Auntie Doris’s Book Club #14: “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent


If there’s one thing that everyone knows about Iceland it is that it’s ruddy freezing there. The clue is in the name. I can’t imagine anyone ever wanting to go for their holidays there, and if they did, reading this book would soon put them off. According to “Burial Rites” Iceland isn’t just ruddy freezing, but full of horrible people into the bargain. At least it was about 190 years ago, when the story takes place. I suppose that since those days they have had central heating fitted in most people’s houses, so they might be a bit more cheerful. Mind you, most of the people on the council estate near where I used to live had central heating, and it didn’t stop them getting drunk and arguing with each other in the street, being sick in each other’s gardens and occasionally murdering each other.

If I was you and I was planning to go on holiday to Iceland. I wouldn’t believe everything they put in the brochures. I would go on that Trip Advisor thing fist, and make sure that you went with a reputable firm.

Any road, there has certainly been some drunken arguing and being sick and murdering going on in Iceland in this story, which concerns a young lass who has been sentenced to be executed for stabbing her ex boyfriend to death. And they execute them by chopping off their heads with a ruddy axe out there. So if you do go out there for your holidays don’t think of stuffing any ruddy heroin up your arse, because there will probably be dire consequences.

The thing is, that there weren’t any proper prisons in those days, so they billeted the poor lass with local farming family (a bit like the Waltons – only more miserable) and she had to work for them whilst they sorted out the finer details of her grisly end.

They didn’t even lock her up. If she had tried running away she would have just frozen to death, so there was no point.

The vicar comes to visit her, and he takes a bit of a shine to her and you get to find out all the details of what she had done and why she did it, and by the end of the book you quite like her, although you wouldn’t want her anywhere near your cutlery drawer.

Apparently its a true story an’all. I won’t tell you what happens in the end, because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but If I was you I would have a hanky handy, and a bottle of sherry if you want to sleep any time soon after finishing it.

The lass who wrote it comes from Australia as well. Apparently she put in days and weeks and months of research in order to get all the details right about snow and ice and cold winds, it must have been really hard for her to imagine what it must be like to feel cold. Well done her I say! It’s a really good read, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Auntie Doris’s Tarot Card of the Week #48: The Chariot. 29th September -5th October 2014

If you ask me, it’s a ruddy funny looking chariot on this card. The bloke in it is stood up and it looks like he is encased in a concrete block. And what are them two sphincters doing in front of it. They don’t look like they are pulling it along. They look more like they are lolling about in the road playing with their tails. And the white one on the right reminds me of the lass from Devizes (who’s bosoms were different sizes.)
Its a proper conundrum this card.
I reckon that what with the Egyptian theme, and the fact that it’s about transportation, it represents the possibility of a holiday, somewhere warm and Exotic. Maybe Torquay. Apparently they have real Palm trees there.
The bloke up to his waist in the chariot is definitely a magician of some sort what with that wand thing in his hand and those starry curtains. And he is parked in front of water, which could suggest the seaside again. Them Sphincters might represent the black and white minstrels. I used to like them, before we found out that they were racialist. I used to enjoy it when they sang about “dem golden slippers” and the “Swanee River.” Of course I used to think it was a bit strange that they blacked their faces up. But as far as I was concerned, if that was what they wanted to do, then I wasn’t going to hold it against them. I’m sure that deep down they were just the same as everyone else. All men have the capacity to be harmlessly stupid. Some like to wear knickers and tights, and some want to black up and wear straw hats. Strange, but true.
Any road. If you draw this card, I reckon that you need a holiday. Plan some time to take it easy. Go and see a variety show. Relax. Let your Sphincters relax an’all. You have been bottling things up for far too long. Let your Sphincters relax and all your troubles will come tumbling out, and can be flushed away. You will feel better for it. You can start afresh, with a clean slate.
Four things that you might do this week. (i) go and see a live performance of something. It doesn’t have to be Verdi’s Rigatoni or anything. It could just be one of them bukkake singers at the local pub. The thing is, enjoy a performance. It’ll please you, and the performers. (ii) buy yourself some new slippers. They don’t have to be golden ones, but if they have some at the local shoe shop, why not? Treat yourself! (iii) dress up as something you’re not. Fancy dress if you like. Cross gender, cross race? As long as you are appreciating and not taking the Mickey, where’s the harm in it? (iv) Write a limerick. Why not? It’s fun. You can post your effort in the comments here if you want. I’d like to read what you think up…. I’ll start if off if you like…
“There once was a…” There you go… Now it’s your turn.