I think it was last year the BBC screened a dramatisation of Enid Blyton’s life and immediately my friend phoned to say ‘DO NOT WATCH IT!’ Apparently old Enid didn’t come across too well in the programme and my friend was worried it would dent my pure and bliss filled love for Ms Blyton. I didn’t have the most perfect childhood (who did?) and escaping into a book made me feel safe and cosy. I’d snuggle up in my bed with my Glow Worm torch/toy thingy (BTW I’ve and now I know what I want for my birthday, my 31st birthday) and read Enid Blyton books until I fell asleep. Book after book, adventure after adventure, I gobbled them up and feasted upon the lashings of comfort factor ladled into every page. Sure they may not be literary gold but any book or author able to provide so many hours of joy is doing something very, very well.
My favourites without fail were (and that whole series) along with The Secret Seven. When I was very small I adored The Magic Faraway Tree and The Wishing-Chair, they were cuddles in a book each and every time. I stopped reading Blyton’s books around the age of 8 or 9 (I thought I was too cool and wanted Point Horror and Judy Blume) and didn’t return to them again until I’d long been married, about 3 or 4 years ago, in my late twenties but nothing has changed, I’m instantly comforted and enthralled by lives of fictional children living out stories written forty years before I was born.
Nowadays almost every charity shop I go into has an Enid Blyton book, new or old, sitting on the shelves and more often than not I’ll spend the 25p or so to take it home, spend a happy hour reading it in the bath before returning it as a re-donation the next day. I never fail to feel calmed and happy after reading one of her books, I think that’s a mark of a good book and 25p well spent. I’ve taken to lazing on our lawn with a picnic blanket, wearing big cosy jumpers and thick slipper boots, cuddling the pup and reading old Enid Blyton books before getting on with the work of the day. I have to say it is a calming way to start the day and one I’ll miss as the days get shorter and shorter.