When people search for Enid Blyton what are they looking for? Re-revisited

I have found so many funny/strange search terms I’ve had to do a second post. Though now I’m thinking about how those strange terms are now on the blog and we are even more likely to have people find us while searching for spiders… (just a note to say that any capital letters in the search terms have been added by me – to make them easier to read!)


FAMOUS POEMS, SHORT POEMS, FUNNY POEMS, ANY SORT OF POEMS

Our top search terms mostly revolve around Enid Blyton’s poetry, which is interesting. In fact, four of the top five mention poems (capital letters added by pedantic me):

  • Enid Blyton poems – 386
  • poems by Enid Blyton – 169
  • Enid Blyton poems for children – 100
  • poems of Enid Blyton – 94
  • Enid Blyton poem – 55
  • Enid Blyton poetry – 49
  • poem of Enid Blyton – 45
  • poems written by Enid Blyton – 42
  • famous poems of Enid Blyton – 35
  • short poems by Enid Blyton – 35
  • Enid Blyton poems list – 29
  • poem by Enid Blyton – 25
  • famous poems by Enid Blyton – 15
  • funny poems by Enid Blyton – 14
  • Enid Blyton short poems – 13
  • poems Enid Blyton – 12

I think you get the picture! That’s over 1,100 views from people searching for poems. (There are also more poem search terms such as firework poems etc).

Other top searches include Malory Towers, Famous Five fan fiction, Laura Petela, Jemima Rooper, Jennifer Thanisch, Enid Blyton fan fiction, The Famous Five, Marco Williamson and Eileen Soper.


OOPS, DID YOU REALLY MEAN THAT?

Further down the list are some which garnered only a few views and some are unintentionally funny (or potentially offensive):

  • fatty Enid Blyton and Enid Blyton fatty I know what it means, but it sounds rude!
  • amysteryforninepence from someone whose space bar was broken?
  • borne end flooding 13 feb 2014 oddly specific for spelling Bourne End wrong.
  • deads leave but maybe that’s creepy rather than funny.
  • poets of Enid Blyton she had many personal poets, she kept them in a cupboard…
  • hairbrush spank this could have taken them to many worse places.
  • crinkley bottom noddy I can’t begin to work this one out
  • characters of Anne Kirrin she had many characters, a tiger being just one.
  • famouse five book review makes me think of five famous mice…
  • famous five tv serious images nothing light-hearted allowed
  • Paul Child as the Famous Five he’s so versatile he played them all
  • Philip spanks Amelia could also have lead to bad places
  • why did Enid Blyton call Margaret Daykin Daisy it wasn’t just a Blyton thing…
  • foto Fanny Kirrin again, what?
  • Enid the spider I wonder if this is the same person as searched for enid blyton spider malory panties before.

10657


AN ENID BLYTON BLOG THAT DOESN’T MENTION ENID BLYTON ENOUGH

Searches for Enid Blyton only brought 36 views, but I think that’s because we don’t often use her full name. It seems silly to tag every post with Enid Blyton on an Enid Blyton blog! It rather goes without saying, but it unfortunately means that we fail to rank with Google with that as a search term. (I suspect those 36 may have come via Google images or similar.)


GOSH, THE TITLE JUST ELUDES ME

TV series about 4 childs on island and dog Gorgiana. I remember it so well, that TV series about those four childs on an island and one of them was called Gorgiana. She had a dog. Oh, what was its name? (Or was the dog called Gorgiana, I really can’t remember!)

Bill adventure train castle book. And then there was that book where Bill went on a train and had an adventure in a castle. What was it called? Adventure in a Castle? No, that’s not it…

2-castle-weird

 


ENID BLYTON IMPOSTERS

There was a chap, a long time ago who wrote under the pen-name Enid Boyton (or sometimes Boyten). He claimed that it was a complete coincidence and it was not deliberately chosen to look like Enid Blyton, but here are some more potential impostors (or perhaps just bad spelling?)

