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Win a Kindle Paperwhite worth over £100 plus a copy of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep **NOW CLOSED**

(602 Posts)
SorchaGransnet (GNHQ) Mon 16-Jan-17 15:23:26

To celebrate the publication of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, a charming coming-of-age debut novel by Joanna Cannon, we're giving you the chance to win a Kindle Paperwhite.

Mrs Creasy is missing and The Avenue is alive with whispers. The neighbours blame the disappearance on the heatwave, but ten-year-olds Grace and Tilly aren't so sure.

As the summer shimmers endlessly on, the girls decide to start their own investigation. And as the cul-de-sac starts giving up its secrets, the amateur detectives find more than they imagined.

Joanna Cannon graduated from Leicester Medical School and worked as a hospital doctor, before specialising in psychiatry. She lives in the Peak District with her family and her dog.

To be in with a chance of winning a Kindle Paperwhite worth over £100 & a copy of the book, tell us - do you remember the heatwave of '76? If so, what are your memories of it?

Post your entry below by midday Monday 13 February.

Usual T&Cs apply.

This discussion is sponsored by HarperCollins

Auntieflo Mon 16-Jan-17 22:55:43

DS2 was just a year old in July 76. I remember having a bowl of water on the scrub grass, for us to dabble in, and the hordes of flies that invaded his small bedroom. My friend was pregnant that summer, but I was convinced that 75 had been just as hot.

eGJ Mon 16-Jan-17 23:12:14

We were living in south west Scotland and the heatwave did not reach us! We saw the nightly weather forecasts but that little corner of the UK stayed dull and cold. sad

nancytownsend Tue 17-Jan-17 01:04:12

What a wonderful summer. It seemed to go on forever didn't it? I was out in the garden for most of it, reading. I remember seeing blokes on motorbikes go past dressed just in shorts, shoes and a crash helmet. Not a good idea if they fell off, but even the wind was hot.

Izabella Tue 17-Jan-17 08:46:07

Working night shifts and sleeping in the garden under the trees. The house was so stuffy and hot. The house cat of that era usually joined me and we both slept through the heat of the day.

joannapiano Tue 17-Jan-17 10:20:13

We had two girls aged 2 and 4 at the time, and it was too hot to sit in the garden, so we sat by the backdoor at the side of the house in the shade.
And, of course, the ladybirds!

Greyduster Tue 17-Jan-17 10:55:56

That was the summer that we lived near Epping and my sister, her husband and two youngest boys came to stay us. Of course, we had to do all the usual going up to London tourist stuff. Travelling on the tube in the hot weather was a nightmare, but my nephews were thrilled to have their first sight of the capital. My abiding memory, though, was of a picnic we took to Epping forest. We stayed fairly well on the outskirts as there had been reports of spontaneous fires breaking out, but everywhere the kids went exploring they seemed to manage to get covered in soot. They looked like a pack of little savages! You can imagine what the bathroom looked like that night! Then, while they were still with us, we had the terrific thunderstorm that broke the heatwave. My sister was terrified of thunder - I thought she would go to pieces!

grannyqueenie Tue 17-Jan-17 11:14:19

We lived in London and it was just sweltering. My oldest 2 were 5 and 3 and I was diagnosed with glandular fever at the start of the school holidays and ordered to rest for 6 weeks! My family were miles away and I didn't how I'd survive! My new next door neighbour was a teacher and her support and great sense of humour just rescued me! We were neighbours for many years and became close friends. In time we both left London and now live hundreds of miles apart but remain firm friends, a legacy of that long hot summer!

markbarlow68 Tue 17-Jan-17 11:45:35

I was only 7, but still remember racing around in t-shirts and shorts with my older brother and friends. The joy and innocence of youth!

SueDonim Tue 17-Jan-17 12:44:34

I had a 15mth old baby in 1976. and I recall going to the food department in M&S with him in his big pram, because that was the only place in town with air conditioning.

I also remember spending evenings in pub gardens with my dh and the baby, having a quiet drink whilst waiting for the bedrooms at home to cool down enough that we could go to bed.

We had a holiday in Newquay where water was at even more of a premium than in Kent and where the sole topic of conversation was the drought and the Minister of Water, or was it Drought?

We moved house in September and the heat wave broke with bucketing rain on the day we moved. Typical!

