Wednesday, 5 May 2010

My Favourite Things

I can't remember exactly what story about the kids I was telling at work one day, but at the end of it, I do recall my work pal saying - 'Your kids live in a lovely little Enid Blyton world, don't they?'

I love Enid Blyton stories. At the age of 11, I had to have an interview to get a place in my school.
'If she asks you what books you read, whatever you do, DON'T say Enid Blyton,' dad said, even though he was secretly hoping I wouldn't get in.
'Well who shall I say I like then?' I asked, also hoping I wouldn't get in, but hating the thought of being turned down.
'Just say that you read the Chalet School stories by Eleanor M Brent Dyer,' dad said confidently.
But who the hell is she?' I asked blankly.
'No idea, but she's an ex-pupil,' said dad shoving me in the door.
Hoorah for Eleanor M Brent whatsit, because she gave me a ticket for a wonderful education, but her stories were crap, and I still love Enid Blyton.

So it was with great sadness that the Blyton of my kids' lives was rendered useless for 5 whole days with Bank Holiday Monday being the ultimate in crapness, as a fed up little 6 year old girl lay next to me, sobbing into the pillow.

'This has been the boring-est day EVER!' she exclaimed.
'All because of that stupid bloody lump!' she howled.
'When are you going to be normal again?!' she wailed.
'I can't remember what your hair was like!' she sobbed.
'And....,' she said, looking for a final, dramatic statement with snot bubbling in her nostrils, 'You can't even play draughts!'

If Enid had written the story, she'd have written about naughty Gollies leaping out in the dark, dark woods to pull the stuffing out of Mrs Tubby Bear. She may have described poor Aunt Fanny not feeling too canny....but there would always be a happy ending - Noddy and Big Ears giving the Gollies a damned good bashing, and Julian, Dick, George and Anne coming to the rescue, with good old Timmy, and a bottle of ginger beer.

And so, calmly I explained all this to my little girl. She had to be patient. She had to be brave, and although it wasn't the most wonderful day in the world, there would be some pretty wonderful days to come...and whilst I was on, I reminded myself of that too.

Which brings me to another of my favourite things - The Sound of Music.
When the 6 year old was 2, or she may have been 3, we recorded a little number which I've attached. She's singing along to 'My Favourite Things,' and starts off quite shyly with Julie Andrews singing beautifully in the background. Towards the end, you'll see she blasts out the words in an almost Johnny Rottenish way...its wonderful, cheesy I know, but it represents that Bloody Awful Bank Holiday Monday, and the good times we'll have when its all over...enjoy!


  1. Ah bless her, a lovely clip. Does she get her singing talent from you? I'm sure you'll have plenty of good times and favourite things when you get to John O'Groats.

    Enid Blyton is also a favourite of my wife (must be a girl thing, I never read any of her books as a child). She loves being able to read the books to our two. I'm not allowed to do the bed time book when it's Enid Blyton, which it has been for a long time now. She's been successful, both A & J love the stories and even come out with comments that make us sound like we're in a Famous Five adventure!

  2. Did you know, Dazza, that your wife was very definitely ANNE in our Birmingham days. I'll leave you to work out who the others were - including Timmy! xx

  3. There was another thing about the interview you didn't mention. You asked me if you could still have the fee money if you failed.Agood lateral thinker

  4. Good old Enid, what would we do without her?

    I am sure you could give Eleanor Hair Dryer or whatever she's called a run for her money. After all, you are an ex-pupil too. Good job you are or I might never have met you! Am now wondering who I said I read at my interview. I suspect Enid Blyton...

  5. I think maybe your dad told you to say Enid. After all, 3 girls, 3 fees...