"The gulls had been tumbled inland over the town, and they now drifted above the house-tops on taut wings, whining peevishly.'
The English summer is awful, all the family are ill, and so Larry, exasperated "I can't be expected to produce deathless prose in an atmosphere of gloom and eucalyptus" persuades the others to go to live in Corfu.
It's quite hard with this book to find a sentence not to quote. Gerald Durrell's family is extraordinary and funny and loveable, and the animals - the wild-life of Corfu, with which the ten-year-old Gerald Durrell is obsessed - are described with a glowing precision which fills me with envy.
"the cyclamen...looked as though they had been made from magenta-stained snowflakes."
"the toads...squatted there like two obese, leprous Buddhas, peering at me and gulping in the guilty way that toads have."
Beauty and fun and joy in abundance on every page.
Word to use today: magenta. This word is named after a place in Italy where in 1859 there was a very bloody battle.
Strangely, though, the colour we call magenta isn't blood red at all, but a more purplish colour.