well, other than Neighbours, obviously. So when I started reading a lot of hype about a singer called Susan Boyle, who’d appeared on Britain’s Got Talent and apparently blown everyone away, I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. By now I’m pretty used to the fact that when I go out in public I don’t follow about 80% of the conversations that go on around me, because they’re all about The Apprentice, or some other show I don’t watch, so I just assumed this was another example of Stuff That Goes Right Over My Head.
But then I read that Susan comes from Blackburn, which is just a few miles from here. This was more interesting, so I clicked on a link and saw a picture of her. “Wait a minute,” I thought. “I’m sure I recognise this woman.” And I did.
Way back in the mists of time, when I was a reporter for The West Lothian Herald & Post, the paper (along with one of the local community councils) put together a CD called Music for a Millenium Celebration: The Sounds of West Lothian, which featured music from people around the area – everything from pipe bands to girl groups. I didn’t have much to do with this, but I did, at the time, have a weekly column called… wait for it… “Amber’s Reviews”, so it fell to me to review the finished CD. Our editor, Eddie Anderson, had organised the whole thing, and as it all progressed, he kept talking about this one woman who really stood out. And when he gave me the CD for my review, I totally understood why he’d been so impressed. I just went and dug out the CD, and Terry put the Susan Boyle track from it onto You Tube, so if you want to hear it for yourself, here’s the link. (Not sure if You Tube will allow this to stay up, so if it dissapears, sorry.)
(For those all of you who can’t be bothered reading the whole thing I wrote:
I met Susan a few weeks later at the launch for the CD, and was really struck by her humility: she thanked me profusely for the review, and seemed genuinely amazed that people loved her voice so much. I can only imagine what she must be feeling now that she’s all over the news, but as you can see from the video of her on the show, which I finally got round to watching today, the attention is well deserved. It’s also a pretty cool thing for this part of the country, because Leon Jackson, who won the X-Factor a couple of years ago, also comes from around here (from my home town, in fact). So it may be Bandit Country, but damn, we got us some good singers…
Well, would you look at that: looks like I DIDN’T find anything other than my birthday surprises to write about this week after all! Let’s just pretend I did, OK? I won’t tell if you don’t…
Anyway, as I mentioned last week, I was a little apprehensive about what “Rubin’s Surprise” was going to turn out to be because… well, he likes to pee recently. Mostly in places he shouldn’t, and by “places he shouldn’t” I mean “on the radiator in the office”. When I turned around from my busy, important work today, though, and saw this:
I relaxed a little. I mean, I don’t think even Rubin would gift-wrap pee, although you never really know with him. As you can see, though, he’d gone to a not inconsiderable amount of effort here:
So I decided to risk unwrapping it, and here’s what I found:
Aww, books about doggies! He must have had to save up his pocket money for ages to buy those! And now I need to go and finish my work so I can read them…
First up: I got another haircut. Yes I did. But! But! This haircut, it was a good haircut. Well, it wasn’t a bad haircut, anyway. Terry’s reaction: “It looks exactly the same as it did before.” Money well spent, then, although the hairdresser was gratifyingly horrified by the remnants of The Mullet . Also, both she and the girl who washed my hair said it was a lovely colour, and even although I know they say that to everyone, I still thought, “Ha! Take THAT, ginger haterz! Take that and party!”
Ear worms are those annoying little songs that get stuck in your head. Sometimes they are the last song you hear on the radio before you go into the office, sometimes they just randomly pop in.
1. What is a common ear worm that you get?
I don’t think I have a common one (i.e. one that I get again and again), but the one I have right now, and have had ALL FREAKING WEEK, and also THE WEEK BEFORE THAT TOO is “Daddy’s Gone” by Glasvegas. Seriously, this song is in my head AT ALL TIMES right now and there is nothing I can do to shake it. Nothing. And this Friday Five isn’t really helping much, to be honest.
2. How long do they last?
This one? About two weeks and counting. GOD.
3. What do you do to get rid of them?
Well, I try to listen to something else, obviously. But then I get into the car and Terry puts on the Ear Worm, and that’s that.
4. What is the worse ear worm you’ve ever had?
Terry likes Meatloaf. ‘Nuff said.
5. Do you get some guilty pleasure in passing the ear worm along?
No, but Terry does. In fact, if Terry knows I have an Ear Worm, he will try to encourage it. Or he will try to replace it with Meatloaf. Actually, I really hope he doesn’t read this…
As always, feel free to answer on your own blog, or in the comments. And if you don’t want to do the whole thing, at least tell me what your current Ear Worm is, so I can finally get rid of “Daddy’s Gone”…
As some of you already know, because Terry and I never really grew up and left our student days behind us, the absolute highlight of our day is the 1.45pm broadcast of Neighbours. Don’t judge us until you’ve tried it and you, too, find yourself lying awake at night troubled by such questions as “Who will buy number 26?” and “How does Carmella do that thing with her mouth?”
Anyway, like the Famous Five before it, it recently came to my attention that there is many a life lesson to be learned from Australian soap operas, so,, just in case you’re unfortunate enough to be at work while it’s on, here they are:
One doctor is more than enough to cater to the medical needs of an entire community.
