Posts Tagged ‘Narnia’

Narnia and I: the reblog

Christmas is fast approaching and it’s almost Narnia time! I’m excited! I’m also ill and it’s a Monday so I’m fobbing you off with a reblog… sorry!

” Our relationship goes way back. Anyone who knows me well, knows about my Narnia-love.

I had probably read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at some point as a child but then my dad got me the box set in my teens and I read all seven chronicles. It took over my existence for a while. I rejoiced when they defeated the White Witch, when Caspian beat his uncle and reigned over Narnia, when Jill and Eustace broke Prince Rilian free from his spell and when Peter triumphed in the last battle. I despaired when Aslan was killed on the ancient table, when Nikabrik tried to overthrow Caspian and when Edmund and Lucy were told they had to leave Narnia. And I wept for the second half of the last book because I knew the end was nigh.

When in the Narnia zone, it becomes a very real place to me. It is the pleasant background to my normal day. Things are just generally nicer and more storybook, even when I’m just at work.

Right before going on our gap years, my friend Joe and I had walked from his house into Reading, which had taken about four hours. We had talked about Narnia a lot. It was one of those lovely days, early in our friendship when everything we said or did became a nice memory, stored up to take away with me. He left for his gap year before me so I sent him all seven books in the post to China and, miraculously, nothing happened to them along the way. I took a copy of the books with me to Africa and we started to read them on the 16th December, countries and oceans apart, to prepare for Christmas.

In fact, one day, whilst discussing Narnia with a bit of alcohol in our systems, two friends and I jumped into the rather big wardrobe we had in our room in Namibia, and searched around in the back for some snow or trees. We found neither.

Every year since then, I’ve started reading them on the 16th so I’m usually on book 4 or 5 by Christmas Day, and I keep reading till I finish them.

When my friend, Jay, started basically living on our sofa when we were at uni, I had started reading them as usual and I would always stay in the front room with her, on the other sofa. And we used to read the books to each other, a chapter each, until she got tired and I would keep reading until she had fallen asleep.

So last night, a few days later than usual, I picked up The Magician’s Nephew and started to read. All the lovely feelings of being on familiar ground and being in for a great read were ignited and I sipped my cup of tea and smiled.

“This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our world and the land of Narnia first began….”

The time I met Danda at the airport

A little while ago, Danda jetted off into the sun for some Portugal-based fun. I was supposed to be away at the same time but due to some nonsense rules in Texas prisons, I had to postpone it. So I was here and Danda went and had beach fun with family.

On the day Danda was due home, his flight was getting in at 23.15. I left the house at about 10pm and, anticipating boredom, took a Narnia book with me, Prince Caspian to be exact. Now Prince Caspian is a pretty good book, not very like the film apart from the basic story. There is no romance between Caspian and Susan and no rivalry between Caspian and Peter.

Anyway, there I was, on one train then the next, head in my book, wondering if Prince Caspian would beat Miraz and would Aslan come back and help by waking up the trees. There was a lot going on, you know?!

I got to Gatwick and took the shuttle from the South Terminal to the North, head in my book. I got to the North Terminal and looked on the arrivals screen. Danda’s plane had landed and the baggage was in the baggage hall. He’d be about fifteen minutes yet. I might as well chill for a few minutes.

There was a Costa coffee next to a doorway and a sign saying ‘UK arrivals’ above it. Well, I thought, he is arriving and we are in the UK. That must be where he’s coming out. I grabbed a bottle of water, sat within view of the doorway and got reading.

Then Danda called.

“Hi, have you landed?”

“Yeh, where are you?” Danda asked.

Now I’m a girl who loves doing surprises. I love them! I think that’s why I love Hide and Seek so much. And that’s why I said, “Just reading on the sofa.”

“Ok, I’ve just come out so I’ll be ages yet.”

O, he’s only just come off the plane so he’ll be a little while yet, I thought, whilst burying my head in my book again. Still, no-one had come out of the gate I was sitting by, which I thought was a bit wierd. I gave it another ten minutes, then thought something was up. I got up and walked to the arrivals screen and suddenly saw it… The international arrivals gate….