  • Emid Blyton poem if i knew if only I knew who Emid was.
  • Book review of Noddy and the Bunkey part 19 by Emid Blyton this one’s obviously quite prolific, writing nineteen part novels about the real Blyton’s characters.
  • Why Emid Blyton wrote the poem with fireworks? if you ever track down Emid, do be sure to ask her!
  • Edin Blyton smuggler ben this one’s also using real Blyton titles!
  • Enid Bylton poems good old Enid Bylton…
  • stories writtrn by wnidblyton I’m surprised this one even found us!
  • Naughty Amelia Jane in Grid Bottom in Tamil – The famous Grid Bottom is perhaps a famous Tamil author?
  • Images of the characters of Dick in Five of Enid Bottom – Never mind Dick having multiple characters but we now have Enid Bottom. A relation of Grid Bottom?

 


 

 

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Monday #234

So I finally got the August round up now, and its back to normal this week! Enjoy!

Monday#234

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August Round Up

Fiona has, of course, gone on maternity leave, so this is all me now, you lucky things! Let’s get a crack on then.


WHAT I’VE READ

It’s been a busy month but managed to fit some reading in between everything.

  • Too Many Cooks – Marina Pascoe Reviewed here.
  • The Ravenmaster’s Boy – Mary Hoffman
  • The Caravan Family – Enid Blyton – Reviewed here,
  • The Mystery of the Invisible Thief – Enid Blyton – Reviewed here.
  • The Mystery of the Vanished Prince –  Enid Blyton – Reviewed here.

Current reads:

  • Russian Roulette – Sara Sheridan
  • Peggy and Me – Miranda Hart
  • Feet of Clay – Terry Pratchett

WHAT I’VE WATCHED

  • Lord of the Rings and Lord of the Rings the Two Towers – my other half likes the movies a lot so I agreed to watch them with him.
  • Red Dwarf
  • Top Gear
  • The Antiques Road Trip

WHAT I’VE DONE

  • I’ve had my first taste of amusement parks – I have been taken to Thorpe Park by the boyfriend.
  • The other “fun” thing I’ve been made to do is go fishing. I mostly read throughout the afternoon while the boyfriend caught roach (much to his annoyment) and one carp.
  • I’ve had a couple of bbqs when the weather hasn’t been too bad.
  • And most of all this month I’ve been going gooey eyed over photos of Fiona’s baby boy Brodie who graced us with his presence at the beginning of the month.

 WHAT FIONA HAS READ

Only a few things (understandably) : mostly on my phone while I’ve been feeding the baby.

  • Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse #1) – on audiobook
  • Ah Sweet Mystery of Life – Roald Dahl
  • Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse #2) – on audiobook
  • Breastfeeding: Everything you need to know about – Suzanne Fredregill
  • The House of Closed Doors – Jane Steen
  • East End Angel (Campbell Road Saga #5) – Kay Brellend

And things on the go:

  • What to Expect the 1st Year – Heidi Murkhoff
  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar – Roald Dahl

I’m also listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks again but I’ve slept through too much of them for it to count again.


WHAT FIONA HAS WATCHED

  • Still haven’t missed an episode of Hollyoaks yet!
  • The new series of Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away.
  • Only Connect (still getting the odd answer right)
  • Legomasters 

WHAT FIONA HAS DONE

  • Well, as Stef has mentioned – I’ve had my baby! (I’m typing this one handed while he sleeps on me!) He was 8 lb 11.5 oz at birth and he’s now 9lb 13oz at 4.5 weeks!
  • Had lots of sleepless nights
  • Changed tons of nappies
  • Eaten most meals with one hand
  • Taken out an Amazon Prime subscription and ordered something baby related nearly every day
  • Taken hundreds of photos of Brodie

 

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A Writer’s Garden: Old Thatch in the present day, part one

I came across a book The Writer’s Garden by Jackie Bennett, at work last Saturday and immediately started flicking through it to see if I could find any information about Enid Blyton’s own beloved gardens, but the book was annoyingly devoid of them. There was one reference however, where they mentioned the demolition of Green Hedges and the fact that her garden was lost, however I felt there was something missing on this one point. What about Old Thatch at Bourne End? That was a garden that Blyton took great pride in.

Anyway I thought I would add to the book with the Old Thatch gardens I know from my visits before the owners closed the garden to the public. One of my absolute favourite happy places I miss these gardens terribly and their calming atmosphere, not to mention the brilliant cake they used to provide in the tea room! Now I’m not much of a gardener, and so I’m going to show you some of the photos I have taken over the years I visited Old Thatch and hopefully give you an idea of what it was like and a few books to look at to get an idea of what it was like in Blyton’s day! Lets take a bit of a photo tour this blog and then next blog I’ll let you know what we know Blyton had her garden like.

