Talk About Blyton!
Unlisted - Enid Blyton in general – Thoughts, Ramblings and Essays
|June 20, 2017 – Avan J Cooverji says: House hunting can be a difficult and exhausting task as a young couple starting out their married life found out. Jack and Jill were about to be married and so were keen to begin their married life in a house of their own. They appraoched a house agent in HOLLY LANE and explained their needs to him. He agreed to show them a few properties. And started out by showing them a place called TALLY-HO COTTAGE but Jill felt it was too small. Next he showed them a house up a hill, but Jill did not like to stay there as it was quite lonely and also next to BANSHEE TOWERS which made her feel somewhat uneasy. This was because she had heard stories about a MISSING MAN and a VANISHED PRINCE who had once been imprisoned there. She also feared that the spirits who were supposed to dwell there would probably send her STRANGE MESSAGES and wierd objects in a STRANGE BUNDLE. These spirits were also known to make things disappear and the latest local gossip was of a DISAPPEARING CAT. So he took the couple to an entirely different area of town which was more populated but here too Jill had heard that this was not a very safe locality as an INVISIBLE THIEF had robbed many houses there and the residents were still searching for a MISSING NECKLACE that they thought the thief had stolen. She also felt that the neighbours were in close poximity and that she would not have much privacy. So next the agent took them to see a HIDDEN HOUSE which was rather apart and the garden was not overlooked thus giving Jill the privacy she asked for. Here Jill said that this was too secluded and would not suit her. By this time the house agent was getting anxious as he did not quite know how to please Jill and was so fed up that he almost felt like writing SPITEFUL LETTERS to her. Atlast he thought that it would be best if they selected a spot to their liking and designed their own house. For this he showed them an empty plot where only the remains of a BURNT COTTAGE were left but here Jill objected that she did not want to build a house on some ruin, so that was out too. Even Jack was getting fed up of Jill' s finikiness and wanted to escape from viewing house after house. Now the agent feeling sorry for the husband- to- be turned his attention more to Jack and showed him a house which was large enough for Jack to get away from Jill's continuous nagging. In this house, there was enough room for each of them to have their own space and it seemed to fit the bill for both their necessities. The agent also pointed out that there was a SECRET ROOM behind a sliding wall inside the house where Jack could retreat and be by himself when he wanted absolute peace and quiet. And to be away from Jill. Here too Jill had an objection saying that as the house was too large, she would rattle about with nothing to do. So Jack agreed to bring for her a number of movies to view and which included one called the affairs of the PANTOMIME CAT which he knew Jill would like to see. Now Jill was a big movie buff and this pleased her no end to think of herself engrossed hour after hour watching movies. So the couple settled for this house, made an offer which was accepted and they are now all ready to start their new life. The agent gave a huge sigh of relief and hoped his next clients would not be such a pain.|
|Fatty says: We've been sitting on these for a few days, not really sure where to put them! Too much thought has gone into them to put them in the bin, though. So we've created a new thread, so feel free to send us your jottings and anecdotes.|
|June 20, 2017 – Avan J Cooverji says: It is not easy to man the emergency desk on the Telephone Exchange where many women work. Mary was one such girl who had duties assigned to her there. As soon as she arrived at the telephone office at HOLLY LANE , the first call she had to attend was of a man calling about a BURNT COTTAGE just next to his own house. As per procedure, Mary asked his name and address which was given as David and the place where the fire had occurred was given as TALLY-HO COTTAGE. After noting down the details, Mary contacted the fire department who immediately sent a squad of firemen to the scene of the fire. They reported back that it was a fierce fire and though they could not save the house, still they were able to bring the inmates out to safety but had to report one MISSING MAN and a DISAPPEARING CAT. This fire had quite spread out and a luxury hotel was also caught up in it. In this hotel some members of a visiting foreign royalty were staying and while all them were accounted for, it was a VANISHED PRINCE who was causing concern and even feared dead. On inquiry, further facts came out. It seemed someone had left a STRANGE BUNDLE containing immflamable material and had started