The bizarre world of Mary Poppins… the book! By P.L.Travers

mary poppins

I love Mary Poppins! I have seen the movie probably a million times and watched the stage show… but never have I ever read the books. Up until now that is! I read the first Mary Poppins book by P. L. Travers just recently. Because lets face it, if I were to be a fan I had to read the books too. But let me tell you… The movie version is almost nothing like the book.

It is written by P. L. Travers who although was born in Australia but considers herself to be British. You can understand the British tone to the story and the fact that a family would live they way they did in this story even though they aren’t terribly well off – a very British tradition. But the world that she writes… is very bizarre, very strange and most definitely influenced by drugs – that’s for sure! It is more like a series of short stories that one story as there isn’t much of a flow or a link between chapters.

It is very enjoyable and I can see why Disney wanted to make a film of it… but I can also see why they chose to tone it down a bit. There are just a bit too many unusual things happening… having said that, it is Disney and they liked presenting a more innocent picture of the world to their young audiences. Which I guess does make sense.

The main changes to the books are the fact that the story isn’t told through song, the Banks family have four children Jane and Micheal who appear in the movie as well as two babies John and Barbara… Mary sleeps with the babies in the book instead of having a room adjacent to the children in their nursery, that there are more household staff in their house and that Mary herself isn’t as likable.

That was probably the crushing part of the book and being a huge fan of Julie Andrews and her version in the movie… that the book version although the children liked and eventually loved her was sometimes quite rude even towards the parents, held a few secrets close to her and could seem a little harsh towards the children. Plus she taught the children ‘lessons’ in odd ways. She is also described as not being that pretty.

But I guess Julie Andrews just couldn’t act in the way the book describes Mary Poppins… it just wouldn’t happen. It’s Julie Andrews after all – plus she is really pretty…

I am curious to read other Mary Poppins books just to see where the story goes and to figure out where other parts of the movie come from as well as the stage show.

If you are like me and wanted to know more about the world of Mary Poppins this is something you should read – it is indeed a great story even if a bit odd.

If however you don’t want the Julie Andrews image of Mary Poppins to be in some way tainted… then I would stay away because it will change!

For anyone else who hasn’t actually seen or read Mary Poppins then well – what are you waiting for??

Signing off… hope everyone is having a good week!

“Some tasty little flavour bombs…” -Jamie Oliver

Once upon a time I remember not really liking Jamie Oliver… I cannot remember why I just didn’t. There are a few reasons that I can think of now that might have been why… like a silly one being that so many other people liked him and therefore I decided not to… or simply because I wasn’t all that interested in cooking and didn’t need a reason to be interested in him.

I think when I started liking him was when he started his healthy school dinner projects in England. He has such a passion for food that when it came for him to teach children about it he became a naturally good teacher. He didn’t go into to schools and got children to follow recipes, take notes from the board, gave them rote learning exercises, etc. He got the children involved in not just the cooking of the food, but in what types of food are good for us and how they can become delicious. From there he went into people’s homes and talked to the parents about why their children were eating unhealthily and how they could make changes in their cooking.
I remember that something he was teaching was learning a ‘set’ of recipes maybe about ten that you know off by heart, that will keep you and the family happy, that are affordable and most importantly – healthy.
Around the time that this show was being aired in Australia I was about to move into student accommodation and begin my uni degree. Knowing that I wouldn’t have Mum there to help me,I gave myself that very challenge. One of the recipes I learnt was how to make my own fried rice… I loved it and knew the Chinese take-away option wasn’t always the best…

Unfortunately, arriving at my new home some of these ideas I had for cooking great food…came crashing down as soon as I saw the state of the kitchens…hmmm hundreds of young students sharing kitchens together isn’t always a good idea… just maybe… I learnt to be a bit more resourceful with my cooking… but it was not quite the same.
The year after I had almost the opposite experience. Boarding with family friends who cooked for me and not just simple basic meals either… I’m talking about barley and lamb shank cassroles, middle eastern feasts, yummy soups, chocolate puddings, apple cakes, roasts, etc, etc… just really good food! I was never hungry!
But then the year after that, I was living in a share house and diagnosed with Coeliac Disease.
Not only was I cooking for myself again, but I had to figure out what on earth I was going to make that was Gluten Free. I had to enjoy it and try and put on weight, healthily.