Ah, UK arrivals meant arrivals from other flights within the UK… Not just that we are in the UK. Of course we’re in the bloody UK. As if they would have specified where we are!? Hmm… Top dunce points to Laura.

So I needed to be at the international arrivals gate, not the UK arrivals gate… To be fair, they’re not that far apart so it’s not like I was miles away but I was all taken up with Prince Caspian so I was oblivious to it all.

I stood outside the international arrivals gate for a minute but felt something was wrong. There was no-one coming out. I had to give up my surprise fun and just call Danda…

“Danda, where are you?”

“I’m just on the bus to the car park to pick up the taxi. Why?”

“I’m standing at the international arrivals gate….”

“No! At Gatwick? You’re there?”

“Yes, I came to surprise you but I’ve missed you.”

“O no! Let me get the taxi and come back for you. Where exactly are you stand….. beeeeeeeep.

His phone died. I called back. Nothing. Just the answerphone. Again and again. Eventually I just had to go out to the road and hang about, hoping he would be able to find me.

So for ten minutes, I stood there, in front Gatwick airport, stranded and unsure whether I’d be picked up.

That’s right, I came to meet Danda at the airport and I ended up stranded, waiting for Danda to pick me up.

Well done, Laura. Well done.

*He found me quite easily and I invented a cover story about having just been at the toilet when he came out the gate. It made me sound less stupid.

Things Trumpkin says

About a week ago, I attempted another challenge from my book called Going Greener by Simon Gear. He asked me to have a cup of tea in the garden. It was about appreciating nature and also getting know the garden all year round. When I woke up on the day I intended to do it, it had rained and looked freezing. So I stayed in bed instead.

This morning, I thought, let’s go for it again, get a jumper on and let’s do this! The last few days have been scorchio so I felt confident it would be nice for my challenge.

And then I woke up this morning and came downstairs and…..

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Yeh, I’m regretting putting that towel out on the line now.

And so, the back up plan comes into play. It’s similar to another post I wrote last week, about my favourite quotes from Narnia but today I’m specifically focussing on one character from the fourth book, Prince Caspian, a red dwarf called Trumpkin. You’ll see why I’ve chosen him to quote.

“Horns and halibuts!” exclaimed Trumpkin.

“Bulbs and bolsters!” he thought.

“Whistles and whirligigs!” said Trumpkin.

“Thimbles and thunderstorms!” he cried.

“Lobsters and lollipops!” he muttered.

“Giants and junipers!” Trumpkin shouted.

“Tubs and tortoiseshells!” said Trumpkin.

“Cobbles and kettledrums!” he shouted.

“Wraiths and wreckage!” exclaimed Trumpkin.

“Weights and water-bottles!” came Trumpkin’s angry voice.

Brilliant, aren’t they? We really should speak like this again.

So if you get annoyed at any point today, feel free to use any one of these phrases to exclaim, to show your annoyance. It also works for situations in which you are shocked or excited.

My favourite Narnia quotes

“By gum,” said Digory, “don’t I just wish I was big enough to punch your head!” (The Magician’s Nephew)

“Blast and botheration!” exclaimed Digory. (The Magician’s Nephew)

“That’s all you know,” Digory said to Polly. “It’s because you’re a girl. Girls never want to know anything but gossip and rot about people getting engaged.”
“How exactly like a man!” said Polly in a very grown up voice. “And don’t you say I’m just like a woman, or you’ll be a beastly copy-cat.”
“I should never dream of calling a kid like you a woman,” said Digory loftily.
“Oh, I’m a kid am I?” said Polly who was now in a real rage. “I’ve had enough of you, you beastly, stuck-up obstinate pig!” (The Magician’s Nephew)

“Perhaps I may keep the handkerchief?” said he.
“Rather!” said Lucy. (The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe)

“Well, of all the poisonous little beasts -” said Peter, then said no more.
“I’ll pay you all out for this, you pack of stuck-up, self satisfied prigs.” Edmund was saying to himself. (The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe)

Giants of any sort are now so rare in England and so few giants are good-tempered that ten to one you have never seen a giant when his face is beaming. It’s a sight well worth looking at. (The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe)