Enjoy!

The lychgate at Old Thatch

The entrance Garden to Old Thatch through the gate.

The first part of the garden you are brought to is the court yard at the side of the house and you don’t necessarily get the full impact of the house and gardens but its so magical to step in there, its hard to stop yourself tearing around the garden at top speed.

Formal garden

Old Thatch front window

 

There are so many pictures of Old Thatch, I wish I could show you them all but that would be impossible right now. Next week I’ll have a look at what we can find out about what the garden was like in Blyton’s day.  Follow the Tags “Bourne End” and “Old Thatch” for more blogs and pictures about this amazing place.

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When people search for Enid Blyton what are they looking for? Revisited

A long time ago I did a post about the search terms which brought people to our site, (I also had some in a Monday post, with made-up illustrations) and while looking for things to write about for my maternity leave posts I noticed a few funny ones and thought I could do a second post.

It’s interesting to see what weird and wonderful things people put into search engines. I’m sure many will have come to our site and found something interesting or useful, others will be very disappointed as we have no information on spiders called Enid.


I DON’T THINK YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE

Like the enid-the-spider searcher, some people will be disappointed to find our blog after searching for things like second form at malory towers read online free. Sorry, but no. We don’t illegally publish whole books that are still under copyright. (A few long out of print poems are another matter.)

A lot of people clearly want that though, and think it’s OK, as I’ve noticed a few more results for ‘book title read online’.  Read Nooddy [sic] books online being one, which is worse because of the terrible spelling. But it’s not as bad as Secert Seven Win Thorgh book dwolond. You have to give Google points for working out what this person meant!

Famous Five pdf books4you.blog.com is wrong twice. We don’t do illegal PDFs and strangely we are not called books4you.

One or two baffled me, like Hilary Mckay. On searching I’ve found out she’s a children’s author published by Hodder, but we’ve never written anything about her!

Scarlet pimpernel is another. I suspect the words come up in one of our monthly flowers posts, but I imagine many people would think of the famous novel first!

Eileen A Soper who was David Morton is also interesting, as I can’t think of any connection between the two. We certainly mention both of them on this site, but not usually in the same sentence (until now.) There is also a second entry of Eileen A Soper and David Morton. The same person, I wonder, or is there a common confusion out there?

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Months that ended on a Monday in 2015. Nope, we are not a calendar.

g.r. no. 197980. I don’t have a clue.


I STARTED TYPING AND THEN I…

Some people like to live dangerously and not finish their searches:

The first modern observation of the… Of the what? (And how did that lead them to us?)

The name of the charecter five run away together. What character would that be? Sorry, charecter.

Eileen Soper boy. Eileen Soper illustrated many boys. Was there a particular one you were interested in?

What species dog in enid blyton. Many? Well, in her books. Not necessarily inside Enid herself.


FANFICTION REQUESTS

There were a lot of searches for Enid Blyton fan fiction. Many were straight foward like famous five fan fiction. Others were very, very specific. Perhaps the person had once read a fan fiction and forgotten its name, but I can’t believe that’s the case every time.

  • Five Find Outers fanfiction Fatty hurt
  • Fanfiction Enid Blyton Anne gets kidnaped
  • Julian kiss George Enid Blyton fanfic – you do know they are cousins, right??
  • “Julian” “George” “kiss” “fanfiction” – this person is determined!
  • Enid Blyton fanfiction about Barney and Diana’s romance

annegetskidnapped


ARE YOU CHEATING BY ANY CHANCE?

Just like last time there are a lot of people looking for summaries and synopses of books. We’ve even got one for a critical appreciation of a title. Fair enough, but how many of them are meant to be writing their own? Many also want summary by chapter or quite in depth things – why not just read the book?

I suspect this person could be: write a character sketch of any of the main character of Enid Blyton. That looks like they’ve bunged their homework assignment (perhaps they’ve specified their author of choice as I’m not sure how many schools specifically assign Blyton) straight into Google looking for answers.

But then again maybe it’s teachers looking for inspiration – this sounds like a teacher doesn’t it? Enidblyton poems for class one (apart from the missing space, but even teachers can make typos.)

What do the Famous Five book Five Get Into Trouble talk about and illustrations opinion. Not too sure what this means but again, reading the book would probably help.

