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!

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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!

If we didn’t have to work for a living…

I am asking the question – if we didn’t have to work for a living what would we do with our time? Do we work because we need the income or do we also do it because it’s fulfilling, it gives us a sense of purpose etc? It’s probably a bit of both but would we still work if we didn’t have to?

I am in the transition phase of life from just finishing my degree and starting my career. There are some days where life just feels like a series of steps, a series of things people need to complete in order to get through life.

Once we are born we come into a world that is completely unknown, we are taken care of by our parents, family members, friends and even strangers. When I look back to my child-hood although my Mother was the one I would say raised me, brought me up and did most of the work. There were other people there that came into my life and looked after me.

As I got older and in particular when my parents separated and later got divorced I learnt more about how to look after myself – for me the process of looking after myself started at about 6 or 7 years old. I still had other people around who I could depend upon but with my mother now being single I had to do more for myself.

It started with simple things like tieing my hair in a pony-tail but eventually I learnt to cook, do my washing and take myself to school.

I came out of school and was soon living in student accommodation and once again I was doing more myself and learning more about what I wanted for me.

By now I had completed both Primary and Secondary School and was about to start my degree.

The point that I’m trying to get at is that if you think about it once we are born we have a series of life lessons that need to be done before another lesson can begin. To the point where they are never-ending right up until we are no longer here.

I’m not saying that life is predictable or clear. Life does get in the way, we are presented with challenges and sometimes those “steps” have to be altered and changed in order to still get to where we want to go.

But where exactly are we going? If we can’t live forever is there is point? What would happen if we all decided to live on benefits?
Is that even possible?

For me being a teacher isn’t because of the money because lets face it I’m not going to earn a huge sum of money by doing my job. I’m doing it because I want to make a difference in the world. Plus I know that even if I didn’t need money for food, rent and bills I’d still do it. I can honestly say that I have enough love for what I got my degree in to do regardless of the money.

If I had more time just for me I would probably do more art, baking, writing, reading, watching of movies, etc. Not every day would be jam-packed and I probably wouldn’t get up early and decide that 9ish would be the earliest I’d wake up and I’d love to live in my trackies/pjs and not have to really worry about how I looked. But would I love my life? Honestly no, I don’t think I would. I can’t imagine not working with children in any way shape or form. As a nanny/babysitter, teacher or with what I’m doing now with before and after school care.

Everyday I feel so lucky to be a part of the lives that I’m a part of. Some of these kids are at school each day from 7:15am to 6pm at night, they have homework, extra-curricular activities/sport, parties, weekends away, etc. Their childhood isn’t exactly what I’d call easy. It’s pretty full-on.

The weekends and school holidays are for me time. If another person comes into my life some day then he will be included. But for now I can enjoy my spare time. I can enjoy my work and my hobbies. I think I’m pretty fortunate. My job to me isn’t simply a job and I cherish the time I have for myself.

I would rather be blissfully happy earning little than miserable earning a lot.

Signing off – Happy Saturday!!

 

My new job!!

I started a new job on Monday! I work in before and after school which means that every day Monday to Friday I get to go to one school and provide care for children aged 5-12 in both the morning and afternoon. The split shift is a hard adjustment. The job itself is wonderful.

The morning starts with setting up the kitchen with breakfast for the children, wiping down the tables and discussing the days activities with my co-ordinator.

As the children arrive with their parents what they do varies. Some decide to go straight into playing a game, doing arts and crafts or their homework. The kids I work with are diligent with their schoolwork, polite and very fun to be around.

As they settle into the morning some ask for milo, cereal or toast. While others have already had their breakfast. There are only a few kids who come in the mornings with the most being about 10.

One of the kids insists I don’t give her enough milo. I laugh to myself as I used to be a lover of milo and would enjoy much more than she gets given. This is one of the great things about working with children. When you realise how similar you are or once were.

The afternoons are a much busier affair. We can have 20+ children. I know as a teacher that, that is normal. However, it’s very different in this job. Although there are activties planned it can be quite unstructured.

We do ball games, arts and crafts, colouring competitions, cooking, etc. It can be very busy!

The kids are all different too as some don’t really want to participate. As someone who experienced going to both before and after school care I can really appreciate where they’re coming from. They want to be at home.