“I hope you’ve been quite comfortable,” said Aravis.
“Never better stabled in my life,” said Bree. “But if the husband of that tittering Tarkheena friend of yours is paying his head groom to get the best oats, then I think the head groom is cheating him.” (The Horse And His Boy)

“By Jove!” said Peter. “This is good enough.” (Prince Caspian)

“Well, I’m – I’m jiggered,” said Peter. (Prince Caspian)

“Great Scott!” said Edmund (Prince Caspian)

“Oh bother, bother, bother,” said Susan. (Prince Caspian)

“Why, you silly,” said Peter (who had become strangely excited). (Prince Caspian)

“That’s all right, lass,” said Trumpkin with a chuckle. “A jibe won’t raise a blister.” (Prince Caspian)

“There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. His parents called him Eustace Clarence and his masters called him Scrubb. I can’t tell you how his friends spoke to him, for he had none. He called his father and mother Harold and Alberta. They were very up-to-date and advanced people. They were vegetarians, non-smokers and tee-totallers and wore a special kind of underclothes. Eustace Clarence liked animals, especially beetles, if they were dead and pinned in a card. He liked books if they had pictures of fat foreign children doing exercises in model schools.” (The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader)

“We thought the King’s Majesty would have married the Duke’s daughter but nothing came of that -”
“Squints and has freckles,” said Caspian.
“Oh, poor girl,” said Lucy. (The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader)

After that, the Dwarf touched up his donkey and it set off towards the castle at something between a trot and a waddle (it was a very fat little beast). (The Silver Chair)

“Little Swine,” shrieked Eustace, dancing in his rage. “Dirty, filthy, treacherous little brutes,” (The Last Battle)

The Laura, the Danda and the panettone (part 2)

As the Wicked Witch of Banarnia Bread land sped into the distance, Danda turned to Laura, shrugged and said, “Well, that was a bit wierd. Shall we go back through that door into Pembroke Lodge and get some tea?”

“No, Danda,” said Laura. “We must rescue these panettones from this awful spell, for it to be always panettone but never cake o’ clock.”

“Well, what flavour are they? I’m not bothering unless there’s an amaretti one.”

“Yes, look. Here’s one. But we won’t be able to eat it unless we beat the Wicked Witch.”

Then, from among the panettones, a small rabbit appeared, nose twitching.

Mmm, dinner, they both thought. I wonder if I could find some duck fat to confit it in, thought Laura.

“Follow me,” it said, leading them to a small clearing in the panettones. “The Wicked Witch will soon be beaten. They say Maplin’s is on the move.”

They both felt wonderfully excited, frightened and yet happy. They knew something brilliant was about to happen.

“Maplin’s?” Danda asked. “The electrical goods store?”

“Yes,” said the rabbit, gravely. “There’s mass reductions and sales in all their stores. They’re relocating to Teddington.”

“Teddington?!” exclaimed Danda. “That’s great. They’ll be just down the road. O, that’s amazing news.”

All three of them stood for a while, considering this news.

“Anyway,” said Laura. “How are we to beat the wicked witch?”

“O, that? I haven’t the foggiest idea,” said the rabbit. “You?”

They all looked at each other, puzzled.

“How about we just give her a punch up the throat when she next skips by? We’ll know it’s her from the stupid bells she wears on her wrist.”

The plan decided, they waited behind a large stack of panettones. Next time she skipped by, the rabbit stuck out a foot, tripping her up. They tied her down with some of the packaging ribbons from off the panettones and tickled her till she was hoarse from laughing, had wet herself and the laughter had turned into whimpering tears. She lifted the spell and told them where the nearest tea shop was. As a parting gesture, they gave her a punch up the throat and threw her bells in the bin.

They proceeded to the tea shop for cucumber sandwiches, mini Bakewell tarts and cups of refreshing builders tea.

They took home a panettone and spent the next few days eating it. They soon discovered that it was a never ending panettone and lived off it for the next ten years, until they both had severe problems with obesity and thought it might be time to stop.

