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Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby floragord » 16 Jul 2017, 17:23

I enjoyed the poem about yellow bedstraw, remember reading it was used to strew on the floors in the good old days before carpets were generally affordable. I like the term "rus in urbe" to describe surburban estates with that "rural aspect" beloved of estate agents!
"Its a magic wood!" said Fanny suddenly.
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Courtenay » 17 Jul 2017, 08:23

What lovely letters again. I had to laugh at Gillian wanting the "baby gee-gee" in her pram, and Bobs eating Sandy's dinner! :wink:

I agree, very interesting to see how the use of the word "urban" has changed since the 1930s. I wish we'd kept a list of birds we saw at my school when I was growing up. I once took my Birds of Australia guide and ticked off all the ones I knew I'd seen around my home town — I remember it came to over 70 species! But that was including the local beach and nature reserves within the town boundaries, as well as the more built-up areas. I wonder which of Enid's school audiences had the longest list of birds in the 1930s — and how different those lists might be if done today?

Loved the poem. I'd never heard of yellow bedstraw, I must admit! I'm not sure I've ever seen it — or rather, I probably have but didn't know what it was. I'll have to look out for it. Here's a webpage I found about it with some interesting facts and old legends associated with the plant: Lady's Bedstraw (that seems to be the more common name now)
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Rob Houghton » 17 Jul 2017, 11:22

Interesting about 'Lady's Bedstraw'. As someone who is very interested in legends and folklore etc, I can remember reading once that if the plant was placed under a woman giving birth, the birth would be easy and painless, which seems to be backed up somewhat by the link. I've always had a real interest in these old beliefs - very interesting.

I find it interesting about the birds, too. Living in Birmingham as I do (though actually only about a mile away or less from the green belt and on the south side, which is much more countrified) we see loads of birds in our garden. Having a canal at the back of our garden probably helps, as these 'green corridors' are a haven for wildlife. I've never made a study or a list of all the birds I have seen, but there are plenty. Maybe I should make a list! 8)
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Courtenay » 17 Jul 2017, 12:39

I went down to our wildflower meadow at the bottom of the property earlier, mainly to see how the blackberries along the edge are coming along, but I also had a look to see if I could find any plants that I now know of from Enid. Haven't seen any yellow bedstraw, but I did spot "pinky-mauve knapweed (rather like thistles without prickles)", as Enid described it. I hadn't known what it was called before. :D Looking it up online, it's interesting that over here it's an important food plant for bees and other insects, but in North America, where it was introduced, it's a noxious weed and very difficult to get rid of because of its taproots.

I haven't seen blue bugle or bird's-foot trefoil yet, but will be keeping an eye out for them! :wink:
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Rob Houghton » 17 Jul 2017, 12:42

There seems to be a very 'heavy' crop of blackberries this year! round where I live the bushes are weighed down with them. I haven't seen so many for years. :-D The flowers were plentiful too, and it looks like there will be a good crop in a month or so.

I'm sure blackberries are ripening earlier these days! I can remember still picking boxes and boxes of them up till October, but now most seem to have passed their best by September. Am I imagining it? :?
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Courtenay » 17 Jul 2017, 12:57

I took a wrong turning somewhere in Surrey yesterday and pulled up to turn around outside a house with brambles hanging over the fence, absolutely LADEN with huge ripe blackberries... I'd have stepped out of the car and gorged myself, but that would be stealing. However, ours here just the other side of London are still all hard and green with only a few turning red. Maybe those ones I saw yesterday got a lot of sunlight all day, whereas ours only get the evening sun. Anyway, I have no experience in judging when they "should" ripen over here... where I come from, blackberry season is in February! :P
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 17 Jul 2017, 21:15

I too noticed on a walk at the weekend that the bramble bushes look very heavily laden this year. And yes, I was surprised to see that quite a lot of the blackberries were already fully ripe. It does seem early!