Larnipoo42 Tue 17-Jan-17 14:31:02

It Absolutely wrecked our garden and my son who was 7 at the time playing with his toy cars in the cracks in the ground

Purpledaffodil Tue 17-Jan-17 14:34:07

We had moved into a new house the previous autumn and planted potatoes where the lawn would be. It was the best way to clear the ground we were told. They had to be watered with bath water all through that hot summer, then when the rains finally came I remember going out on our potato patch and dancing in the falling rain!
Incidentally when DS 1 was born in September 1977, the Ward was full of baby boys, almost no girls. I was told that the concentration of salts in the earth that had built up in the hot summer and were then washed into the water supply had affected sperm. Might be absolute codswallop but an interesting theory. grin

pambo99 Tue 17-Jan-17 16:00:49

I was pregnant with my daughter, she was born on 21st July 1976. It was awful. I already had a 3 year old and we would get up at about 5.00 am and I would do the housework whilst it was still coolish. We had a child's paddling pool in the back garden and my son and I would use it daily. He would sit in it and I would soak my very swollen feet in it. The weather was awful but my beautiful daughter was awesome.

shysal Tue 17-Jan-17 16:38:20

My exDH and I took a children's club on a week's holiday to St Mary's Bay in Kent just as the weather broke. They had all got so used to the hot dry days that very few of them packed waterproofs! Bin liners came in useful!

Venus Tue 17-Jan-17 17:51:56

A wonderful hot summer where everything appeared to stand still. Even the bees seemed lazy. I lived life in the slow lane, and my only worry was if our swimming might dry up into a puddle! I just wanted it to go on and on and on . . . .

GracesGranMK2 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:19:14

My son had been born in the previous November and my memory is just of lying out on rugs under the trees, reading many books, in the garden with a bare-bottomed baby and a five year old who just played and played out all summer long. I would make-up and top-up dishes of buffet style food and we - poor husband had to work of course but he joined us as soon as he could - just helped ourselves and then moved back into the garden. My neighbours had only recently moved in and had a little boy and girl who came and went from garden to garden and my daughter did the same. It meant we got to know them really well and they still remain good friends, with the children now in their 40's.

My recollection is just of an idyllic time that should be part of all children's (and mum's) memories.

hjw2505 Tue 17-Jan-17 18:43:25

I started my first job as a scientific officer with the MOD and staff were given special dispensation to work 8-4 instead of 9-5 and men were allowed to wear shirts to work

vampirequeen Tue 17-Jan-17 20:30:38

I was taking my 'O' levels. Every day we had to go into school in full uniform (collar and tie days) then take our exams in the main hall with the thick curtains drawn and the windows closed to stop us being distracted by people walking past outside. Of course this meant there was no air circulating and the crowded room got hotter and hotter as the day went on. Even then we had to keep our ties on and collars fastened.

To add insult to injury each day when I got home my mam and a neighbour would be laid on sunbeds in the garden soaking up the sun. I, on the other had, would have to go upstairs to my stifling room and revise for yet another exam.

When my exams were finished I was offered extra hours at the shop where I usually worked on a Saturday so that the full time staff could take their holidays whilst the weather was so nice. So even when I was 'free' from school I found myself wearing a purple crimpolene uniform in a shoe shop, smiling sweetly as woman customers tried on 20 odd pairs of shoes only to return to the first pair or worse still buy nothing at all.

Jinky2 Tue 17-Jan-17 20:36:31

The sheer relentless heat and not being able to sleep because of it.

lindarumsey Tue 17-Jan-17 21:20:03

I remember going to the seaside and everywhere being covered in ladybirds!

Olene Tue 17-Jan-17 21:30:49

I'd just left school and started my first job. Was totally gutted as it was the school holidays as far as I was concerned, the weather, although HOT, was glorious and I still wanted to be free and enjoy every moment. Instead, off to work I about a lesson in growing up!

hummingbird Tue 17-Jan-17 23:56:43

Happy memories, like snapshots now: being young, in love, doing up ur first house and finding out that our much wanted first baby was on his way. Days of endless sunshine, and feeling that life was wonderful, with so much in front of us. And a sort of haze over everything brought on by the heat and airlessness. A special time - thank you for bringing it back to me!

Candelle Wed 18-Jan-17 00:47:41

Our second baby was born in March and I was so thankful that I was not pregnant throughout the summer, which must have been awful.

The memory of my beautiful baby wearing her frilly mobcap, trying to do baby press-ups in her carry-cot, so she could better watch the antics of her sibling will always be with me..... and those pesky ladybirds. They really did bite!

wallers5 Wed 18-Jan-17 07:21:32

Watching the lawn turn brown & trying to work out how to get the bath water to the garden but having amazing swims on West Wittering beach.

Sar53 Wed 18-Jan-17 09:37:23

I was also pregnant, my daughter was born in June and the last four weeks of my pregnancy were spent indoors. I couldn't waddle far, had already fainted once whilst out shopping.
In 1976 babies were put in the nursery at night in the hospital and I remember all they wore was a nappy (terry towelling) and a vest. Lots of memories of 1976.

Indinana Wed 18-Jan-17 09:57:39

We lived on a small estate. Everyone slept with all the windows open, though sleep was still pretty elusive as we tossed and turned on the hot sticky sheets!
One of our neighbours, obliquely opposite us, was 9 months pregnant and one night, around midnight, everyone in that little corner of the estate heard her wailing to her 2 year old "Lottie pleeeease will you just be quiet and go to sleep". I don't believe any of us let on to her that we'd heard her - we all felt so desperately sorry for her sad