For age 28+

So I’m reading the Famous Five at the moment. Come on, put your hands up who loves a bit of Enid Blyton. Yes, indeed. Don’t we all? I just have a few observations about the Famous Five world that now, as a 28 year old rather than a 10 year old, make for quite interesting reading.

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1. The baddies are fabulous in FF. In Five On A Treasure Island, for example, the baddies lock George and Julian in the dungeons and tell them; “What we’re going to do is this – we’re going off in our motor boat, leaving you nicely locked up here – and we’re going to get a ship and come back for the gold. We don’t think it’s worthwhile buying the island now we know where the ingots are. We will leave you some food and drink.” Brilliant. I mean, are these the most considerate baddies or what? They keep their hostages well fed and watered and reveal all their plans to them and then leave them unguarded while they sail away from the island. Obviously the children win that one and the baddies are told to bugger orf!

2. In Five Go Adventuring Again, George dislikes the tutor who is giving them lessons over their Christmas holidays. The main reason is that the dog doesn’t like him. The other reason is because, and I quote, “he has thin lips.” What’s wrong with that, you might wonder? Well, I’ll tell you because according to George, thin-lipped people are “always spiteful and hard.” Later, Dick agrees with her saying that he doesn’t like the tutor and that “George is quite right about his lips. They are so thin there’s hardly anything of them.” Well, my golly gosh, so there isn’t! This tutor, he’s a bad’un. I’ll be watching out for him!

3. They eat an awful lot. Their days in the summer holidays consist of breakfast, an “ice” (icecream) sometime mid-morning, lunch of sandwiches and “ginger pop”, “dinner”, which seems to mean a mid-afternoon cake and biscuit, face-stuffing session then tea, which is their evening meal. That makes five eating sessions, one of which is just icecream and the other of which is just cake and biscuits. And they go mental at the dinnertime slot! Aunt Fanny was recently heard berating George for not washing her hands after dinner. When George protested that she didn’t need to, Aunt Fanny said that of course she did, for she had eaten three peices of gingerbread cake and one shortbread biscuit. Just as a mid-afternoon snack! How these children weren’t morbidly obese is beyond me. It should have been the Fat Five, not the Famous Five.

4. They are so young. I had imagined the older ones, or at least Julian, to be quite grown up, age fifteen perhaps, maybe sixteen. But no, Julian is in fact twelve! And he’s the grown-up one! Remember how he was quite authoritative and would always know the best, most sensible thing to do? Dick and George are eleven and Anne, the ‘little one’, is ten. And yet, they are told by their mother, as tender, unworldly, pre-teens, “You really are getting big enough to look after yourselves now. We thought it would be rather fun for you to have a holiday on your own.”

5. Anne is a bit of an idiot. They keep finding exciting stuff that they need to keep secret from the adults and she routinely blurts it out at the dinner table and the others have to make up stories to cover it up. For example, for the past few days, they’ve been puzzling over a map which holds the directions to a “secret way.” Uncle Quentin is talking science and mentions a secret formula that he is trying to perfect. And so Anne just goes, like a silly airhead with no brain, “You want to know a secret formula and we want to know a secret way.” OMYGOODNESS, shut up Anne, shut up! How silly can you be? She does it at least five times per book. She’s starting to irritate me now. As Julian says, “The only way to stop you giving away secrets is to sew up your mouth!”

6. And now, lastly, a note on age….
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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Rambler5319 on February 16, 2014 at 11:17

    Was Timmy the dog a bit like Skippy (the bush kangaroo)? You know, dog goes ruff-ruff and one of the FF goes “What’s that Timmy, George is being held in the old ruined Abbey? Timmy goes ruffruff-ruff. FF person says “what’s that Timmy? There are 3 men guarding her? Great stuff!!

    Reply

  2. How great to reread those books again! I LOVED them when I was a kid – and I always thought Julian was older as well! They sure had a lot of freedom for 10-12 year-olds!!

    Reply

  3. Another reason we are made for each other!!! I LOVE the Famous Five and Treasure Island was my absolute fave! I don’t know how many times I have read that book but clearly I need to do it again!

    Reply

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