Before I embark on my newest witter can I just say a heartfelt thank you from mum and myself for the lovely comments left on my last post. She's had a 'bit of a time' of it lately but the pacemaker is now in and we are expecting cartwheels in no time at all.
Now this post could be divisive. I'm aware that Enid Blyton isn't everybody's cup of tea and from recent evidence she probably isn't someone who I would want to have met but - oh - those books of hers!
From the earliest age I always had my nose in a book but as I try to remember which ones they all come up Enid.
My favourite had to be this one.
Never mind the dandy outfits the fact was there was a wood that was inhabited by fairy folk, and - this was the best bit - the animals talked!
|A talking bunny - every eight year old girls dream?|
Reading that bit back I realise I've used the word 'fact' there - to me this place was real!
The wood was home to a magical tree that transported the children to faraway lands where adventures were waiting. Some lands were more desirable than others. For example in Birthday Land you just had to wish for something and it would appear, whereas Dame Slap's school was a terrifying place. But to me the tree itself was as magical as the lands. You could travel down Moonface's slide that ran from top to bottom, or sit on a branch and share fresh home made biscuits with Silky the fairy.
I'm going to share something with you now that I don't condone - in fact it's something I've railed against all my adult life - but look what I did ...
... I wrote all over the inside cover! Several times it seems!! Oh dear. But it was my 'best book' and obviously I had to mark that in some way! I even marked the contents page each time a chapter was read.
I don't think Enid would have approved.
The back covers of these books had a tempting array of 'rewards' which I used to pore over and covet.
From fairy woods I moved on to a slightly more 'grown up' version with 'The Children of Cherry Tree Farm'.
Following the same premise a city dwelling family go to stay with their country relations and soon find that a whole host of adventures await in the woods. In a timely situation that we probably wouldn't conceive of in this day and age, the children befriend a local wild man, Tammylan, who then teaches them about the local flora and fauna.
Alongside them I also learned. I remember reading that a very comfortable bed could be made out of moss and heather, and that a 'slow worm' was neither slow nor a worm but actually a legless lizard! In the days before t'internet Enid provided valuable information to a young nature lover like myself.
I continued with 'The Naughtiest Girl series followed by Malory Towers. Tales of independent young gals who sorted out right from wrong at their respective boarding schools.
Then came the Famous Five and, my preferred crime solving gang, the Secret Seven. Alongside these were The Put-Em-Rights and The Mystery of ... series.
Most of Enid's tales were based around children. They seemed to exist in a separate world to the adults (sadly something which her own children experienced only too well) but with strength of character and camaraderie anything was possible. As a young girl this was perfect escapism and encapsulated an innocence that has seemingly diminished in our technical age. (Although saying that I'd still like to think there were fairy folk at the bottom of the garden!)
I'm going to return to the talking animals now and leave you with a final word from Topsy.