Tuesday 15 January 2013

Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it - P. J. O'Rourke

I seem to be on a major nostalgia run.  Maybe it’s my age.  A phase I’m going through?  Or maybe it’s the romance of winter.  Basking in memories past.  Well, the good ones at least.

It all started with a visit from K, one of my best friends from childhood. We spent a few indulgent days talking.  Non stop.  About nothing and about everything.  Past and present.  And we laughed a great deal.  The joyful security of long and deep friendship.

After her return home, my reminiscing manifest itself in Hong Kong Phooey.  I know.   Didn't you just love that series as a child?  I kept seeing it during my book-buying on Amazon. Finally, I gave in and bought the series.  For visiting kids, of course.  But just how cool is HKP?  Number one super guy.  That’s how.  He’s been helping me get through my painting.

My second nostalgia trip has been Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry’s The Little Prince.  Le Petit Prince.  I blame - and equally thank - K entirely for this.  During her visit, she was inspired to buy a copy in French for her nephew.  Essential for his education and personal development.  Vital for pure bookshelf cool.  I have to point out at this stage that her nephew is 10 months old.  But you’ve got to love her enthusiasm.

Anyway, just seeing the delightfully illustrated cover, we got to remembering our A’level French class.  An experience in itself that I really couldn't do justice to here.  We read LPP for our A’level oral.  I still vividly remember one of the questions I was asked during my exam:  what did the rose signify?  I don't remember what I answered.  Indeed, standing in the bookshop admiring the delightfully illustrated cover, neither of us actually remembered the rose.  At all.

So of course I had to re-read the book.  Turns out, I didn’t actually remember very much about the book as a whole.  Apart from the elephant in the boa’s belly.  And certainly not the ending.  If I had remembered it, I wouldn’t have read it on the bus.  And thus cried in public.  Make that sobbed in public.  Again.

I’m so glad I did re-read it, though.  What a beautiful tale.  Which can only get better with age.  Its and mine.  Beautiful, simple ideas reminding us of our humanity.  Our love, our friendships.  The innocent beauty and open-mindedness of youth.  The secret person of the heart.  Valuing what is truly valuable.

How youth is wasted on the young!  Or at least it seems to have been wasted on me.  I don't remember any of these things from my A'level days.  I don't remember any of these feelings from then either. 

I used to hate re-reading anything.  For study or for pleasure.  It always seemed like such a waste of time.  A waste of life.  But I just loved re-reading Le Petit Prince.  Nothing wasteful there.  All for my benefit.  And I loved being seen reading it.  People on the bus and tram smiled at me, nodded my way.  Approved verbally my efforts.  Either that or this new perfume is working a treat!  But that's the superficial adult in me coming out.  My apologies, little prince.  I may just need to read you one more time...


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  2. Possibly only essay ever to include,entionsof Hong KongFooey AND The Little Prince! I have a few books that I retread for comfort, but don't retread some of my favorites because they just aren't the same.

  3. Hi,
    I just passed the Liebster Blog Award to you

    Check my post to see about it

    Rivie @ Bookshelf

    1. Thanking you kindly! I've done the biz. V interesting initiative :0)

  4. I like little prince oddly enough yes the only flashback I had now is that hat,boa and elephant haha I must and have to have or at least re-read it soon XD

    Nostalgia is such a playful thing.

    1. It certainly is. Love it more as the years go by... :0)