Are we there yet?

August 03, 2016 By: judicurtin Category: Books, General Chat



When I received the first copies of my new audio books, it took me right back to the days when my children were little and every holiday car-journey, no matter how short, took more preparation than your average ascent of Mount Everest. Despite my efforts to buy engaging toys and healthy-(ish) snacks, the cries of ‘are we there yet?’ generally started to ring out before we’d made it out of the car park.
And then we discovered audio books!
It started with the wonderful Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. Adults and children were hooked by the first page, squabbles were forgotten and peace came into our lives. By chapter two, we parents could no longer relax by the pool, as the children were constantly nagging us to go for ‘a really long drive.’
Of course it’s easier now, with in-car dvd players and iPads etc, but why should the kids have all the fun? The entire family could engage with an audiobook, and later, at meal-times, there were many…animated discussions over the merits of the books we listened to. It was like a family book club, and those long car journeys are remembered fondly by all of us.
Happy days!

(This post first appeared on


March 03, 2016 By: judicurtin Category: General Chat

Last month I wrote about collecting beads and diamonds when I was a little girl. (Pay attention at the back)
When I was eight though, I moved from London to Cork, and as anyone who’s ever been to Cork will tell you, they do things differently there. In my new school no-one was interested in my collections – and one girl called them ‘a box full of broken necklaces’ – true but harsh!
In Cork, all the girls collected ‘scraps’ – small coloured pictures, which they stored between the leaves of a book, and spent all of playtime swapping. This was tough on me, as the other girls had spent years building up their collections, and I didn’t have a single scrap to my name. I was feeling very lonely and isolated when a lovely older girl called Ellen O’Driscoll, gave me her huge collection of scraps – to keep! Armed with a whole book of beautiful scraps, I immediately belonged, and spent many happy hours swapping my treasures.
Two years later, I left that school, and I never saw Ellen O’Driscoll again – and my precious scraps got lost in the move. Fortunately, I still have friends, and when I told the lovely Sarah Webb my scrap story, she tracked these down and sent them to me.
Now who’d like to swap?



Originally published on