I was hungry all the time and just could not work out how to be full.
Last year came and things started to improve… I was cooking pretty decent meals, all gluten free, healthy, filling and great tasting. But I was wasting lots because I did not know what to do with it.
This year came and with my weird hours in before and after school care… it was either really basic cooking or take-away… a little ashamed to admit it… but it’s true…
I have have since resigned from my job to get back into focusing on teaching and with more time comes better cooking.
I have decided to shop at the market, try out lots of different recipes, transform ones with gluten to make gluten free and cook from recipes that are already gluten free.
On top of which I have been watching Jamie’s show “Save with Jamie” and it has really inspired me to be aware of not just how to stretch money when cooking but on how not to waste so much food. The show is really upbeat and it looks like most his recipes are doable. Maybe not in his style, with his perfectly stocked pantry or team of cooks… but it actually looks realistic.

Plus his crazy passion for food oozes from the screen as he gets excited with Jamieisms such as “Some tasty little flavour bombs”
It’s just a great show and is making me just want to cook and eat well!
Signing off… need sleep… it’s late…

Are we in fear of turning 25?

I’ve decided to join those who write about what it’s like to turn 25. I’m about 4 months off from doing so and I’m not in fear as though this age means I’m getting “old”… I’m actually really excited. It does mean that I will be a quarter of a century old… it does mean I’ll be half way to 50. I can no longer be considered “youth”…. young yes… totally and completely young.  Other people who I have known that have got to this age have said that it makes them feel old. I do not really understand that sorry. Even with a housemate of mine turning 30 and saying the same thing… It’s not old. 

Old to me is where you’re wrinkly all over, have grey hair, need help with getting on the bus and can no longer remember your grandkids. Before that we’re young. Even my mother whose age I will not reveal, to me is young. 

But why is old a “bad” thing anyway? Am I too young to be answering the question… most people would agree that I am. What do I know at my age about the woes and misery of life if I haven’t lived yet. I’m not at that “stage” of life where I can look back and say “In my day we used to walk 50 miles in knee deep snow just to get to the other side of the road…” 

I will disagree with those who believe this to be true. I have already lived. It’s 25 years. Yes it’s not as long as, 30, 40, 50 years, etc… but still… what do people think they have been doing for 25 years… sitting around and watching the days go by without a care in the world… I don’t think so… 

For those of you who know me and know me well, know that I have well and truly been affected by life.

I have learnt a lot from life. I have learnt that life comes with its ups and downs. I have learnt a lot about people. That we are all human trying to get along. I have learnt a lot about babies and children. That they need love, stability and a place where they can belong. 

I have learnt a lot from my friendships. Friends sometimes come and go… I will always remember who you are even if in years to come we do not see each other. I have learnt that family are not the people we choose to belong to but that I will always love them and stick by them – unconditionally. 

I have learnt that at 18 although legally I was an adult… that really I was sill a teenager and that I am still learning about what it is to be an adult and will probably still be learning about that at age 80, just like I know my grandparents are. I have learnt that the plan I had at age of five to be a teacher and a mother doesn’t necessarily have to be stuck to and that, that is ok. 

I have also learnt that finding love… is like looking for a needle in a haystack… 

To me I choose to enjoy getting older. Learning more from life. Getting what I want from this life that I have. Be grateful that I am alive to live it. Hopefully I will learn about what it is to “stress less”, to be a happy with what I have… not always wanting the new… staying healthy without the pressure of being “skinny”… travelling to other parts of Australia and the world that I haven’t seen… and to be open to every new challenge that comes my way.

Yay to turning 25! It’s going to be great. 🙂 

Signing off… time to face the music… 

 

 

Are we having the time of our lives?

I have stopped and thought about this post many times. What did I want to say? What will I end up writing? Will this have an effect on how people who know me in the outside world see me and who I am? I feel both apprehensive and positive about writing on this subject.

I want to share my thoughts, feelings and opinions about an Australian Drama called “The time of our lives”

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I remember wanting to write a post after watching the first episode. I noticed myself being very quick to judge and criticise the characters that we as the audience barely knew. It was only episode one! I thought ok… maybe I need to watch another episode before I start writing about it… However, as the weeks went on. I realised that I couldn’t work out how I felt or thought about these people. My secret favourite was Bernadette (Justine Clarke)… she had the clothes I liked, gorgeous twin girls, I loved her approach to “step-parenting”, she had a good job… she just had a warmth about her – there was an immediate liking to her.  My least favourite in the beginning was Caroline (Claudia Karvan)… a completely different person to Bernadette. I didn’t feel an instant liking to her… because I wasn’t sure about her parenting or choice in the name Carmody… I felt disconnected to her as a person. I started to see myself agree with her husband.