My favourite character in and why I like it Five on a Hike Together. How is Google supposed to know who your favourite character is and why you like that book?

Or how about Enid Blyton french verbs. Do your own French homework! (Ok they may be looking for any examples given in either Mam’zelles class.)

Why we inspired by Enid Blyton. I don’t think Google can answer that for you either.

And Famous Five Go to Billycock Hill powerpoint presentation… make your own!


BOOKS THAT WERE NEVER PUBLISHED

Malory Towers Fourth Grade when the school was temporarily relocated to the US and the girls studied math and ate gum.

Five at the George summary. I’m torn as to whether they mean George or not. Gorge would make more sense, even if the Five never did go to a gorge.


AND THE DEEP AND MEANINGFUL

Why has Noddy changed? One searcher asked. I imagine this typed in a very mournful way, lamenting the fact that Noddy is now a CGI boy with a tablet computer. Why indeed, has Noddy changed?

Why did Enid Blyton Five Find Outers Bets age. Oh why did Bets have to age? Or do they mean why was she younger? Both very important queries.

Was Five Go Mad in Dorset racist -wikipedia -wikia – a good question, really! (And they were smart to exclude Wikipedia from their search.)

 

noddy-toyland-detective


I think that’s enough for one week. I have more for later, though!

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Monday #233

Ok, it really shows when Fiona’s not around. I know, I failed to do the August round up, so it’s down for this weekend as well! Please forgive me! Anyway, this is what we have coming up this week. Enjoy!

wedfrisun6767

 

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Grown Up Blyton: A Man of Some Repute by Elizabeth Edmondson

A-Man-of-SR-400-200x300

I read this book a long time ago, but realised this week that it was pretty much exactly the kind of book we’re looking for for this blog and decided that a recap on my part and a blog wouldn’t be too much of a bad thing. Apologies if my details are a bit off, it’s been about  year, but it made such an impression I knew I needed to let you know all about it.


A very English mystery


The series title says it all really: this basically is just a mystery based on everything England is famous for, based in the 1950s. The feel of it is a world recovering after the second world war, while being embroiled in a good old fashioned English mystery.

The suave Hugo Hawksworth is like an Agatha Christie sleuth, Enid Blyton grown up Julian Kirrin, Dorothy L Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey all rolled into one. Hugo Hawksworth is an intelligence officer who’s been sent on a different kind of mission. I think he was injured somewhat, there’s a lot of references about his leg, which I think is the problem, so this little job at Selchester Castle is supposed to be just a nice little ‘office’ job to while away the time.

Selchester however had the tragedy of losing its earl seven years earlier and his only daughter can’t wait to be able to declare her father dead so she can sell up and move on from the family home. Her cousin however, Freya Wryton, feels more of a connection to the family home and hopes her uncle will one day return.

When a skeleton turns up in the church it all changes and maybe Lady Sonia won’t need to get her father declared legally dead after all – because he really seems to be. Hugo and Freya join teams in an unlikely fashion to try and solve the mystery of the skeleton and what happened to the Earl on that fateful night seven years previously.

It really is a thrilling read.


Grown up Blyton – Are you sure?


I couldn’t be surer about this one. I love the period of history it’s set in, I love the feel of the cosy crime mystery and the proper language, the lack of technology and the manners of everyone. I really adore this time period and Elizabeth Edmondson really makes you feel the time – you feel the fifties from top to bottom. The mystery itself is totally Agatha Christie based and logical like Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes but in a sort of Enid Blyton Fatty/ Julian/ Philip /Jack kind of wrapper.

More genteel than Marina Pascoe’s Barlett and Boase mysteries, and more 1950s than the crime noir of Sara Sheridan’s Mirabelle Bevan, A Man of Some Repute is for those who want a grown up mystery with the nostaglic feel of the childhood heroes they read about who solved wonderful cases and had wonderful adventures. The good part about A Man of Some Repute is that it has that Blytonian feel to it, the more sedate, case working, brain picking, clue finding mixture that makes Blyton a joy to read.

I don’t think I could recommend this book enough. Even now, after so long I can thoroughly enjoy the book because it’s high quality. Edmondson makes a fantastic feeling in this book and carries you along. I can’t wait to re-read and read the subsequent books.

Please do try this book, I promise you, you won’t be disappointed!