the fire. Many people wrote SPITEFUL LETTERS blaming whoever they disliked or had enmity with as having started the fire. The police on investigation found that the culprits were absconding and were said to have crossed into another county where they were huddled in a SECRET ROOM in a HIDDEN HOUSE. Hardly had this excitement died down that Mary had another emergency call come in. This time it was a man poking fun at the police for their inefficiency as when asked for his name and address , had the audacity to give his name as INVISIBLE THIEF staying at BANSHEE TOWERS and added " catch me if you can! Obviously it was a crank call from an unconcerned citizen which rightly annoyed Mary very much. But she was used to dealing with cranks and taking STRANGE MESSAGES in her stride, so she boldly replied " Yes ,you are so and I am the PANTOMIME CAT " but she kept him talking in the hope that the police would trace and catch him and then he would laugh the other side of his face. It so happened that the police did get on to him due to Mary's quick wittedness and traced his call and even before he could leave the public telephone booth from where he was making the call, the police descended on him and by poetic justice, he did turn out to be a thief that the police were in search of regarding a MISSING NECKLACE. Such was Mary' s hectic day,busy but rewarding for a job well done.|
|June 20, 2017 – Avan J Cooverji says: India is a very beautiful land of tall mountains, deep ravines, winding rivers and thick forests. In these jungles roam many a wild beasts and the roar of tigers and lions make the jungles come alive. All around are isolated little villages where simple people live their lives working in the fields, planting and harvesting crops and sugar cane , cutting wood and gathering fodder. They carry their food in STRANGE BUNDLES to eat while working out on the open land. Once a tiger invaded their land and in a span of a few days their cattle was killed , their pet dogs, sheep and a cat were killed and two woman washing clothes in a nearby steam were also mauled and killed. It was evident that a tiger had invaded their village and that it was a Man Eater. This created panic when a man went missing too. The authorities were notified about the maneater in their vicinity and of the MISSING MAN, as well as the DISAPPEARING CAT and dog, still nothing was done and the villagers continued to live in fear. But when a prince went missing, the authorities were taken to task and on receiving many critical and SPITEFUL LETTERS, for their inactivity, following the reports of the VANISHED PRINCE, a 'shikari ' that is a big game hunter was sent to track and kill the beast. This shikari was a very experienced hunter, but he preferred to go on hunt alone as one has to be very alert and careful when in the presence of a Man Eater. But an English man of high authoruty insisted on accompanying the hunter as he wanted to baost that he had also once killed a maneater. So both of them set out on the hunt. They built a 'Machaan' that is a sort of SECRET ROOM on a tree where they would have to wait patienltly for the tiger to appear. All was quiet and eerie when in the dead of night ,the tiger appeared. He gave a big roar and at that terrible sound the Englishman began quaking and wished he was safe in his warm bed at TALLY -HO COTTAGE in HOLLY LANE. He cried out in fear and shrieked like a banshee of BANSHEE TOWERS and at that sound the tiger vanished from sight like an INVISIBLE THIEF. The shikari was boiling mad as his shot was spoiled and now they would have to wait a long while for the tiger to reappear. But the tiger did not show itself for two days. In those days, STRANGE MESSAGES were sent by the beating of drums and a message was received that the tiger was now seen in another village, fifty miles away. This time the hunter was determined to hunt alone. He had explained to the Englishman that he was a hunter and it was his job to hunt while the English man being a detecuive by profession, it would be better if he stuck to detection work like finding stolen goods , catching thieves and searching for MISSING NECKLACE or jewels and enjoy life going totheatresand seeing plays like the PANTOMIME CAT burnt cottagebut to no avail. So this time, the hunter went alone after the tiger and stayed in a HIDDEN HOUSE ,which was actually a BURNT COTTAGE where the man would not be able to find and join him again. After a wait for many days , the tiger reappeared and was finally shot and killed by the shikari and the village people once again went about their work without fear.|