Now I wish that I could go back to that first episode and take back what I was thinking. I am generally speaking not that type of person. I like to see people for who they are. I like to see that we are all human beings, that we may have different lives, different ideas on how to live… that there is no “right” or “wrong” way of going about things.  I don’t look at people and judge them. It’s just not me. I don’t believe it is up to me to do so. What right do I have? Even with family and friends that I’ve known for years. It’s not my life. At the end of day they are the people who have to live their lives the way they choose to. Or in the case of this TV show… the way the writers decide their character’s lives.

With this in mind. I now see this show with very different eyes. I see all the characters, their struggles, their triumphs, their bad days, good days, the decisions they are making, how all of this affects them, the people around them and how their lives unfold. I can see the human side to all of them. I can see that the writers of this show have taken good care in giving us a broad picture of Australian life as it is today. There is no set path to everyone. I can see why some people will choose to relate to some of the characters more than others and I can understand why some will be liked more than others.

Bernadette will ‘secretly’ be my favourite in the show… Because to me she is just “totally awesome” and she reminds me of someone in my life… But I don’t think I have a least favourite or ever will…

At the end of the day it’s not really about that…

I am hooked on another great Australian Drama and lovin’ it!!

Are we having the time of our lives? I can only speak for myself… really.

Signing off… because there is a cat here in desperate need of my attention!

Happy Saturday 🙂

 

Breaking away from writer’s block…

Finally!!! For the longest of times… I have had terrible writer’s block! I have started that many blog posts and deleted that many unfinished blog posts that I thought it would take a miracle before I wrote one again… but no instead it is a poem!!

A poem! YAY I have written another poem. I can’t actually remember the last time I wrote a poem. It feels great to have completed this poem. I remember being on a tram when I started it… lines like rumbling tram… journeying girl came out and I found myself thinking about my trip to work and how I liked the time I got to read. I started writing about what I did when I got to work. As I saw the words on the page and what looked like a poem that I had written… I just wasn’t happy. It was frustrating me that the lines weren’t flowing on the page. I don’t experience writer’s block that often. I know that writer’s have written about it… about the pain of writing. But for some reason it doesn’t happen for me in such a way. I love getting my pen out and to write. Just the feeling of the movement of the pen in my hand is enjoyable.

So for it to not be so enjoyable wasn’t good…

Then yesterday… I had what people say is the “light bulb moment” as I was at a cafe eating my brunch… I wrote in my journal about how annoying it was to think and think but for words to not be written on the page and this morning it all came to me.

I wrote another poem!!!

It feels good.

Here is the link to my other blog – for those who are interested in reading it:

http://songbirdwriting.blogspot.com.au/

Have a read and let me know what you think! You’ll notice how everyday life it is! 🙂

Happy Reading

Signing off to enjoy my weekend. 

Are we too old for fairy-tales?

I am reading “Between the Lines” by Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer. I am not ashamed to admit that as an adult I’m reading a teenage fairy tale. A book that some people would argue is not for someone my age and that I should be reading something else. Like the main character herself I am questioning the reason for reading a book that I really enjoy.

I decided on reading this book because I have never read anything by Jodi Picoult. So many of my friends have read her work and I don’t know why I never have. A while ago a friend of mine suggested that I read her books because she felt they were engaging. She thought that I would like her stories because people can relate to them.

In picking up a book that is essentially a fairy tale. You might be asking; can anyone relate to that? If we look back to when fairy-tales were first written. Most of them are quite gory, there are acts of cruelty, characters cutting body-parts up, etc. It has only been over time where fairy-tales have become friendlier or ‘disneyed’. The Disney versions do not appear to be relatable.

Fairy-tales are a place that begins in “Once upon a time” and ends in “They lived happily ever-after”. If I was generalising I would say that most girls dream of being a Princess and having their Prince come and rescue them. When we watch a Disney adaptation of a fairy-tale we are lead to believe that for 90 mins that if we wish upon a star our dreams will come true and we will be forever happy.

Do we grow out of this dream? Can this dream come true? If we live by good morals and work hard will we eventually be leading a happy life.

The first part of “Between the Lines” does start with “Once upon a time”. It continues for a while with other classic fairy-tale lines. As we delve into the story though it develops as a story of fantasy vs reality. Delilah the main female character is contemplating her life believing to be of a miserable one. She is captured by the fairy-tale she is reading because Oliver the Prince in the story is somewhat similar to her. Delilah and myself might as well be the same person or at least in some ways.

I have been captured by her story in a very similar way. I’ve grown up enough to realise the difference between feeling miserable and actually believing I have a miserable life. Thank goodness for that. At the age of 15 like Delilah though I thought differently. I’m very close to being ten years older than 15.