Let me know what you think in the comments!

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The Adventure Series on TV: The Castle of Adventure part 8

Unusually we are not resuming after a cliff-hanger. Instead we have had time to swallow the reveal that Sam, dodgy pedlar of ‘farm-fresh’ eggs, and eater of snacks uninvited, has actually been Scar all along.


LUCY-ANN’S SHOCK

While we’re all surprised at Sam being Scar, Lucy-Ann is simply shocked that Scar is Sam. Dinah whispers this to her, so that they aren’t overheard. But idiotic Lucy-Ann immediately shrieks SAM so that he comes over and opens the curtains on the bed. Where’s the others? he asks right away.

Now we’ve seen Sam behaving pretty threateningly but he really ramps it up as Scar. Holding up a very large gun he says we’ll deal with them later. Though it’s a bit James Bond bad guy-esque, if they intend to leave the girls alone for a while before ‘dealing with them’.


ELSEWHERE THE WORLD’S A VIDEO GAME

At the military compound soldiers are running everywhere as an alarm goes off. Grogan’s only watching but it looks like a video game where you’d have to get inside without being seen.

Even more like a game (perhaps along the lines of the original Tomb Raider etc) Tassie leads Jack down the tunnel (so large you wonder how on earth they missed it from either end before). Anyway, for no reason a load of barrels and boxes fall after they’ve passed. In a game this would give you the challenge of a) staying ahead of the avalanche and b) stopping you going back on yourself. On TV though, they’re fairly oblivious until they dodge a few barrels at the end of the tunnel. As soon as they’re clear of the tunnel exit the game, sorry, script caused a huge boulder to fall and completely block it off.

We then move onto a game more inline with Street Fighter (or my favourite – Streets of Rage!) where Jack and Tassie are pounced on and driven to the floor by a couple of balaclava clad men. Before I/they get carried away they do realise quickly that they’re only a couple of kids and luckily Bill’s right there to ensure their safety a moment later.


EXCUSES, EXCUSES

Now it’s time for Bill and his men to get into the castle for the big rescue and capturing of the bad guys.

Of course, Button’s tunnel is conveniently blocked. (In the book it’s a narrow pipe/stream and the kids can barely squeeze through so it’s of no good for the adults). There is a door, but like in the book it’s locked.

He doesn’t even mention the plank. Of course the plank is gone, but I’m sure with the might of the MOD behind them a plank of some kind could be rustled up rather quickly. Again, in the book the plank/window would be no use as it’s one of those tall narrow slit windows that the children can only just squeeze through. Bill and his burly men stood no chance. On TV the window’s a decent size (Philip’s a decent sized teenager and he makes it through) and I’m sure they’d manage. It just seems daft to have changed two elements of the story that would have given the men access and then to have to hurriedly block/ignore them.

So to get inside they blast the lock off the door with a machine gun. In the book it’s done fairly quietly with a blow torch type thing. Goodness knows why that had to change – and considering they sneak around cautiously once inside it seems very foolish to have announced their arrival with gunfire!

 

Then again their discretion also spoiled a bit by Jack’s bright yellow sleeves!


BACK TO SAM/SCAR

I feel the need to add that Sam, as Scar (which I assume is his real identity), loses his amiable country burr. He still had it when he threatened Tassie and Rose all those times so it’s odd to hear him suddenly speaking in a different voice. He’s also a lot quieter which adds to the menace (he does shout a bit but he doesn’t constantly boom). Somehow the fact that our earlier meeting with Scar saw him whisper the whole time made it the more surprising that Sam and Scar are one and the same.

Continue reading

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Monday #232

It’s that time of the month again when we look at what we’ve been blogging about this month. You’ve got me doing it this time because of course, Fiona has her hands full! Hope you like the look of the blogs this week!

Monday#232

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Review: The Mystery of the Vanished Prince

the-mystery-of-the-vanished-prince.jpgIf you asked me ‘Do I want to read this book?’ my honest answer would be another question; ‘how much do you like Enid Blyton?’ because that is basically the reason I sat down and read this book. If it was by anyone else, I would have just not finished it. Let me explain why.

The issues

How do I put this nicely? Who in Peterswood isn’t an idiot? Constable Goon is an idiot, Fatty is an idiot, all the grown ups seem to be idiots, Pip, Larry, Daisy and Bets seem to be idiots. It’s just ridiculous.