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The End

The Laura, the Danda and the panettone

Once there were two people whose names were Laura and Danda. This story is about something that happened to them when they went away from London to Richmond Park during the afternoon because of the fabulous tea that was served daily at Pembroke Lodge.

They parked up and went for a little walk around the lodge, trying to be clever by entering from a little door that not many people knew about. It brought them to a room near the customer toilets. It was quite dusty and there was lots of furniture covered with cloths. They realised they had come in the wrong side door and, looking back towards it, saw a ‘Keep Out’ sign.

Worried, they made for the door but heard the sound of kitchen staff carrying plates, approaching the door. They panicked and looked around. There was another exit on the other side of the room.

“Quick!” said Laura.

“Just a minute,” said Danda, who was drawing a massive picture of a willy in the dust on a cupboard door. “Ok, where should we hide? In this big wardrobe?”

“No, just come through this door, Danda.”

They hurried over, opened the door… And were greeted by the sight of hundreds of panettones. Hundreds. As far as the eye could see. All flavours. Chocolate. Amaretti. Traditional.

Unwilling to share this hoard, they closed the door behind them and looked at each other in wonder.

“If only there were a cup of tea to be had,” Danda wondered aloud.

There was a jingling of bells and a tall woman approached, skipping. She had a bracelet of bells around her wrist.

“Hello strangers. And welcome to the land of Banarnia Bread. Here you shall have all the panettones you desire. But you shall never be able to eat them!” And she cackled with evil laughter and sped off.

Someone’s got to stop her, thought Laura and Danda.

Tune in tomorrow to see if Laura and Danda can beat the baddie and have their cup of tea and panettone.

300 posts!

That’s right. A whole 300 posts! And what fun it’s been. I was trying to think of something significantly 300ish to do to celebrate this feat but so far, since Yaya stayed over last night, I think the only 300s I have achieved today have been watching 300 kids programmes, putting 300 pennies into a piggy bank, making 300 play-doh animals and playing hide and seek 300 times.

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So I checked in with the world wide web for some impressive 300-related world records. The first thing I came across was this brilliant record of having over 300 dogs’ teeth brushed all at once. What’s not to love?! Unfortunately, I am 312 dogs short of being able to even attempt this record so that’s out.

Another great 300 record is the British man who holds the record for putting on the most pair of pants. He wanted to be the first man to put on more than 300 pairs and he has achieved it in quite a spectacular way. Check out the photo of him. Unfortunately, I think I don’t own enough Y-fronts to even attempt this. Even if I wanted to just put all my clothes on, as a pretend attempt at this, I don’t think there would be 300.

My next thought was of food. What could I do that would be food related and about the number 300? I found this, in my Google search, which looks epic and, were I a fan of crabcakes, I’d be all ready to make my own 300lb snack. Unfortunately I am not so I shall remain, happily, crabcake-less.

And then I found the ultimate world record holder. In fact, he holds so many records, he has the world record for holding so many records, over 300! I thought that if I started on his list, then I could possibly get 300 world records too, to celebrate my 300th post! There are a lot of underwater ones, like pogo stick jumping, juggling and unicycling which, so far as I know, probably wouldn’t be allowed in my local pool. So those are out.

He holds the record for balancing a pool cue on his finger and walking the longest distance whilst at the pyramids in Egypt. As I’m in England, that one is also out. I did find a few I can attempt though. Here goes.

Attempt no. 1 – Walking up stairs for 1 minute while balancing a book on my head.
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It was easier than I thought it would be, perhaps due to the fact that I had a soft back book, which flopped onto the shape of the top of my head and I hardly had to try at all. I got a bit cocky though and looked down to check where the step was and dropped it after 103. The record is currently 122 so I’ve got a bit of work to so on that one.

Attempt no. 2 – Most golf balls picked up with toes.
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I spent the entire minute trying to grip any of the balls and wishing for longer toes. I ended up with a grand total of zero.

For my last attempt, I decided I would attempt to sit on the sofa reading Narnia for the longest time ever, for 300 hours! That is soon to be thwarted though, as I have work in two hours…. O well. I tried….