Wear the Lilac and Remember Your Towel

The 25th of May is a glorious day, a two-fer for lovers of great literature and even better writers.


If you’re a Discworld reader (and you should be), you know the Watch wear the lilac on May 25th in memory of those who fell in the Glorious Revolution of Treacle Mine Road. If you’re a Pratchett fan (and you should be), you know that those of us who love Sir Terry wear the lilac on May 25th in celebration of his great gifts to the world and his continuing fight against Alzheimer’s Disease.


In honor of the day, I refer you to Buzzfeed’s twenty-six Pratchett quote posters and all of Sir Terry’s huge and delightful body of work (click on the posters to enlarge).


But wait, there’s more. May 25th is also Towel Day, in honor of Douglas Adams of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame, the most important piece of advice therein being “Don’t forget your towel.”


My lilacs aren’t in bloom yet, so I’m planning on finding a lilac towel and some cookies and tea and spending the afternoon reading some Pratchett and Adams. That’s pretty much a perfect day.


And thank you, gentlemen, for some of the best hours of my life

28 thoughts on “Wear the Lilac and Remember Your Towel

  1. Still haven’t managed to get into Pratchett (*ducks*), but am a huge Douglas Adams fan. My friends and I in college surmised that he actually lived in a sanitorium from which he occasionally escaped long enough to write another book. No lilacs, but I’ve got my towel!

  2. Oh, thanks! As a mad Pratchett fan, I’ll go pick a lilac from the yard. Love these posters.

  3. No lilacs in Florida but it is one of my favorite books ever. Thanks for the reminder.

  4. Thank you! I almost always forget about the Glorious 25th of May until someone reminds me. Fortunately, I’ve been reminded the last two years.

    Skye, my first Terry Pratchett book was The Light Fantastic. It spoofs a ton of fantasy tropes. If you like Douglas Adams, the writing style is similar (very descriptive in a British sort of way). My favorites now are the Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, and Thud!, but I do remember my first Pratchett book fondly.

    1. My first was either Small Gods or Feet of Clay. And The Truth is just amazing. But I think Thief of Time is my fave or maybe Hogsfather or Mort or . . .
      Anything with Susan or the Watch.

      1. I didn’t want to be whinny, but the quote above about the end-of-the-world button is mis-attributed. It’s from Thief of Time. And since this is possibly my favorite quote of all time, I am listening (for what may be the 20th time) to the recorded book as read by Stephen Briggs to celebrate. My reward has been to refresh my memory of another great Susan remark: “In this world, after everyone panics, there’s always got to be someone to tip the wee out of the shoe”. Thanks for the Pratchett thread.

      1. I can’t remember my first Pratchett, but the ones I re-read are anything with the Watch, or the Witches, or Susan. Thief Of Time is my fave. ‘Deja-fu’ martial arts for time-travelling monks makes me laugh every time.
        Douglas Adams was a genius. I love the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide and also Last Chance To See, a hilarious and intelligent non-fiction book with Mark Carwardine about disappearing species.
        No lilacs here, nothing but rain and more rain, but you bet I know where my towel is.

        1. “Last Chance To See, a hilarious and intelligent non-fiction book with Mark Carwardine about disappearing species.”

          I second Jill’s endorsement of LCtS, in both print & audio formats, both of which are on my Keeper shelf.

          (Has anyone seen/heard/read the second, revisited version with Stephen Fry? If so, whadja think? How was it?)

          Happy Towel Day! (belated)

  5. My lilacs are past, and I don’t have any lilac clothes, but I was SURE I had some lilac fabric in my humongous stash. Not just lilac-colored, but printed with lilac flowers. I thought it might be cool to make a lap quilt or maybe a table runner that could double as sort of a shawl, and it would be a great project to while away a really dreary weekend.

    Except it appears that the fabric I was remembering was grapes. Or maybe the lilacs are in another bin. I’ll have to get some lilac fabric before next May.

  6. Great quotes! Thanks. Haven’t laughed so hard in a while. I only read one Pratchett so far – Mort – and it was a delightful discovery. The entire Discworld is still waiting for me, and the anticipation of the coming pleasure makes me happy.

  7. I just finished Wee Free Men this morning, and I didn’t even know it was Pratchett day. I could have worn the lilacs, ours are in bloom, but it’s a little late now!

  8. Have been a huge Pratchett fan for too many years, and went off him for a while when he (or ghost writers) were paraphrasing far too many existing tales. But now he’s co-writing, his books are so back on track! Loving the “Science of Discworld” series…

  9. Looooooove Douglas Adams! I always know where my towel is.

    And, of course, like Dirk Gently (of the “Holistic Detective Agency”) I too find that I often end up where I should be rather than where I wanted to be (smile).

    1. It’s been years since I’ve read Dirk Gently. I think the books got lost in a move (and I know which one since I did the, “crap, I don’t want to go through MORE boxes. If they’ve been in the garage for the 5 years we’ve lived here, and no one’s looked through them, we probably don’t need the stuff anyway.” for the last move). I’ll have to look and see if the library has them on Tuesday when they open back up after the holiday.

  10. My lilacs are already gone, but were absolutely magnificent this year due to cool weather and much rain. Everything is sooooo lush and green!

  11. Squeee!!! I love both. The lilac towel sounds like a grand idea . . . I should put this on my calendar for next year.

  12. I loved the quotes! I also loved Hitchhikers Guide, but have yet to discover the joys of Pratchett. Any suggestions for which one I should start with? 🙂

    1. If you like mysteries, Guards! Guards! is the first Watch book and it’s wonderful. I think the best book he ever wrote was Going Postal (you have to admire a writer who names his protagonist Moist von Lipwig and then hangs him in the first chapter), but there are so many great ones. Avoid the earlier books; I tried to start at the beginning and never finished the first one, and then it took me several years to find my way back to him.

      1. The real problem with the earliest books for me was that I don’t like Rincewind. The friend who introduced me to Pratchett also didn’t like Rincewind, so she cleverly started me with Guards, Guards! But I think some of the none-Rincewind early books could have worked, especially Equal Rites.

    1. If you get Going Postal, get Making Money too, because you are going to want more when Postal ends, and with Making Money you’ll have it!

      1. I did not like Making Money, but that might be because I had such high standards after Going Postal which is a pretty damn near perfect book.

  13. I read my TP in order, and waited anxiously for the publishing of each new book. Waiting for my copy of the long war to arrive. Two of my three children are also hooked (the third may be adopted- that must be the reason she isn’t into them). My favorite is always the one I am reading at the time and they have all be re-read many, many times. Good Omens is probably the one I would reach for if I could only have one. I also love to quote TP but the wisdom is sometimes lost on non-TP fans. Oh well.

    1. Oh, Good Omens! That’s on my Top Ten Books of All Time.
      Not that I’ve actually made a list, but that would on there.

  14. And brides usually worry about bad weather or the impossible-to-please relative showing up. At the Kilauea Volcano visitors’ center there is an old photograph of a wedding taking place at the crater, and right behind the wedding party the volcano is erupting. Bad timing.

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