Fatty dresses the others up as foreign nationals from Tetura because there is a prince from there staying at a local campsite. Ern Goon, along with twin brothers Perce and Sid are staying in the adjoining campsite, and are completely taken in by Pip, Bets, Larry and Daisy dressed up like the prince. Bets pretends to be the Princess of Tetura and takes Ern and fools the others completely.

It even takes Mr Goon in, and he reports the Princess’ appearance to Inspector Jenks when the news about the prince vanishing breaks. Fatty then has to come clean to Jenks about the trick and, for once, gets a super ticking off from the inspector who doesn’t think its a good thing for him to have done and wants him to apologise to Goon, and promise that if they hear anything about the vanishing prince to let Goon know.

Fatty and the others apologise, and Goon just pooh-poohs the idea of them helping and won’t even listen to their findings. I mean that’s just stupid, he lets his opinion of the Find-Outers rule his common sense and treats their information with disdain. To be completely honest I’m not sure how he hasn’t already lost his job, because he’s so bad at it. It really makes a mockery of the whole police system in a way because Goon is being shown up by a bunch of children, now no one wants that. At least with the Famous Five, they stumbled on to mysteries and then once the police got involved they were no longer allowed on the scene and they were always perfectly respectful to members of the law and quite rightly so. The Find-Outers don’t seem to have that respect for anyone who isn’t inspector Jenks, which doesn’t send a good message to those reading the books.

One of the other issues with this book is that it takes so long to get to the mystery – AGAIN. This must be the third book or so where things haven’t really kicked off until the second half of the book and it contains so much clutching at straws its hard to believe. Nothing really makes this mystery go until the children manage to get some sense out of Sid Goon, whose mouth has suddenly become unstuck from all the toffee he’s been eating and he admits to having seen something in one of the families caravanning next door to the Goon’s camp.

My last complaint is that it happens all in the last couple of chapters. Goon gets shown up, even though had he listened to Fatty, he wouldn’t have a problem, and the children once again rescue the prince and save the day and the inspector isn’t the least bit mad at them for that. I mean yes, they helped, but still they wasted police time at the beginning of the mystery. Honestly, I don’t think I can take much more of the ‘Oh you children and Buster are all so great. Frederick please grow up quicker so I can have you on my team’ mantra. Frankly my dear inspector, if you were any good at your job you’d have figured it all out and fired Goon.

Phew, ok, rant mostly over.

The good parts

When the story actually gets moving the clues start pouring in, the mystery isn’t actually a bad one. It’s a style which Blyton hasn’t really used before, but can been seen in some of her contemporaries’ work, such as Agatha Christie, who uses classic misdirection in many of her stories. It’s a nice way to turn a mystery that really didn’t have anything going for it into a credible finisher. Fatty of course has to come out trumps as usual, but that aside, the rest of the Find-Outers do put their money’s worth in to help the situation.

The arrival of Ern is not nearly quite as bad as the first book he was in, he seems to have grown up and matured a bit, even though he is still a bit of a nit, but then he’s refreshing to have instead of Fatty. So it’s nice to have him around.

Pip really blows the mystery wide open by finding a clue that Fatty dismissed as clue in the first place, the button from the prince’s pyjamas. So I’m a fan of Pip this time around.

Anyway, it’s hard to feel the good in this one, I really didn’t get on with it. Let me know what you think in the comments!

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How to get Blyton’s style: Baby edition

I happened to be in Mothercare last week, looking at prams, and I spotted this lovely Noddy set. I managed to resist buying it (just) but I suspect one way or another I will end up with it*. The best part is that it’s using vintage Noddy images!

Noddy 3-piece set, £15 at Mothercare.

It made me wonder what other Blyton stuff was out there for little ones. Here’s what I found.


SOFT TOYS

With the new Noddy series on Channel 5 now there is some merchandise to go with it, including these soft toys.

A few of the toys are unrecognisable to those who haven’t seen the show as they were specially created for it but Noddy and Bumpy Dog are there. Noddy is quite modernised in his beanie hat so I’m not sure I would go for it.

Noddy 8 inch plus assortment, currently £3.99 (normally £7.99), Argos.

Saying that, this vintage Noddy is rather scary looking so maybe older isn’t better? (It’s also 7.5x the price!)

