Wednesday, 6 October 2010

'FK of The A4174'

During my three hours in the car each day, to and from work, I've been listening to some audio versions of a literary classic - LM Montgomery's 'Anne of Green Gables'.

Then 'Anne of Avonlea'. Then 'Anne of the Island'. Swiftly followed by 'Anne's House of Dreams'. I'm now on 'Anne of Ingleside'. I think. Or it could be 'Rainbow Valley'. They're all pretty much the same.

I'm addicted. These books are the literary equivalent of snuggling under a soft, warm duvet in a twilit room with the rain beating on the window outside and an unwrapped Chocolate Orange in one's hand. Absolute bliss.

Whilst listening, I've been able to switch off from work, family, church, school and Slumming Girl diet demands. The stories are quite dated, and some of the language is a bit flowery. And I do admit to snorting my coffee when the narrator spoke of Anne and her friend looking after the baby for the afternoon 'in an orgy of girlish love making'.

Over the past few weeks, I've spent over forty hours of travel time with Anne and her chums and the manly, sexy Gilbert Blythe (sigh). I'm a sucker for these types of books. Before I was 10, I'd read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' series. Even the lesser known 'The First Four Years' and 'Farmer Boy'. My hero is Jo from Louise May Alcott's 'Little Women' books. Or Katy from 'What Katy Did'. Or Caddie Woodlawn.

I yearn for their times of good old fashioned values and delicious sounding food. Plum duffs, molasses toffee, vanilla fudge, raspberry cordial, currant wine.

(Wonder how many 'syns' I'd have to note on my food diary for a plum duff......just checked Slumming Girl online syns count. 'Sorry, no record found.' I'm guessing it would come in at 500% of my daily allowance).

I'd get to grow my hair long (the obligatory plaits would sort out my old problem of looking like Dougal from the Magic Roundabout when my hair grows longer than a few inches). I'd run around barefoot. I'd eat maple syrup and snow. And apple cobbler (what?). And peppermint balls.

I'd be able to teach school after just a year of college and then could give up work and let a man look after me as soon as I got married. I'd wear a corset to give me my hour glass figure.

I'd go to church on Sundays. And would have no hoover. I'd have to walk everywhere. I wouldn't be able to spend quiet hours on the toilet after too much curry. There would be no curry.

Forget it.

I think I may have exhausted the genre of late nineteenth century North American literature for pre teenaged girls. Time to move on, grow up and get back to the present. I wonder if Nigella has written her autobiography yet?

7 comments:

Mud in the City said...

LOVED those books! What Katy did and did next especially (not quite Katie Price was she....). However I am concerned that non of my early heroines ever relieved themselves of a stressful day with a bottle of white wine... maybe I'm not cut out for 19th C life after all!

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Getting hungry reading about your plum duff!

Loved Little Women but probably the film stays in my mind more - Meg and her gorgeous pink frock, Jo messing up her relationship with Laurie and ending up marrying the beardy bloke. That so annoyed me.

Footballers Knees said...

Mud - you're right...how could I have forgotten the white wine? Although maybe currant wine would have been stronger? here's hoping, for their sakes.

Trish - you are so right - what WAS she thinking of with that beardy bloke? She could have been rich and comfortable with Laurie. What a waste. Bet she finished off a few bottles of currant wine after that marriage!

dulwich divorcee said...

I read Anne of Greengables to Child Two not long ago and we LOVED it - I actually enjoyed it way more than her and way more than I had as a child. It had me in fits. Gilbert is gorgeous, even right at the start! And of course I loved Little House on the Prairie and all the rest ... nothing comes close to Flambards for me, though. I think probably wearing all those lovely swishy frocks would make up for the lack of Chardonnay. I said probably.

Nora said...

Those books don't prepare you for the reality of life, though, which was bad for a dreamer like me.

PantsWithNames said...

I loved those books - LIttle house on the prairie was my favourite. Gutted I've only got boys, not sure they'll take to be read them as not enough Star Wars action.

Footballers Knees said...

DD - Flambards! Had forgotten about that! So sad when Will died in a plane crash. I never really got over that.

Nora - I know what you mean - am still dreaming!

Pants - weird, I was thinking the same thing today on the way home, although CS Lewis was acceptable when mine was younger, not quite the same as Little House!