With a bit of encouragement to have them join in there is a fine line between wanting them to participate and be a part of the group and not pushing them in doing something they don’t want to do.

In drips and drabs the children leave until eventually there is no one left and it’s time to go home. As the assistant I’m not always there for this depending on ratios and on a Friday it’s a most common occurance… which is good because by then I’m ready to go home early.

So far everyday I’ve been thinking to myself “am I seriously getting paid for this?” “I’m having too much fun!”

I think that’s a sign that I pretty much love my new job.

Teaching is still on the cards but for now I’m pretty happy!!

Siging off – I need a nap! 😉

To be yourself

Lately I’ve been caught up in so much of what is going on in other people’s lives, but what for? I’m me and that’s ok. I should just be who I am and the best that I can be…

I should not feel sad or anxious about not having something that another person may have just because I feel like I should have those things. If those things are not here right now than that doesn’t matter maybe they’ll come and maybe they won’t. Maybe they’ll come tomorrow and maybe they’ll come in a few years time…

I’m reading this book called “down to earth” … ( http://www.penguin.com.au/products/9780670075928/down-earth)

It’s very inspiring…

One of things that I have just read is

“Stop living according to the expectations of others and focus on building a life that is unique to you”

The book is centred around the idea of simple living. Since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease I have gone from thinking all I will rely on is the gluten-free substitutes but cook how I used to e.g spag bol (Spaghetti Bolognese) but with G-F pasta, flourless chocolate cake…etc, then I decided to branch out and try new recipes and before you knew it I had a cupboard full of different ingredients…

I started to think if living gluten-free meant 20 ingredients that used to only take 4 or 5 that, that was a bit insane… I have the gluten-free 4 ingredients cookbook… but most of those recipes are good but a bit too basic…I still want to be able to eat delicious food just not spend so much money…

The great thing about this book is it gives you so many ideas on how to live your life fully but simply and not only that but it gives you a guide for each stage in your life in decades so 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and retirement.  It emphasizes on how if you’re not already living the life you want then it’s never too late to start. (The writer of this book is in her 60s and looks back on her life when she takes the plunge into the concept of simple living…)

It’s true to say that I’m very much a homebody and have always been very happy with that. I want to do things like travel – through my own country and the world…

I want to continue my education (on my own terms…), I want to learn another language, etc,etc

Let’s face it I want love and babies…

And tea and cake

and cats and dogs

and I want to be happy in a place that I call home… I want that home to be filled with photos of friends and family

places I’ve been…

I want my own veggie patch, herb garden… to have lots of flowers

I want to give back to the world so that not all my sentences start with “I want” like they have been…

and acceptance lots of acceptance…

but I think the place to begin is in myself otherwise I don’t think all those things will happen…

If I accept that I am who I am and that no body and I mean no body can take that away from me then I think I will be a better person… along the way I will learn from others of course but I can’t let influence take over and create someone I’m not because that will crush me before my time and no one wants that…

I’ve had a huge lesson of the day:

Be happy with who you are and who you will be!

Signing off because my feet feel frozen!!!

(15 days till Darwin, 15 days to 30 degree weather that’s celsius btw…)

Printers, photocopiers, scanners and staplers!!!

You’ve completed the assignment, you’ve put together the last piece of the lesson and are ready to print.

As simple as that sounds it never is. You print and print and print…then it gets to the last page and the printer flashes: ERROR! ERROR! ERROR!

You think…oh drat what now – all I want is for this to be printed!!! Urggh!

So you unjam the paper, put more paper in the machine and make sure there is enough ink. All great so you print and print and print.

The printing is finished. YAY!!! We all shout for joy.

So you grab the stapler to staple the pages together. All simple again.

But wait. NO. You staple the pages TEN times before the stapler runs out of staplers.

A trip to the supermarket is needed.

You come home.

Staple – go through what seems like the box and FINALLY the pages get stapled together!!

YAY another small victory.

Then you put together the pieces of a lesson plan – the lesson that you have to teach TOMORROW!

This needs to be scanned…that needs to be photocopied… The scanner is having the issues…

The photocopier is OUT OF INK…

There aren’t any other solutions…

Do you make the templates yourself – yes!! Urgh…

So much effort, just for one small activity…

No one else notices… 😦

The next day the kids do some GREAT work.

All the stress gone.