 

Unique Vintage Play By Play Noddy Soft Toy, £30 on Etsy.


AND OTHER TOYS

Vintage jigsaws and other bits and pieces turn up fairly often, but the question is whether or not you would spend £10 plus postage on a 1960s jigsaw and then let a toddler loose with it.

 

Boxed Vintage 1967 Enid Blyton Noddy and Big Ears, £10 on Etsy.

The Entertainer has some new Noddy toys as well, the Big-Ears figure and Bumpy Dog looks quite nice.

entertainertoys

Noddy toys, from £5 at The Entertainer.

Toys R Us has a slightly different selection including – ugh – walkie talkies and Noddy’s Tablet.

toysrusnoddy

Noddy toys, from £7.49 (while the half-term sale is on), at Toys R Us.


IF YOUR BABY IS 8 YEARS OLD (AND POSSIBLY FRENCH)…

…there is a jumper on Amazon for you.

noddy-jumper

Also available in red, but not in any other sizes.

Noddy Blue Sweater, £16.05 from Amazon


IF YOU ARE  A KNITTER

You could knit your own Noddy jumper with this pattern, the bonus being it could be any colour and presumably any size. The downside may be it ending up knee length or with three arms.

noddyknitting
Noddy Children’s Jumper Knitting Pattern (a4 reproduction, child not included), £1.69 on Etsy


IF THE JUMPER WENT WELL, YOU COULD TRY THIS:

There’s also a pattern for a knitted Noddy doll, if your jumper had the right number of arms.

noddyknitteddoll

This looks much more like Noddy should, even if you do have to make him yourself (or persuade a mum or granny to help) to achieve it.

Noddy Knitting Pattern (instant download) £1.19 on Etsy (though confusingly the title has 99p in it!)

And there’s also this pattern book which has several jumpers, a cardigan and toys:

knittingpatterns

Noddy Knitting Pattern Book (the original copy), £30 on Etsy.

I love the design on the back of the cardigan, and that they shot the pictures at Beksonscot!


IF MAKE YOUR OWN IS NOT YOUR THING…

There’s this handmade Noddy dress, knickers and bow. (I’m having a boy, so this is a no-go for me unfortunately – and I’m a lousy knitter/seamstress).

noddy-dress

Knickers and headband, £15.00 on Etsy

Dress, from £20 on Etsy

Headband, £6.50 on Etsy – and this one goes up to adult sizes! 

So I may not be able to buy the dress now, but maybe I should get myself the headband?


NODDY BUT NOT NODDY

This tshirt – and the baby grow – is clearly inspired by Noddy – the listing describes it as a Toyland Elf tshirt inspired by their favourite children’s books. It comes up when you search for Noddy, though! Maybe they just don’t want to be sued for copyright infringement.

Toyland Elf Tshirt, £8.99 on Etsy.

Toyland Elf Babygrow, £8.99 on Etsy.


FINALLY SOMETHING THAT IS NOT NODDY

Unsurprisingly pretty much everything is Noddy-related as Noddy has had multiple TV adaptations and that has resulted in a lot of merchandise through the years.

Saying that, there is a (slightly creepy) felted Moonface Doll. Which is probably entirely unsuitable for anyone under five.

moonface-doll

Moonface doll Enid Blyton characters felted moonface faraway tree dolls magic moonface worry doll sleep guardian pocket moon face elf kendal, £18 on Etsy. And yes that is one of the worst product titles I have seen recently.

A bit nicer looking are these Moonface and Silky felted dolls.


So there you go, some ideas on what you can get for your little ones, apart from the books themselves! (And of course the new ones are so bowdlerised they’re no good, but that means allowing small grubby hands on vintage texts… that’s a debate for another day!!)
*Spoiler alert, I did buy it!

 

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Monday #231

I am happy to report that Fiona and baby Brodie are doing well, even if Brodie doesn’t seem to understand sleeping very well.  Here’s sending soothing wishes to Mum and baby so they both get some rest!

Hope you like the blogs coming this week!

