When I descended from the attic with an armful of cartoon books little could I have guessed the impact that they would have. Of course all children love comic strips, but not all comic strips are for children. As a kid I recall thinking Peanuts was pretty rubbish and so was Garfield.

Since these half dozen books, featuring Calvin and Hobbes, were bought during my early twenties I wasn’t at all sure that Little Boots would appreciate them.

How wrong I was.

They were devoured end to end; at the rate of one a day.

Two more things surprised me.

Firstly that the humour was wholly appreciated. Some is pretty straightforward, slapstick and such, but a good deal is grown up and a bit left of centre. (I should have anticipated this -at parents’ evening we were told of an almost adult sense of humour, and a slightly skewed one at that. The OH glared at me; I inwardly chuckled)

The other thing was that the books were adopted as a lifestyle guide.

“What shall we have for tea?” “Meatloaf.” “What’s that?” “Don’t know. Sounds good. Calvin eats it and he’s funny. He‘s also cool. He had a bath in the toilet”

“Can we get some Crisco?” “What for?” “ So I can put it in my hair to make it stand up.”

(Crisco is lard)

 “Look at this bit. He draws a monster on his tummy for the school photo. I’m going to do that.”

As with the cartoon strip, things got a lot worse once a stuffed toy tiger was acquired.

[Apologies to anyone who found their way here looking for stuff on photosynthesis – drop me an email & I’ll send you my RHS Advanced notes on the subject]