Sunday, 12 September 2010

Goodbye, Pert Breasts

Did you know that the ancient Egyptians used cow-dung as a contraceptive? Or that drinking the urine of pregnant women boosts your immune system? (Hey, I didn't know you were still having breakfast!) No, me neither. But thanks to Ben Wakeling's new book Goodbye, Pert Breasts (Lulu, £8.99) these and a host of other 'facts' are now at my disposal. Which is precisely what I intend to do with both of the above nuggets. Thanks for the warning, Ben. Especially about the urine.

Elsewhere, the book takes the reader on a week-by-week journey through the highs and lows of pregnancy. Funny, irreverent and informative (thanks for the heads-up on cheesecake Ben) Goodbye, Pert Breasts is less a manual for men, and more belly-laugh for blokes. And none the worse for that. You can find out more from Ben's eponymous blog Goodbye, Pert Breasts: The Diary of a Newborn Dad and you can order the book direct from Lulu. Highly recommended!

Elsewhere, Charlie's been sent a copy (courtesy of Guernsey Post) of a charming new adventure for Penny the Postie, who gets caught up in a pirate caper thanks to finding a tardis-like disused letter box. Stepping inside, Penny enters a world of beards, cutlasses, shivering timbers and treasure islands all beautifully illustrated by Keith Robinson. Again, highly recommended. 

Finally, Wild Swimming. Regular readers will be aware that one of my all time favourite books is Waterlog, by Roger Deakin. Not only is it wonderfully written, it's about a passion I find I share with Alice Roberts thanks to her recent television programme. No, I'm not going to strip off (as she did) and part the waters of a Cumbrian Tarn, but I am going to share this discovery:

Daniel Start, the author, appeared with Alice Roberts in the programme, which was a peaen to outdoor, chlorine-and-slippy-tile (and occasionally, clothes)-free swimming. My parents moved to the coast when I was in my first year at university; that first summer vacation by the sea was hot, and I swam in the waves every day from July to October and never felt so fit. I even did the Christmas Day dip in aid of charity! As the season's coming to an end, this guide will not only help to fill those swim-free winter evenings, but inspire new watery adventures next year, I guarantee.

All we need now is the weather. 
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