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I hope everyone had a fine weekend. We did something I had vowed never to do, but it was actually manageable this time, as the kids are old enough not to wonder off on their own and get lost (famous last words).

The national pastime in Singapore is shopping, and the recession doesn't seem to have changed this. Thus, we joined the throngs and visited Borders on Orchard Road on Saturday afternoon. Every man and his dog was in the book store, and the children's' section was heaving. And forget it if you wanted to peruse a few magazines; I couldn't even get into the aisle.

Sadly the Grandparents have headed back to U.K (sleet and chilly weather awaited them) and they very kindly left some money for the kids to spend. Instead of heading to Toys'R'Us where they would have bought some mind numbing plastic junk that interests them for no more than a day, we decided on books. Ever so much more lasting, interesting, educational and EXPENSIVE! Actually I think books provide a much better value for money.

Maya, who is 9, has begun reading the series by Lemony Snicket after being given the first for Christmas. They are in a lovely hard cover publication, with beautiful illustrations, and so she bought the third of the series on Saturday.

Let me quote an extract from the back cover: "If you have not read anything about the Baudelaire orphans, then before you read even one more sentence, you should know this: Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are kindhearted and quick-witted, but their lives, I am sorry to say, are filled with bad luck and misery. All of the stories about these children are unhappy and wretched, and the one you are holding may be the worst of them all." Intriguing.

Ben has gone for the more traditional TinTin in America which is a classic and actually great fun. I never read it before and am enjoying reading it to him. I must say, there are some wonderful children's book on offer. So many of them are in a series now, which is great for the author, but expensive if the children want to read the whole series. I will try to exchange with their friends I think, unless the book is one that will continue to be enjoyed over and over (like many picture books).

We survived the bookstore on a Saturday afternoon, and even avoided the monsoonal downpour. You can go to Amazon and buy these books online if you prefer to avoid the crowds.


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