Most suburban Australian homes have an unlimited amount of bedrooms, so even although from the outside they look like they have four bedrooms max, they will comfortably accommodate two, sometimes three families.
This is lucky, because most of them actually DO contain two or three families.
Still only one doctor, though!
If you ever decide to talk about someone behind their back, they will almost always turn out to have been standing just behind the open door, listening.
When you walk into a house, it is absolutely fine to just leave the front door wide open, by the way. Nothing bad will happen because of this.
No, the real threat comes from fire, plane crashes and minor explosions, so watch out for those.
Lucky you’ve got that doctor on hand, eh?
In every suburban street, at least two people will be suffering from memory loss at any given time.
Often, this is due to a brain tumour.
Don’t worry about brain tumours, though: they are rarely fatal, and the operation to remove them will leave you with only one small sticking plaster on the side of your head.
Oh, and memory loss, obviously.
Your brain tumour will be removed by the same doctor who delivered your baby, amputated your leg (which you lost in the last major explosion) and treated your head cold.
Not the same doctor who prescribed you the drugs you ended up getting addicted to that time, though: that was just a fake doctor.
Your new neighbour will always have a dark secret.
You will find out what this secret is by listening at the open door of their house one day.
If the new neighbours have twins, the dark secret is that one of them is evil.
All sets of twins are governed by this good/evil rule.
This makes life really, really difficult, because identical twins are SO alike that not even their parents can tell them apart. Seriously.
So if a twin ever stars doing Bad Stuff (and a twin will, trust me), you should work on the assumption that it is the OTHER twin who is actually responsible.
But listen at their open door anyway, to be sure of this.
When your children decide to leave the quiet, yet intensely interesting, neighbourhood in which you live, you will never see them again, ever.
Not even if you get a brain tumour, have to have something amputated, have another child, re-marry, or die.
All of these things are likely to happen to you, so again, it’s a good job you’ve got that doctor on hand.
Don’t worry, though, because most children don’t move out of the neighbourhood: they just move into one of the houses next door. (See rule 2: unlimited bedrooms)
If they don’t do this, and actually do chose to leave the area altogether, don’t worry: give it a few weeks and you will soon have a bunch of totally new children living with you, that you just took in out of the kindness of your heart.
Most suburban families are happy to take relative strangers into their homes, even if there are lots of them, plus animals.
Speaking of animals, though, don’t worry too much about these either, because if you DO decide to get an animal – a sheep, say – you will hardly ever have to see it.
This is also true of babies and small children, interestingly enough.
Sometimes your child will go away for some reason (school trip/ visit to brother or sister who moved out of state / kidnapped by evil twin, etc) and return with a completely different face.
Say nothing about this: and be aware that it may happen again at any time.
Kidnapping can happen to anyone, and often does.
The kidnapped person is always returned safely to their family (although sometimes with a different face), so if the kidnapped person is you, try to chill.
All kidnapped persons are taken to a caravan in the bush.
Although this experience is traumatic, you will get over it pretty quickly – like, within a day or two.
This is true of all major traumas, even plane crashes and explosions.
If someone is missing, presumed dead, they won’t be.
They will always turn up again years later, so if the missing person was your husband or wife, and you remarried in the meantime, that’s going to be awkward, huh?
Although not really, because the missing person will undoubtedly have suffered memory loss – or you will have.
And most people marry four or five times in their lives anyway, so like plane crashes and brain tumours, it’s no biggie.
All of the major dramas of your life will be played out in a coffee shop.
Don’t bother to order coffee/food, though, because if you do, you will always have to leave seconds after it arrives.
Normally to go to the hospital, which everyone in your street will have reason to visit at least once every week.
So it’s a good idea to get to know that friendly neighbourhood doctor!
If there are any I’ve missed (and I’m sure there are), feel free to add them…
When I was a child, I was addicted to The Famous Five books, by Enid Blyton. To this day, I cannot drink ginger beer or explore a network of secret underground passages without thinking about good old Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy the dog. I loved Enid Blyton’s other books, too (The Adventure Series was my favourite, although there is also a special place in my heart for The Magic Faraway Tree) and, to the horror of my friends and family, I will occasionally re-read these books if it’s been a particularly long, hard winter and I’m in need of some comfort reading. I recommend it. Not only will you be swept away into a world of crazy smugglers and sinister old castles, but you will also learn some important life lessons, such as:
1. All underground caves have a stream running through them. If you find yourself trapped in one (by smugglers, natch), all you have to do is follow the stream to the place where it breaks ground, and you will be freed.
2. You will almost always end up trapped in an underground cave during the “hols”, so you better have been paying attention to point 1.
3. Don’t worry, though – your faithful dog or other animal friend will guide you through the dark, winding tunnels to safety if the underground stream thing doesn’t work out.
4. If you don’t have a handy animal, the circus folk camping near you will lend you one.
5. There will always be circus folk camping near you.
6. Some of them will secretly be smugglers, though.
7. About those tunnels… If your animal friend has been, say, poisoned by the smugglers/circus folk, you should unwind a ball of string or make chalk markings on the walls as you walk, so that you can find your way out again.
