The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton
Once a week our family members get together for a virtual pub quiz. Last week, we were Quizmaster and whilst researching questions came across a question about the Land of Magical Medicines and at the risk of going all Alan Bennett, my mind was cast back to being a 5 year old child reading the Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I hopped onto Ebay and as if by magic the exact edition I had a child was for sale. I quickly purchased it and was delighted to receive it quickly.
Books can be so powerful. Flicking through the novel I saw the same illustrations that had delighted me as a child. I remember reading this in our family's 200 year old cottage. It had no central heating and on odd days Jack Frost would appear in the windows . I used to read after my Mum and Dad had said goodnight, hiding the books under my pillow. As soon as I heard the latch on the staircase, I would hurriedly take out my book and start reading.
The Magic Faraway Tree is a wonderful book. 3 children visit their friends, Silky, Moon-face and Saucepan Man, who live in the Magic Faraway Tree. At the very top of the tree is a ladder leading into a cloud where a land will be. The land changes regularly and the children have lots of adventures, some good, some bad in the lands which include the aforementioned Land of Magical Medicines, the Land of Presents and the Land of Bad Tempers.
As I turned each page, memories came flooding back: the fact that the Magic Faraway Tree grows different fruits at any one time, the sound of the leaves in the Enchanted Wood (wisha-wisha), and the other characters, Dame Wash-a-lot, the Angry Pixie and Whatzisname. Best of all was the slippery-slip, a slide running in the middle of the tree which when it was time to go home, you select a plump cushion and slide all the way down to the bottom. I remember as a child going down the slide of our local 'rec' and pretending it was the slippery-slip.
The writing is imaginative and magical. I love it! A note on the text, the version of the book I had as a child differs to the text found in bookshops currently. And thank goodness! The version I read was definitely 'of its time'. Boys and Girls had defined gender roles, Mother is usually cooking and washing whilst Father works in the garden and enjoys his pipe. One of the children's names has been changed to be more modern and a number of the more sensitive toys which had racial connotations have been removed.
I adore this book which has brought back so many happy memories for me. In these difficult times, please do what you can to get through this. Maybe order your favourite book from your childhood and get ready to be transported back in time. Wonderful!
There are many culinary delights and sweet treats in the Magic Faraway Tree such as Toffee Shocks and Google Buns. Whilst I haven't the ability or power to make a toffee get bigger the more you suck it before disappearing with a loud bang, I can offer a gentler bun with my version of google buns i.e jam buns. This should be enjoyed with a glass of orange squash which should leave you with an orange smile at the sides of your mouth. Be a child once again and Enjoy!