Thursday, 13 March 2008

The best books of my childhood!

I was a Marmite and Enid Blyton girl! ;-)
And if I could get both at the same time then I was in paradise!
Were you the same?

OK... let's forget the Marmite for the time being.
So..At which one did you fancy boarding... Malory Towers or St Clares?!

Or maybe you would prefer an adventure with The Secret Seven? Or The Famous Five?

Or perhaps you were just too busy having fun in The Wishing Chair?

Many a night, when I was young, I would snuggle down, under the covers, with my torch and my Enid Blyton book!
Soon I would be off to another world ...because that's where she took you.

But oh my goodness, poor Enid came in for some stick after a few years!

'They' said that the books had ' limited vocabulary' and 'they' didn't like her 'immature style' which 'they' said was fast paced, with very short sentences and very little description. (SO what?!!)
Enid replied that criticism from people over the age of 12 didn't matter.. (well said Enid ;-)
And then 'they' came forth with the accusations of racism! And that word Golliwog! Oh dear dear me! ;-)

'They' said that she made her foreign characters seem less intelligent! (Claudine, for instance).
But let's face it, the sexism, racism and other attitudes were no different to other authors of the period!
Blyton was like almost every author, a product of the time in which she was writing.

She might well have been frowned upon, but my golly, if you read and enjoyed her books, the memories remain with you always. And most importantly, she got children reading!
To any parent who has ever asked me about their child reading Enid, I have always replied: 'As long as they read a wide variety of other books as well, then I see no problem at all.'

She did me no harm and so her books have taken pride of place on my shelves (amongst JKR ; Pullman, Horowitz, Wilson... etc etc... as I am not totally old fashioned, I hasten to add.
Enid deserves to be there with the rest of them,IMHO).

And so, maybe, I will sneak in and borrow one of her books, when I can't sleep and want a bit of fun under my bed covers;-).... If I can find my torch, that is.. !

Of course, I have the older editions on my shelves, as I hate the new ones, really can't stand the new illustrations and don't agree with anyone messing about with the text either.
Oh and, meanwhile, do to read this article ! It's a couple of years old but acts as a reminder to you , about you know what ;-)

Finally, if you need is a very long list of the books that she penned...

Long live

Monday, 10 March 2008

A Birthday, Arsenal....and a Bagatelle Wizard!

The Gardener's Assistant by John Haskins

I gave this card to my dad yesterday.I thought it was rather nice.

Yesterday was my dad's 82nd birthday! That's a lot of flippin' candles! ;-)
At lunchtime, we all enjoyed a rather excellent carvery meal at a place halfway between Newton Abbot and Torquay ! I recommmend it if you live in South Devon.
But what to give him? That really was a dilemma!
In the end we all clubbed together and gave him...

My Dad, you see, is a lifelong Arsenal supporter. Since he was a young lad he has followed the club's fortunes.

Not only that, over the years, he has put pen to paper and posted off his thoughts to various Arsenal managers, if he has felt that the players, 'could do better'. LOL! ;-)

Well, one such letter, which my dad wrote to a past Arsenal manager ( Bertie Mee) , received such a wonderful went something like this....

Dear Sir,
Many thanks for your thoughts.
However, having just won one of the most difficult leagues in the footballing world... AND the F.A. cup......... etc etc!!'

My dad showed us this letter recently and how we laughed! This was the year that Arsenal had won what is known as 'The Double' ! (The League and the Cup)!

But that's not all!! Back to my dad's birthday ! He then had to 'tackle' this somewhat larger gift...

And here's my DH looking on (excitedly maybe... as it is his birthday on Friday ! )

When I was a child, the one thing that we loved to play with was my dad's old Bagatelle.
Bagatelle was hugely popular many years ago and was the predecessor of the modern Pinball game.
Do you know that the history of the game is quite fascinating.You can read more here:
I think my dad enjoyed his day.
Meanwhile, I am looking forward to being invited for my first Bagatelle evening!