8. You will use your torch to see these chalk markings/bits of string
9. You do HAVE a torch on you at all times, don’t you?
10. While escaping from the smugglers, remember to always observe regular meal times, even if you are underground/in grave danger.
11. It’s OK: you will always discover a bag of Barley Sugar and some potted meat sandwiches in your pocket.
12. Right next to the notebook and pencil that you carry with you AT ALL TIMES.
13. Friendly farm folks that you meet on your travels will supply the barely sugar, potted meat and also: ginger beer. You’ll have to supply the pencil and notebook yourself, though.
14. Ginger beer cures almost every ill.
15. And while we’re on the subject: food that you eat outdoors always tastes SO MUCH BETTER, don’t you think?
16. If the people you meet along the way have slightly ridiculous names, they can probably be trusted. Examples: Nobby, Fanny, Dimmy. (No offence to anyone called Nobby or Fanny, by the way. If your first name is ‘Dimmy’, though, well, good luck to you.)
17. If the people you meet along the way are crazy old men who warn you to NEVER GO NEAR THE OLD CASTLE AT NIGHTFALL, you should wait until nightfall and then go there immediately.
18. Not if you’re a girl, though. If you’re a girl you should remain at home, preparing a slap up dinner for the hungry adventurers, with lashings and lashings of ginger beer and some delicious ices for afters. Remember: you may like to think that you’re “as good as a boy” any day, but you’re really not.
19. But back to those smugglers…
20. Don’t worry too much about the smugglers, because most arch villains are relatively harmless.
21. I mean, they may tie you up and leave you in an underground cave (in fact, they almost certainly will), but they will not otherwise lay a finger on you.
22. You’ll be able to use your penknife to cut the ropes that bind you and escape by the light of your torch, though.
23. What do you mean, there’s no room for a penknife in your pocket, what with all the ginger beer, torches, notebooks and barley sugars?
24. OK, the monkey will carry the penknife for you.
25. You WILL encounter a monkey at some point in your adventure.
26. Thank goodness all monkeys are friendly, eh?
27. Also: all dogs can climb ladders. Which is lucky, because how else will you get down into the caves?
28. All islands and castles have a dark secret.
29. It normally involves smugglers.
30. As soon as you arrive at the sinister old castle you will be holidaying at, you should seek out the secret passage. This will save you a lot of time later.
31. The secret passage is located behind a sliding panel which you will find either in your bedroom or in the library
32. Every building has a secret passage. And a library, come to think of it.
33. The secret passage leads to underground caves.
34. Which are used by smugglers.
35. So you better have paid attention to point 1, eh?
(P.S. I know this entry will only make sense to fellow Enid Blyton fans, and to Erin, who inspired it, but if you are one, this is the funniest article ever….)
I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned this here, but I am a bit of a Harry Potter fan. I mean, I say "a bit of a fan" – my dog has a freaking Gryffindor scarf, for God’s sake. I think you can probably see where I’m coming from here.
I was not always a Harry Potter fan. I got into the series late, jumping on the bandwagon at Book 4, having previously assumed that, like most of the bandwagons I have known, it would be one of those things that the whole world unaccountably goes mad for, and I can’t stand. Like Princess Diana for instance, or Little Britain. God, I hate Little Britain.
Anyway, so I ignored the first three Harry Potter books, and would probably have continued to ignore them to this day (I can be quite dense like that, you see. That’s how I missed out on The Office when it was actually on TV, and then had to watch it all on DVD and then go around telling everybody about this absolutely hilarious new show I’d discovered, when they’d already seen it months ago.) had it not been for the fact that when Book 4, The Goblet of Fire, came out, the newspaper I was working for at the time was given a review copy.
Now, I love me some free stuff, so even although the paper didn’t actually have a books section, I immediately created one (It carried a total of two reviews, both of which were written by me) and carried home Harry Potter. The book, I mean. Not the boy wizard. That would just have been weird.
By the time I reached the end of the first chapter, I was hooked. I read it in two days, stopping only to, you know, go to work, and then, when I finally reached the end, I went out and bought the first three books, which I read back to back. Then I read book 4 again. Now, several years down the line, I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve read those books. Or, I could – but you would laugh. They’ve been my solace in times of stress, and have never failed to make me feel better. I have cried over some of the deaths and discussed the plot lines for hours with the many other Potter fans I know (I’m actually really put out that Erin is getting married tomorrow and won’t be available to discuss this one with me. How could she!). Yes, I got it bad.
So, as you can probably imagine, given that the last ever book comes out tonight at midnight, I’m a very excited Amber right now. And also: a rather melancholy Amber. Because, after this book, that’s it. No more Potter – perhaps literally, for all I know. Maybe she’ll kill him off? (Pleasedon’tletherkillhimoff). It’s a very emotional time all round, people. Tonight, Terry and I are heading down to Asda with parents and friends, to stand in our last-ever midnight Potter queue, and wait for the precious, precious book to be placed in our hands. I think I might cry. Then I’m going to come home and spend the entire weekend reading it. I can’t wait.