It was like a small death – a lemming leaping over the precipice with the mob because someone thought it was a good idea.
Only to survive and wonder how you could be convinced such an act could be constructive in the short or long term.
At 21 I relinquished the loves of my young life, the booksof my childhood, for a worthy cause.
Not my worthy cause – the workplace of my future mother- in- law was a mental hospital in Melbourne’s north where she was matron.
She knew of my treasure trove, and in collusion with my mother presented a case to forsake my hoarding habits and have a good clean out of the book case. After all – I would be married in a year and travelling and my childhood stash would be an encumbrance to my parents.
But – should I have children of my own, wouldn’t this precious collection be the source of rousing imaginations of a new generation?
I recall painfully sorting through my dearest companions. I still had Enid Blyton from Noddy to the Faraway Tree to the Famous Five and Secret Seven, a weighty old Blinky Bill with his stick and kerchief on a sepia cover I’d been given when I was very small, and May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie which I adored.
I think these two important contributions to Australian children’s literature helped form a very early and healthy interest in … continue reading