Tuesday 14 May 2013

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read - Groucho Marx

I think I’m stuck in childhood. Not exactly a bad place to be stuck, I might say. Still, all the same. I’m no Peter Pan. Yet I whiled away this afternoon with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Finally. And delighted in it.

I can't normally afford the luxury of dedicating whole weekday afternoons to reading, you understand. It’s just that after more treatment for my persistently painful and unhealing shoulder, I had to rest up.

Indeed, the pain today has been worse than that presented to my osteo yesterday. I feel like I've been battered. And while I’m assured this is the norm, it’s still very debilitating. Rest is the only effective aid. And good reading, of course.

I continue to persist with Milan Kundera. But in small bursts. So when my collection of Roald Dahl books arrived yesterday, I couldn't resist delving into Charlie's adventures. I fear my resistance will remain low before all the works in this box set. The Twits are calling me just now. Read into that what you will...

All the way through Charlie's time in the Chocolate Factory, I could see the old 1971 film. How many times did we watch that as children? It was magical. Good memories are so soothing.

But I must tell you of three freaky moments I experienced whilst reading about Charlie. I had BBC Radio 2 playing in the background. First of all, they played David Soul's Silver Lady. So strong was the memory that I stopped reading and was immediately transported back in time. How powerfully evocative music is!

Then the show presenter, interviewing a writer on her writing methods, commented: "How very Roald Dahl of you…"!!

Finally, Charlie, Grandpa Joe and Willy Wonker were high in the sky in the glass lift. "It was an eerie and frightening feeling to be standing on clear glass high up in the sky. It made you feel that you weren't standing on anything at all".

And this took me way back to the CN Tower in Toronto when my sister and I came across the glass floor 342 metres above the ground. And I mean "came across". We didn't know it existed. I lost my legs. Even sitting on the glass panes for the obligatory photo cost me more than I can say. We laughed like giggly schoolgirls. As we have done so very often on our holidays together.
They're good memories. And good memories are so soothing...

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