Because of this I’ve been reflecting a lot on who I was then and who I am now. This book couldn’t have come at a better time, really. It has landed in my lap at time when I most need it. It is reminding me that at 15 I had so many worries, I thought so badly of the person that I was, I cared too much about what other people thought. I didn’t really think I was going anywhere. It mostly came down to superficial “stuff”.

I used to think that the image I portrayed on the the outside was a reflection of who I was on the inside. That the clothes I wore, the house I lived in or the possessions I owned meant something. Most teenagers might be thinking that they feel as though their every movements are being watched. By not only their family and friends but even by strangers.

We grow up to realise that the majority of people on this planet have no idea who you are or that you even exist. Why would they care about the clothes you wear on your back? I wish I could tell my 15 year old self to chill out and relax. If I had a chance to be 15 again there are so many things I’d do differently.

I guess that is why I really like this book. It is an easy read and has taken my only a few days to nearly get to the end. But it is good because in its simplicity I have found a story where I can really see myself. It doesn’t matter that it wasn’t intended to be read by adults. It doesn’t matter that it has fairy-tale like themes,etc. It doesn’t matter that what happens in this story would probably never happen in reality. What matters is that I have gotten something out of it… and that I’m sure other people have too.

Are we ever too old for fairy-tales?

Children are simply great!

A child at school told me I had a fancy haircut. I decided to cut my hair back to a really short hair-do. I could not bare to wait for it to grow out anymore. That same child over-heard me singing – told me I should be famous when I grew up… When a different child pointed out I was already grown. She said that she meant when I was a mummy. When I decide to not wear make-up she says I look tired. When I do wear it she says I look nice.

Children are great. They can be honest and don’t hold back on what they think. My little sister would tell me my hair cut makes me look a boy. 

Some children are very sweet – they bring you handmade presents. They can brighten up your day or even your week. I had a child bring me something she made, it looked like she had put in so much effort. She brought it to me after only being in aftercare for a day. As she gave it to me she said “this is because I had such a great time in aftercare”. I gave her a big thank-you and told her she made my week – truthfuly told as that week hadn’t been very good for me … I think that I have enough homemade presents from kids that I could make a collage out of them.

Sometimes I believe they are in their own bubble.

In observing how they play I see them become animals of all sorts, mothers, fathers, babies, fairies, kings, queens, knights, pirates, etc. They give themselves funny names, they live in all sorts of places. A pile of leaves can be a carrot stew for their bunny (soft toy). That same pile of pile of leaves can be biscuits for their puppy. 🙂

The playground becomes a fortress, a castle, a home or an obstacle course. They can predict people’s future in a game of “MASH”. A game like many that has changed and evolved since I was a kid… that’s for sure. I love how they all think they invented the games too. They were the first ones to play them and they know all the rules.

I have children at my school who try and tell me how to do my job. Some who even start doing for it me.

It is an odd place to be – before and after school care. 5-12 year olds mixed together for either a morning or an afternoon.They may not be friends at school. But here they come toegether, play together and eat together.

Children are just wonderful! Living in their own worlds. I sometimes wish we didn’t lose that as we grow up.

What about you? Is there something you miss from your childhood?

Signing off…to clean my room… I still haven’t grown out some old habits.

 

 

The annoying side to our online worlds…

So for about an hour now… I think.  I’ve been on Pinterest. You know that place that makes you feel like you’re being productive when really all you are doing is wasting away a perfectly good rainy day. The place when you can pin things on a virtual pin board and not have to worry about having a real one in the real world.

I have a real pin board or cork board or whatever you want to call it – it has I think one thing pinned onto it. One. My pinterest however has hundreds of pins – could you imagine what my kitchen where said pin board is – would look like if it was the other way round? I simply do not want to know! Ahhh the chaos. This is why I like/love pinterest! It makes for a uncluttered kitchen. Now if only there was something out there that did the same for my bedroom… which is pretty much the opposite – oops!

However, there is one thing I do not like about our online worlds. Having to subscribe to nearly every site just simply so I can browse it is frustrating. When doing so you start to receive email upon email. In these emails they contain promotions, deals, sales, new items, etc that gets added to the site. If I wanted to find this information out I would direct myself to the website!

I do not want a cluttered inbox of emails that I don’t read. All I want to be able to do is browse a site with clothes/home-wares/stationery/most anything else… be inspired to be more productive, creative, to make things myself, arty, possibly buy things, have ideas for blogging, cooking, etc.