|June 20, 2017 – Avan J Cooverji says: " The Circus has come to town, the Circus has come to town" cried the town crier doing his rounds all over the small village. Out ran the boys and girls and children begged their parents to take them to see the circus. It promised them all sorts of excitements. There was going to be an act of The MISSING MAN who would disappear from a locked SECRET ROOM and the INVISIBLE MAN who would disappear before their very eyes. Jane and her brother John were going to see the circus that very afternoon. They collected their friends Daisy and David from HOLLY LANE and proceeded towards the open grounds where the colourful tents were pitched. John went to buy tickets for all of them which were being sold by the PANTOMIME CAT. Once they were seated, they looked around in wonder at the different sets that were put up for the various acts. In one corner of the arena was a castle with BANSHEE TOWERS written on its turrets and in another corner was an image of a BURNT COTTAGE that would come in play in one of the items. The show started with a big fan fare and out came the animals - huge elephants, sprightly white horses with dogs and cats bringing up the rear. One naughty cat just would not march in line and would hide here and there and do all sorts of antics. It caused a melee with the ducks chasing the geese, the geese chasing the hens and the hens running after the DISAPPEARING CAT. Then came the clown who brought the house down with his funny ways. He would wrap up things in a STRANGE BUNDLE but when he opened the bundle, it would contain absolutely different items. Also he would write a certain message on a piece of paper and fold it and when opened there would be an entirely STRANGE MESSAGE. But the best act was that of a magician. He was an expert pick pocket and called himself the INVISIBLE THIEF and one woman from the audience found her necklace gone from around her neck. She was relieved when the MISSING NECKLACE turned up from the neck of the clown. The audience were amazed at this deft trick. However suddenly the lights failed and the show could not be carried on. There were deep sighs and groans but the circus people promised them another show soon and that too with free tickets where they would show some extra items such as the act of the VANISHED PRINCE from a HIDDEN HOUSE and this stopped some mean people from writing SPITEFUL LETTERS and blaming the management. When Jane and John reached TALLY-HO COTTAGE where they lived after the show was over, they could hardly wait to tell their parents what a wonderful time they had had, and begged to go again. Happily their parents agreed for they too wanted to see the circus themselves.|
|June 20, 2017 – Avan J Cooverji says: It is a well known fact that women love to shop. Now in a town there was a newly set up shopping centre on a site where once stood a BURNT COTTAGE called TALLY-HO COTTAGE. It became a great attraction and almost all the townsfolk visited the centre. There were different departments given fancy names like THE HIDDEN HOUSE where were sold goods that could transform an old and ugly place into a fashionable home and a toy world called THE VANISHED PRINCE because it had a store of such magical toys that even a prince would like to get lost and be tempted to play with them all day. Of course the most used corner was called BANSHEE TOWERS where children were entertained while their mothers shopped. But the one most favoured by the women was the ladies section which was stocked with gowns and dresses by the well known designer HOLLY LANE. Now this huge and modern shopping arena became so popular with the locals that the other small businesses in town started suffering losses and this aorused their jealously and ire. So they got together and held a meeting in a SECRET ROOM to see what they could do to bring back the clientele that had deserted them. First they sent a series of threatening and SPITEFUL LETTERS and STRANGE MESSAGES to the promoters of the shopping plaza hoping it would frighten them to close down but when that did not work, they put their heads together and hit upon a plan. So one night they sent a man disguised as a PANTOMIME CAT to steal thIngs from the jewellery department of the centre. This robber thought that he may as well steal a few other goods as well while he was at it, so he made a STRANGE BUNDLE of other items too and then quietly slipped away like the INVISIBLE THIEF he was. Next morning when the shopping plaza opened, there was a huge hue and cry on discovering the loss of the MISSING NECKLACE. First they suspected it to be an inside job as one of their employees had not turned up for work, and when they went to his house, they saw that the whole place was deserted and his pet cat was not to be seen either, so the DISAPPEARING CAT and locked house led them to beleive that he was the culprit. But a few hours later they discovered that the MISSING MAN had gone away suddenly due to an emergency call from his sick mother who lived in another town. Now the search started in real earnest to find the thief,. After many days of hard work and searching each and every place in the district, the thief was found in a HIDDEN HOUSE. And the necklace and stolen goods recovered. The whole plan was revealed and the wrongdoers begged forgiveness but said that they had to resort to do this underhand thing because of the severe losses they sustained. But progress and modernisation always has its victims and thats just the way it is.|
