Dreams of breathing underwater


The first film I remember seeing at the cinema was when I was 5 years old. It was Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  I was amazed by it, immediately decided I wanted red hair like Ariel.  We went to McDonalds and I got an Ursula toy with my Happy Meal. It was 1989.

Some time not long after I was amazed to see the video in Ritz (as it was then, don’t think it had become a Blockbusters, or indeed a cafe at that point) and begged Mum to buy it for me so that I could re-live that magical underwater world at home.  Mum said no.  It wasn’t the film.  I disagreed, it had Ariel on the front and I could definitely read the words ‘Under the Sea’ there too.  Mum said it wasn’t, it was just in the cinema. I disagreed and must have pestered er for ages because somehow I acquired that video.  Of course it wasn’t The Little Mermaid, it was ‘Sing-a-long Songs Under the Sea‘ which did feature some of the Little Mermaid soundtrack, but also other vaguely water related Disney songs including one from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea in which Kirk Douglas seems to be telling his shipmates about some sort of dalliance with a fish or two.  Mr Jim Causley has been known to do an amusing cover of this if you ever get the chance to see/hear it.  Ask him nicely.

My obsession with TLM grew and I was exceptionally jealous of my cousin Rebecca because she had an Ariel doll.  I even used to pretend to be Ariel when swimming at Brackley Pool – the pool has two sets of steps in the shallow end, if you swam around underwater, legs together because you are a mermaid with a tail, singing ‘Part of your world‘ to yourself and timed it right you could push yourself up the steps, breaking out of the water at just the right point to recreate the iconic waves/big stone moment.  To me, I was definitely a ginger mermaid, to everyone else I must have looked mental.

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There must be more than this provincial life…


“Little town, it’s a quiet village.

Ev’ry day like the one before…”

Well not exactly the same everyday, but it seems to feel that way a the moment.  I feel like I’m in limbo still, living in the village I was born in, working in the town I grew up in.  I’m doing extra hours as someone left and they’re yet to replace him, so that’s good because otherwise I would probably be spending my days off sitting in bed in my pajamas watching ER or Grey’s Anatomy and eating chocolate.  And frankly that’s not going to do anyone any good now is it?  Nope, better that I go to work, read books (in my lunch break), put stuff away, find books for people, chat too people and help children make things.  And it is a lovely job.  I like libraries, I like talking to people and helping out with things, but there’s only so much time you can spend living with your brother and his girlfriend before you feel like you are very much imposing.

‘Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question

Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?

Never part of any crowd ’cause her head’s up on some cloud

No denying she’s a funny girl that El (sic)

Look there she goes that girl is so peculiar

I wonder if she’s feeling well

With a dreamy far off look, and her nose stuck in a book

What a puzzle to the rest of us is El (sic)

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