I do not want to be a member of those websites unless I am actually interested in doing so!!

Besides anything that I am a member of by choice I usually lose interest after about the 5th or 10th email because it just seems to be the same old stuff. Being a member to me only really helps to make online purchases easier. It doesn’t help in any other way. I’m sorry to say.

I think the online world’s job is to make life easier not more frustrating… All I wanted to do was look at some amazing bed linen… that’s it! But guess what? The site asked me subscribe and stopped me from going further.

Signing off… deep in frustration. 😛

The rest of our lives…

A cousin of mine is year 10 and is 15 years old. She is already being asked what she wants to do with the rest of her life. She has no idea; it’s a tough question to ask anyone let alone someone who is 15. When I was 15 I had no idea. When I was 21 I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do… – be a Primary School Teacher. Now approaching my 25th birthday I’m asking myself the same question and I just don’t know.

I still think I’m too young to have it all “figured out”. Maybe, if I had been employed as a teacher at the end of last year; I would have a better idea. Upon reflection in not having straight away gotten a job I am “umming” and “ahhing” over what I want to do.

Earlier this year I was offered a job interview for a Kindergarten Teaching role – I spoke to the lady on the phone who was making the offer and because I don’t have quite the right qualifications I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t even go to the interview to see what it was all about. It got me thinking that with nannying experience and knowing that I love littlies – I thought to myself… what if I went back to uni and studied Early Childhood Edcuation?

What if I did both teaching and nannying? What if I went back to the idea of opening an etsy store? What if, what if, what if?

Is that all life is – a whole bunch of what ifs just waiting to never truly be answered?

Plus do I have to do the same thing for the rest of my life?

To be honest if someone asked what I wanted out of life. I would say that I just wanted to be happy. I don’t think there is a clear path for anyone to take. Some of us might be happy doing the same old thing forever whereas others might need to change our minds a couple of times. The rest of our lives is a long time to think about. I would rather just take my time.

Maybe every year for me can be new and different. I could find new things to do. It might be a bit unstable or less secure but I’m in my 20s. Do I really need to “figure it out?”

Does my life when in the stage of just looking out for myself really have to be so serious? I think all of us needs to relax a little bit. Especially myself.

I could ask the world a million questions but at the end of the day it’s my life and it is there for me to live it and how I would like to.

Signing off to go enjoy the rest of my Sunday!

Me and Emma by Elizabeth Flock

With the travel time I have for work on trams I am blessed with actually having time to read. I think most people would agree that once they start their working life they lose time for reading… if it doesn’t happen then, then by the time they become parents if they chose to take that path… they lose that time then. For me though I’m reading a book roughly every two weeks. I’m pretty fortunate I would say.

However, because of this I have had to make the effort to go the library… can’t really afford buying all the books I want to read anyway but especially if I get through as many as I do.

Last week as I had just finished reading Harry Potter for the second time, I thought to myself… what am I going to read? When reading a series as long as seven books you don’t really have to think much about the next book for a while.

With the convenience of everything online I had the comfort of looking up the library catalogue from home. I started with of course familiar authors or authors I wanted to read for longest of times but for some reason never did. One of them was Jodi Picoult as I have never read any of her books (why??) and  as I read “Any Human Heart” I had to read some more William Boyd…

Once at the library I quickly found the books I was looking for and decided to have a “random” search… In doing so I stumbled across “Me and Emma” by Elizabeth Flock. Of course I picked it up, it did have my name on it after all. I didn’t know anything about this author, the book or anything but simply based on what I read on the cover and the testimonies on the back I decided to borrow it. I didn’t even read the blurb.

I’m now only a few chapters to the end of the book and I am very happy I picked it up from the library. In the way that it’s written I was instantly reminded of Scout from “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. Carrie is eight years old (Me) and her sister Emma is six years old. It’s the tale of the two girls and their lives together. Carrie narrates the story.

It is both a beautiful and harrowing. Carrie is there to protect Emma from their abusive step-father Richard, their mother is blind to his abuse and powerless to stop it and we shown flash-backs to their past life when their Daddy was alive.

If you decide to read this and love children there may be times where you feel sick…You’ll want to cry too from the lives the girls might have had if their father was still alive. However, this all depends on how sensitive you are! I don’t want to go into too much detail and as I haven’t finished yet I can’t write a review.

But if you are looking for something to read then turn to Elizabeth Flock… I will be picking up another of her books again that is for sure…

With all this reading I do hope it makes me a better writer!

Signing off – hope you are having a good weekend and getting some reading done!

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