|Fatty says: Great! How about trying a different series, Avan? :-)|
|June 20, 2017 – Avan N. Cooverji says: Akbar and Birbal. In India once ruled a great King called Akbar who had a very wise and clever minister called Birbal. While King Akbar was a kind and liberal ruler, it was Birbal who was the brains of his kingdom. At the same time he was a very humble man, ever ready to help the needy and intercede for those who would hesitate to approach the great Akbar. Now once King Akbar held a contest. He had it announced that whosoever stood in the icy waters of the lake surrounding his palace for a whole night would be awarded the prize of a thousand gold coins. Hearing this, many people came forward. Some stood for an hour, some not even that long as it was bitterly cold and so all left except a very poor man who was in such dire need of money that he stood shivering, almost frozen to death, all night long in the freezing waters. Next morning he went to Emperor Akbar's Court to collect his prize. Now Akbar was on the point of handling over the bag of gold, when one of his courtiers interfered and told Akbar that the man should not be given the reward as he had received warmth from a small lamp burning in the palace and therefore it could not be concluded that he had withstood the cold. Akbar agreed with this line of thinking and told the poor man that indeed he had got the heat from the lamp and so the condition of the contest was breached. Birbal was present in Court, he noted the injustice of the verdict but did not say anything. The poor man went crying to Birbal complaining about the unfairness of it all but Birbal asked him to be patient. A few days went by. One day the whole Council of Ministers met in the Durbar Hall to take decisions on important matters but Birbal was not present. Akbar sent one of his pages to find Birbal and ask him to come to Court as the Emperor was awaiting him. The man went to Birbal's house where he found Birbal cooking rice. Birbal sent word that he would come after his rice was cooked and ready. This reply surprised the Emperor and so after a while he again sent a messenger to call Birbal to Court. Once again Birbal sent the same reply. By now the Emperor was getting angry and together with his Ministers, he himself set out for Birbal's house. There he found Birbal cooking food. He saw that the pot of rice was kept hanging from the low ceiling of the hut and way down below was a fire meant to heat up the pot. Akbar was amazed and questioned Birbal asking him that however could the pot of rice , hanging high above the fire get cooked when it was getting no heat from the flame? Birbal replied that if a man standing in the middle of a lake can get warmth and heat from a lamp burning far away in the palace, then why should a pot of rice held far above a flame not get heat from the fire? King Akbar realised his mistake, he sent for the poor man and handed him his reward of a thousand gold coins. Akbar and Birbal stories are a great favourite in India and I heard them at mother's knees as a little child and loved them.|
|Fatty says: An interesting post, however we really only want Blyton related topics on the site.|
|June 21, 2017 – Avan N. Cooverji says: What do I like most about the English People? Well, their sense of fairness and justice. Also the stiff upper lip that they are famous for because it shows that they know how to behave with decorum. Then there is their wit and humour and the ability to laugh at themselves. What do I like most about the Indian People? Well, it is their stoicism, the simplicity of their mode of living , their patience and their complete devotion to parents and the respect they have for elders and guests and the ability to deal with serenity whatever hand the fates deal out to them. What do I like most about England? It is their regulated way of life, their orderly traffic, their clean cities and villages, their lovely fields as is said in the song ' the green green grass of home'. What do I like best about India? The gigantic Himalayas, the spiritual environment , the peace of the soul that pervades in the atmosphere itself and that it has been the home of Saints since the beginning of time.|
