A final meander and a few quirky things spotted around the grand estate.
It was a slightly hazy day and not much drama with light and shadows but plenty of statues lending their own drama to the scene. Most of the figures are Italian marble and would have originally been pure white.The marble is constantly being cleaned on the classical statues and in the most basic way with a toothbrush and water ( I am no expert but some conservation work is not as glamorous as it sounds!). Each statue takes eight hours or so to clean and they are not taken back to their original whiteness.
Once upon a time was a little girl in a very big house full of books and reading material and no television or radio or newspapers.The books were carefully chosen and there were many different languages and cultures on the shelves. Some of this the girl absorbed, some passed her by.
Omissions were a lot of popular classics. No Agatha Christie, no Enid Blyton and anything too morbid or dark was hidden so Grimm lurked but was rarely seen.
With no television, reading was a must and a few hours each day was occupied with reading or writing or drawing.
But what did you read? they ask.
A lot, said the girl. The Italian version of Pinocchio was read to her (translated as it went along). Tintin and Asterix were well read,French and English, Hans Christian Anderson and fairy tales from other European countries. She sneak read Agatha Christie and got through them on summer holidays in Wales, devouring her first taste of ‘murders’ and murkier stuff. She glanced at Enid Blyton in libraries but didn’t feel she was missing too much, Famous Five weren’t too bad if only one or two were read.
She knew there were gaps and some things mainstream and popular were never encountered.
One day this girl grew up and could choose her own books and fill her own shelves. She kept some of her childhood reads and added new tales to read to her own children but now television was there too so reading was pushed to the back a little.
So now all grown up and wise and reflective she realises that in all her born years she has never actually read, from cover to cover, Alice in Wonderland.
Why does this bother her that she has not read the actual book?
Because she feels as though she has read it. She knows it inside out, all about it. She knows about Alice and the rabbit with his timekeeping issues and the crazy lot at the tea party and all the pack of card stuff and all that.
How can a book be so well known by a person and not actually be read?
So at this ripe age this grown up girl read Alice in Wonderland for the first time and was pleasantly surprised.For a book that is a hundred and fifty years old the bit of nonsense makes a lot of sense. It is funny and easy to read and really no-nonsense at all. Perhaps it is a good thing she forgot to read it until her own childhood was her own distant memory.
When she became Alice
Once upon a time
Thank you to Ailsa for inspiration at http://wheresmybackpack.com/2015/08/07/travel-theme-grey/