Reading, Looking, Thinking
This is a place for me to prattle on about things varied and unspecified. You are invited to participate.
This week it’s all about Moomins, a metal peacock and infuriating politicians.
As a life-long devotee of Tove Jansson’s Finnish trolls, I was delighted to discover a podcast made by The Guardian with the accomplished British actor and voice artist, Bill Nighy reading a short story taken from Tales from Moominvalley.
The Invisible Child is about a shy and isolated young girl called Ninny who is brought to live in the Moominhouse by the always wise Too-ticky. The “kid” is invisible and mute when she arrives having spent too long in the care of an “ironic woman”. The Moomin family help her gradually reappear and take her rightful place in society by treating her with kindness and respect.
Published by Sort of Books, a new hardback edition of The Invisible Child and the Fir Tree is now available for £4.99 from Oxfam, Waterstones and the Moomin Shops in London’s Covent Garden and Camden Market. All proceeds will go to Oxfam’s women’s projects worldwide in the hope that one day all women and girls will have “a powerful voice”.
The podcast was produced by Rowan Slaney and Simon Barnard.
When taking an elderly friend to the hospital in Gobowen for a long-awaited knee replacement, I spotted an unusual statue glinting in the sun at the entrance to its posh new Theatre and Oncology building. Upon further investigation I discovered it was an intricate metal sculpture entitled ‘The Peacock’, which had been erected in memory of Percy the peacock who, “roamed the hospital grounds” and was “loved by patients and staff.”
According to the sign, Percy lived at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital for over 20 years. He became something of a local celebrity after repeatedly flying over from nearby Park Hall until he was permitted to remain in the grounds, where he was held in deep affection by all who came to know him. He died of old age early in 2017.
The sculpture, which evoked in me fond memories of the Iron Chicken from an episode of The Clangers, was commissioned by The British Ironwork Centre who created the likeness out of old surgical instruments. It was officially unveiled last summer by HRH Princess Alexandra, the youngest granddaughter of King George V.
A fitting memorial to a prestigious peafowl!
My head is a jumble of books to review (which is a good thing), exasperation over anything remotely related to Brexit, and utter fury at the innumerable imbecilic, self-serving politicians running our world. Forgive me if I seem a tad shrill, but these sentiments are quite the norm for me at present. However, the sun is shining and there are comma butterflies basking on the garden wall, not to mention several fat bumble bees in the honeysuckle outside my window. Consequently I will take a deep breath and refrain from pontificating!