Day 154 of 366: Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

I saw a comment on a couple of weeks ago on my Facebook feed asking an interesting question regarding reading habits.

As you probably realise, I love reading and so this question captured my attention. The question asked was: “What are the books that you love re-reading? Books that provide a feeling of comfort to you.”

I have been thinking about this ever since and wanted to ask the question on MY FB page but as yet, it hasn’t happened! But, I was triggered to think about it again this morning when I was mulling on the movie choice my granddaughters decided upon last night when we were babysitting for their Mum.

We have an add-on to our TV called “Me TV” through Optus. It is not cable but it does give you access to movies and other programs at a one-off fee. It actually does not cost us any extra to have it sitting there except for the movie rental from$3.95 to $5.95.  So I gave the girls 119 children’s movie choices! Well, actually I narrowed it down to a handful.

But the thing that shocked me the most was that they chose an old movie that they have seen before: The Secret Garden. This delightful movie (1993)  is wonderful but I wondered why they would give up some of the latest releases for this one? Well, it seems that they love the story and just wanted to relive it all over again.

It occurred to me today in the shower (do you have revelations in the shower like I do?) that it’s like the re-reading of the books. It’s a comfort thing. The story is familiar. There are no surprises. You know what is going to happen when the story gets scary. Add to all this when it’s a Friday night and you are tired and it is raining, a familiar story seems to override any other desire.

This movie is not just for children – watch it if you get a chance

For those who are not aware, The Secret Garden is based on one Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel, about an orphaned girl who discovers a secret garden in her uncle’s home, into which she is adopted once her parent’s die. The girl, Mary Lennox, learns about life with the help of her young cousin, a boy who has been hidden away in his bedroom since he was born.

It’s a cracker of a yarn and when Mary discovers the secret garden with the help of a boy who lives nearby, it all turns out rather lovely. Let’s just say that it is one of those magical tales where Mary learns to cry, the cousin learns to walk and the uncle discovers he can live again after many years of grieving for his wife lost in childbirth. And so the movie ends! An all-round feel good movie.

I never read this book as a child, but I have spoken to people who have and they simply loved to re-read it again and again. I discovered the movie when I was recovering from glandular fever in 1994 and felt as if it was an encouragement to me to find energy and gain a life again. I wish I had known the story as a child.

However, the one book that I really love to re-read every few years (and I love the movie too) is Little Women. When I read this book, I am transported back to being 10 years-old and I am curled up in a cosy nook reading about all the wonderful adventures that the March girls got up to with their friend Laurie next door!

And how I loved Jo who reminded me of myself: always in a corner either reading or with ink-stained hands writing stories to publish! Nothing much has changed really …  

I also followed the rest of the series, reading Good Wives, Jo’s Boys and Little Men. Did any of you ever read the whole series as I did? They came in drips and draps as presents for Christmas or my birthday but I have to say how grateful I am to my mother who fostered my love of reading and was always happy to oblige me with gifts of books.

Now since starting the writing of this post, Geoff and I sat down after lunch with Violet (5) to watch yet another movie: ‘The Fox and the Child’ (released in 2009) and discovered another wonderful magical tale.  Here is the story line:

 “A nature documentary blended with gentle drama, The Fox and the Child has a simple premise: Cute, 10-year-old girl spends a year stalking a fox which she dubs Lily, befriends the creature and her cubs, then realises she has to let Lily go back to the wild.”

The Fox and the Child movie

This is such a beautiful-looking  movie and it is set in Italy with the most amazing scenery as the girl wanders over the hills and dales trying to befriend the fox.  Apparently, it is dubbed in English but I never picked that up at all. The funny thing is that Violet soon tired of it but Geoff and I were glued to the TV and couldn’t get enough of it. Violet came back for the finale!

I would suggest if you have children, that it is better for older child over 10 years and for adults. Geoff and I loved it! The narration is done by Kate Winslet.  If you get a chance to watch it do so even if just for the scenery alone  although the relationship between the child and the fox will ‘suck you in.’ 

So now I can take my leave of you all ‘out there’ as I have shared some of my favourite movies and books. How I love them all!

There are lots of things happening here as I write. A quiet rainy Saturday evening has turned into an impromptu family gathering with Maria and her girls for tea and now a phone call from Belinda will bring forth her and Isaac to join us. How lovely.

As for Dan …  have fun at your 20th School reunion!