When my brother said to me a while back, these words: "hurdy gurdy gondolope" - my entire childhood book-reading experience rushed up behind me like a mass tidlewave and swamped me in severe and very emotional nostalgia.
"OMG," I whispered, tears in my eyes. "If you had not said those words, I would never have remembered that book so long as I lived."
As soon as I got off the phone, I googled 'Hurdy Gurdy Gondelope' with my breath seized in my throat. Nothing. How odd. Maybe I miss-spelled it. 'Herdy Gerdy Gondelope', I typed.
'Herdy Gerdy Gondelope'
'Hurdy Gerdy Gondilope'
'Herdy Gurdey Gondaloap'
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
I was heart broken. I tried another dozen google-incantations, but nothing worked, so I let it go.
Then, today, for some unknown reason, I remembered it again, and I thought I'd try again. And to my utter delight, this is what I found - The No Such Thing by Penelope Janic. I had made the mistake of thinking the lead character was the book title.
I was ecstatic. I eBayed immediately and found an original (but somewhat pricey) edition and bought it on the spot.
Now all I have to do is wait by the post box in anticipation of reading this most beloved book to my own children.
Do you have a long lost childhood book you'd love to find?