YAY now some real celebration can commence until the next battle with the printer, photocopier, scanner and stapler – especially the dreaded stapler.

Apparently once you’re a real teacher you can bluff your way through these situations.

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Looking forward to that.

Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs or staplers bite.

Getting caught comparing ourselves to others.

It’s a tricky thing in this “modern life” to not compare yourselves to the people around you.

I remember as a teenager I used to think the worse about myself if I saw someone give me even the smallest of glances. Eventually though I think most teenagers think people are watching them all the time. Watching to see if you do the right by others, watching to see if you give up your seat for the elderly, what clothes you are wearing, the food you eat, etc – basically everything that makes up who you are.

I didn’t have the best self-esteem plus I took nearly everything personally…still to this day I have those moments where I think about what other might be thinking or think unrealistically about a situation. Maybe though we all go through that stage?

I have learnt the difference between my realistic thinking and my unrealistic thinking. I feel as though even if I have those thoughts right when I’m having them I somehow switch into a more realistic mode of thinking and things start to feel “normal” again.

Tonight though I got home from babysitting (my honeybun and sugar-plum) – a discrete reference because they aren’t my children…but I noticed a book at their house that they had a book called “The Mother’s Group” – I wasn’t snooping, it was on the coffee table clearly there for anyone to see…but it intrigued me…I googled of course and found out roughly what it was about…

The idea of a mother’s group has always been fascinating to me… first time mothers getting together to meet, talking about what it is to be a mother, getting tips,etc…

but in my classic way of thinking comes the idea that a group of women all incredibly tired, hormonal, all over the shop…etc then being placed in a group that they don’t know each other = disaster. Won’t they all “bitch” about each other? Won’t they all compare each other? the list goes on… I mean when you think about it women don’t grow out of being women…we’re naturally going to think like this and naturally talk about others behind our backs… a vicious cycle really…

I was able to attend a mother’s group meeting which I thought was great and worked well and have heard really great stories…

But there is something that Istilldon’t like the idea of them…

I’m pretty sure my mum didn’t have a mother’s group and at the end of the day she has just done her best.

I’m writing this because out of everyone out there in the world. (I believe) Mother’s get the most amount of criticism. They are criticised about everything. From sleep, food, clothes, their child’s development, the cleanliness of their home, the school’s their children go to, their careers – not just what they do but whether they work or not, the way they discipline their children…the list I would say is never-ending.

Mum says as soon as I decide to have children: that everyone will have an opinion and try to give you advice. Which will probably include the name that I decide on.

We are so lost these days that no one shares anything with anyone else except our partners (married or not).

I’m the type of person that will reach out for advice but do hope that I just do things the way I wish and to do my best.

We need to give the mother’s of the world a break, they have children…they haven’t slept since the day they were born…even my mother I still think doesn’t sleep properly. Plus children are meant to be children!

It’s not just mother’s though. It’s everyone…

Give yourselves a break. I know the world out there is full of things that influence our day-to-day lives and who we are but you still need to remember who that is. Deep down there is a person who has your believes, interests, personality, etc and you just need to be them.

Think back to when you were five – you went about your day, had fun, did your reading, writing and arithmetic, came home, ate dinner and went back and did it all over again.

When I was five I aspired to be a teacher and a mother. I sit here today still with those same aspirations…one will come true at the end of this year, the other when I’m ready and when Ifeelis right… but when I look at that person who played made-up games and didn’t care if my hair was neat or my clothes looked nice. I wish some part of that person could still be me… growing up has pushed me past those days…but back again to allow myself be who I am.

They say that it’s when you get to your 30s you feel most aware of who you are and most comfortable in your skin… but I believe it’s the five-year-olds we all once were.

If life were that simple, we would all be in ignorant bliss…

If a child can look up at you with their curls all tangled, food on their clothes but be completely happy and laughing – then why can’t we adults do the same?

Because we are all too worried!!

I think my point that I’ve been trying to say is look at who you are? What do you see?

Don’t look at John or Sally and think… they have it all and their lives are perfect, why I can’t I be more like them… cos believe me… you won’t.

If you would like to read my latest poem which relates to this post here is the link:

http://songbirdwriting.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/your-judgement-eyes.html

Signing off… to reflect upon a GREAT and happy Sunday!

Hope you all had a fantasitc day!! 🙂

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