|June 21, 2017 – Avan N. Cooverji says: Yesterday , I wrote about English Boarding Schools with reference to Enid Blyton's St. Clares and that I considered it to be an expensive school. But that was from what I read as fiction in the St. Clares series. Now I would like to relate my actual experience at an ordinary English Day School. In 1953 when I was 10 years old, going on 11, for a few months I attended an ordinary English Day School. I believe I was the first Indian girl to be there. I remember being called late one afternoon to the School for the first time and introduced to the class I was going to be placed in. Then there was the weekend and I started School the following Monday. My classroom was big and airy and I was very considerately placed near the heater by my teacher as he felt that I would be more comfortable there coming from warmer climes. At break time, I went out with the other children to play in the quadrangle. To my great astonishment, most of the kids left their play and followed me as if I was some strange person from another planet. Obviously they had never seen an Indian girl and that is why I think I must be the first student of Indian origin to be there. Wherever I turned, I would find hoards of children after me as the word must have got around that a new Indian girl had joined the school. ( at that time, I felt the whole school was following me. ) This happened for almost the whole week till their curiosity was satisfied that I too was just like them, though the colour of my skin was darker than theirs and my hair was jet black. Then they started asking me absolutely laughable questions that surprised me no end. They would innocently ask " Do lions and tigers roam in the streets in India " " Do snakes live under the tables in the house? ". I just could not believe what I was hearing! Their picture of India must have been formed from watching movies like Tarzan. It seemed they had absolutely no idea of other countries except their own. And this was in the year 1953. So when In Enid Blyton's books , which are set in the 1940s, people are suspicious of foreigners, it is hardly surprising for it is just ignorance of other people and nations and customs that make it appear strange and fearful for them and not from any malicious intent. In my next post, I will write of the way the English children , my teacher and other English people that I met related to me.|
|June 22, 2017 – Avan N. Cooverji says: To continue my recollections of schooling in England. As I said, I was bewildered by the children following me at play time like the children following following the Pied Piper of Hamelin. However it all settled down in a few days. Now first coming to my teacher. I will not name him as I do not know if it is the right thing to do or not. He must have been quite young though at that time he looked very big to me. Now what can I say about him that will do justice to him? I am at a loss for words. All I can say that he was the kindest, most understanding and wonderful teacher one could have the good fortune to have. No teacher I came across in later years have come even close to him. He put me so at ease, he was that way with the whole class, and never made me feel strange or left out or in any way different from his other charges. I give him all credit for making my stay in the school a very pleasant one for the few months I was there. And remember I was only an awkward and shy little girl, timid and scared of new surroundings and new people, who was suddenly introduced to many different ways. He was just brilliant in the way he integrated me with others and today I feel that instead of having high powered men to deal with racial tensions and racial relations, if only there were a few noble men like him, open minded and caring and truly humane, then half of the worlds problems would be solved and the earth would really know the Brotherhood of Man. I am grateful to you, dear teacher, you were a real educator and a prince among men.|
|Fatty says: Interesting, Avan. However, as I previously said, this site is purely for Enid Blyton - related discussion.|
|June 23, 2017 – Avan N. Cooverji says: Sorry, I thought this would fit in with " THOUGHTS AND RAMBLINGS " as these thoughts came into mind when reading about the Schools that Enid Blyton writes about and how Enid Blytons characters felt about foreigners.|
|Fatty says: No need to apologise, Avan! Fine for a one-off, we just didn't want loads of off-topic posts. :-)|
|September 20, 2017 – Sarah Strong says: I think it is very interesting how certain ideas about some groups were accepted as THE TRUTH at that time and how that is reflected even in childrens fiction. It just goes to show truth is more changeable, less universal than we might think and maybe even illusory in some respects. The whole idea of there being such a thing as THE TRUTH begins to be called into question and I think the Famous Five would have found that very difficult.|
|Fatty says: Hmm. That takes some thinking about. Not sure what you mean by "some groups". What do you mean by "THE TRUTH"?|
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