I've spotted a couple of birds this spring/summer that I'd never seen in the wild before - a female goosander with its five young ones and a water-rail with one chick. It's always exciting to encounter a "new" bird. I also saw a stoat last week for the first time in years. I hasten to add that I saw all these creatures while out walking - not in my own garden!
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Kate Mary » 19 Jul 2017, 08:37

This week's letter announces Enid and Hugh's trip to Scotland. It must have been quite a journey with no motorways only what were then termed arterial roads and Enid says they will avoid main roads and use country lanes. I'm sure they didn't or they would never have got there, and cars were not as comfortable as they are today. I love the innocence of those days, Enid tells us her car's number plate for her fans to look out for her passing by!

The only challenge I found with the hard puzzle was trying to read it, but I got there in the end.
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Moonraker » 19 Jul 2017, 10:31

We've just made a journey to the Highlands, and I can assure you motorways made the journey twice as long as Google told us it would be! Hold-ups, tailbacks, roadworks - a nightmare. Lovely when we got north of The Lakes, though.
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 19 Jul 2017, 13:10

Kate Mary wrote:I love the innocence of those days, Enid tells us her car's number plate for her fans to look out for her passing by!

I notice the number plate begins with "GP". Was that for "Gillian Pollock", perhaps, or was it just a coincidence?

Kate Mary wrote:The only challenge I found with the hard puzzle was trying to read it, but I got there in the end.

Same here!
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 26 Jul 2017, 07:37

http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/blyt ... perid=1117

A very interesting letter from Enid this week, telling us some of the places she and Hugh drove through on their way to Edinburgh and mentioning that she has visited the printing works in Edinburgh where Bobs' book is being printed.

I'm glad Pat and Bimbo are being looked after at Old Thatch rather than being sent to the "animal doctor" (as Enid Blyton calls him).
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Moonraker » 26 Jul 2017, 12:59

Fascinating tracing her journey - with no motorways! I wonder if she noted Alnwick Castle - and if that inspired her to write another book featuring a castle!
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Kate Mary » 26 Jul 2017, 15:51

Coincidentally I was visiting Northumberland last month and went to Alnwick and Corbridge both beautiful towns but it was raining when we went to Alnwick so I didn't see it at it's best. I've been to Alnwick before but this was my first trip to Corbridge, a stunning little town, I hope to go back again someday.

Reading about Bobs being pushed about in Gillian's dolls' pram reminded me my sister used to wheel our cat Jim about in her dolls' pram. Jim was such a dopey cat he even allowed her to put a bonnet on his head. I'm sure Pat and Bimbo were happier at home than at the vet's, perhaps catteries didn't exist in those days.

An interesting column and a nice easy puzzle.
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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Rob Houghton » 26 Jul 2017, 17:38

Kate Mary wrote:Reading about Bobs being pushed about in Gillian's dolls' pram reminded me my sister used to wheel our cat Jim about in her dolls' pram. Jim was such a dopey cat he even allowed her to put a bonnet on his head.


Exactly what we did a couple of times with my neighbour's cat! I used to play with my neighbour, Dawn, and sometimes we would put her cat, who was also very docile, in her toy pram with a bonnet on! :lol:
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: Enid Blyton's Weekly Letters in Teachers World

Postby Courtenay » 26 Jul 2017, 20:13

What a fascinating journey — I've just followed it via Google Maps. Very different from the one time I've ever been to Edinburgh, roaring straight up the motorways on the overnight National Express bus! Enid's way must have been far more picturesque and relaxing. I'm looking forward to hearing about her time in the Highlands next. :D

Lovely to hear about Gillian's birthday and Bobs the very proud dog. I've never tried pushing a dog or a cat in a pram (none of our pets would have stood for any such nonsense), but when I was just a few years old, Gran and Grandpa had a beautiful blue point Siamese cat, Simba, who used to let me dress him up with a bonnet and costume jewellery necklaces! :wink: Gran still has a photo of me showing him off.
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