Monday, August 25, 2008

The twats

Random House Children's Books in the UK has yet to make a decision when it will reprint Jacqueline Wilson's My Sister Jodie after deciding to remove an offensive word from future reprints of the book.
The publisher said it had received three complaints over the use of the word "twat" in the title aimed at children aged 10 and over. It is to be replaced by the word "twit". It has sold more than 150,000 copies of the book since publication in March.
In a statement, following the decision to remove the offensive word, the publisher said: "We are very sorry if anyone is offended by the language used in Jacqueline Wilson's My Sister Jodie."

As someone who ensures a fair sprinkling of piratical swearing when appropriate in books for young readers, I feel fairly sure that if young Dame Jacky says "twat" she means twat, just like every kid reading her books.
Next they'll be replacing the very British "bollocks!" with "dash it!".
Then to avoid offending three of her literally millions of readers (or more probably their parents), we can all go back to being Enid Blyton.
Dash it all.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Back in Auckland. Flew in over the sea and stared fondly at what I took to be Waiheke Island, my old home. The plane banked and I realised I was looking in completely the wrong direction and we were coming in from the south. That infallible geographical sense of mine.
So I'm in a town I know and love - or think I know, as it's already, in 18 months, changed perceptibly, as cities do. There are still roadworks everywhere, as indeed there always will be, still not appearing to make any difference to the hellish traffic. There is torrential rain, followed by sun, followed by more rain.
But there is no Mahinarangi Tocker. I've been sleeping in her empty room, pulling weeds out of her garden, talking about her with those who miss her the most, surrounded by her pictures - her smile - on the walls, on the fridge.
There's a theory she might have come back as a tui. There were three watching me closely in the garden this afternoon. I have my suspicions. Fly high, lovey.