Friday, 6 June 2014

Blast From My Past! The Famous Five Series by Enid Blyton


Usually you will find me rambling on about dystopian novels set in bleak futures or occasionally something a little racier involving tortured rock stars, but not today, no today I have decided to start a new occasional feature - Blast From The Past, I still am the proud owner of a lot of books from my younger years and I have been known to read them from time to time.

So this instalment is all about The Famous Five!

As you can see above I have all the books, some of them I have two copies of! Oh and Sandra if you read this you will have to face facts you are not getting the ones I borrowed of you 25 years ago back!

Enid Blyton as we all know was an amazing storyteller, she could conjure up a vast wonderlands of people and places with just a few well worded sentences, but I think she did it best with The Famous Five - Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy!

I would spend hours poring over their mysteries set in a day where it was safe for four young kids to be running around the countryside without adult supervision, of course they did have the loyal Timmy as their guard dog but I felt like I travelled alongside them as they visited coves, castles and travelled in caravans but the thing I loved the most was the mouthwatering food description.

Illustration by Josh Sutton

Stews and puddings, ginger ale and potted tongue, hard boiled eggs are to be honest not everyones idea of a good meal but when Blyton described foods such as the humble lettuce as crisp and straight from the garden it made it ten tens more appealing than before.

Wherever they went they always seemed to land on their feet food wise, if they where by a farm they could go to the farmers wife, kindly shopkeepers where always giving them an extra bit of cake, but they did need all the food to give them energy for all the walking and cycling they did.

As the mother of a 5 year old and 7 year old, I would never dream of letting them wander about like the Famous Five but times have changed so much over the last 25 years, when I was of an age with the Famous Five I would go tramping all over the shop alas without a picnic but nobody blinked an eye if I was gone for a couple of hours.

The Five always seemed to attract trouble, wherever they went there was a mystery to solve, my particular favourite was Five on a hike together where they camp in the ruins of a burnt out house beside a gloomy lake it just sounded so magical and exotic to me, Julian was always so brave and poor little Anne was always so scared.

They always had such exciting friends too such as Tinker who lived at Demon's Rocks and the twins on Finnieston Farm, not forgetting the adults George's kindly mother know to the rest of the children as Aunt Fanny plus her grumpy scientist father who rages at the slightest bit of noise.

I am almost forgetting another major star in the books, George's very own island, Kirrin Island, I was in total awe at George as she skillfully managed to get her small boat all the way over the magical island that she loved so much with its ruined castle, dungeons and thousands of bunnies for Timmy to chase.

These books hold such a special place in my heart and I cannot wait for my two daughters to start reading them, I hope they don't find them too old fashioned, there are no mobile phones or computers, no tv's or facebook, these books where written in a time when kids where still kids not adults in training.

I plan on keeping a hold of them for a very long time!

I would love to hear from you if you have a favourite Famous Five book or a fave food from their many pages!





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