Monday#231

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Review: The Mystery of the Invisible Thief 

The Mystery of the Invisible Thief by Enid Blyton. The title sort of says it all, doesn’t it? It promises the mystery and the intrigue of a thief who cannot be seen or caught, and it suggests a promise of a really hard brain teaser, and if you’re a child, it is probably not obvious who the thief is, so it’s a brilliant adventure. For me? Oh please! Let me explain.

invisiblethief

Boy oh boy! All about Fatty... again

Frederick Algernon Trotterville aka Fatty, I just cannot like him. Not that I agree entirely with Constable Goon, but Fatty is a right pain. There seems to be nothing he can’t do, no problem he can’t solve and yes, he may have brains, but he’s an odious character.  Defintitely a Marty Stu without a shadow of a doubt. In Blyton’s eyes and pen, he can do nothing wrong, not even when he is being a teenage boy who really needs a good box around the ears. He’s cheeky, rude, disrespectful and just a boastful mess! I do not know why people like him that much, he is not clever.

All right, that’s going a bit far, he is clever, but he’s a bit dumb as well. He can have brainwaves such as in The Mystery of the Pantomime Cat where he figures out who was actually the robber. This mystery however, his brains have gone because quite frankly, from the first introduction of the baddie, I knew, I just knew it was them. Blyton does this thing where she makes the character deliberately annoying, pompous or just unlikeable so you know he’s the bad guy. One of the other tells she uses is that animals don’t tend to like the bad character and react that way, however this isn’t really apparent in The Mystery of the Invisible Thief as Buster seems to be left behind quite a bit because all Fatty seems to do is dress up. To top it all off as well, the dressing up doesn’t get him any further than it would have done if he’d been detecting in normal clothes, apart from when he helps with Colonel Cross’ weeding in exchange for the Colonels pair of size 12 boots.  I think that is the only point in the book where I can say the dressing up did some good, the rest of the time it was just to show that he could. From those dressing up adventures he learnt nothing, or very little at the most.

I really wish these books would move away from the ‘Fatty’s so amazing’ mantra, I promise you, its getting old.

The actual mystery

So moving on, and trying to ignore the Fatty-centric tone of the book, the mystery could have been quite complex, and for children I think it was. However, as I said earlier, I managed to spot the robber from the first scene. When you know Blyton, and know what the format is, it’s quite easy to work it out. I won’t tell you who it is, because I would like to see if you can work it out yourself, but let’s say its quite simple.

The method the invisible thief uses as well is very very simple. I know sometimes the simple methods of committing a crime work well in books because people expect things to be difficult and complex whereas simple works just as well and efficiently. Agatha Christie certainly proves that enough times.

The term invisible is a loose in this context. The children believe that invisible means that someone completely isn’t there and vanishes into thin air. However for someone who is well versed in crime novels, and historical novels, the term invisible can be used to describe someone like a tradesman who you just don’t take any notice of. It’s a play on the word really because it leads you to one idea but then presents you another solution.

There isn’t actually much action to this mystery, no real trailing, or suspects, or anything like The Mystery of the Hidden House for example, but there is just a lot of Goon baiting, which gets tiresome. We have a lot of exploration of boots, and people in the village with large feet aka Mr Goon and Colonel Cross but no leads, no information and no action.

The absolute best bit is when Pip plays a trick on the others which causes Fatty to solve the mystery which I could have done in half the time – and this is supposed to be a bright boy? That’s one for you guys to figure out.

Conclusion

I had high hopes after the Pantomine Cat mystery but they were not fulfilled by Invisible Thief, in fact it was severely disappointing. It was a “look how wonderful Fatty is” novel, with a bit of Goon baiting thrown in. There isn’t enough real showing of the other characters and even Bets doesn’t shine through like she usually does. Its just a bland mystery for me.

Anyway, let me know what you think in the comments below!

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The Adventure Series on TV: The Castle of Adventure part 7

We left last week on a cliff-hanger again. Dinah, Lucy-Ann and Philip (inside a suit of armour) were down in the cellar/dungeon and shut themselves in. Then someone opened the trap-door and came down to join them. But is it Jack, or is it one of the spies?

I’d guess one of the spies, as that way it fits with the book and would cause the spies to keep the girls prisoner while Philip has to keep his presence a secret.

So shall we see who it is?


IT’S A PAIR OF PIRATES

Well, not really. It’s our spies (named Nico and Mannheim I’ve just noticed), but Dinah immediately blurts out that she and Lucy-Ann won’t tell anyone about their pirate radio station. I think she’s pretending that’s what they believe, but it’s a bit hard to tell. She certainly doesn’t trust them as she cuts off the idiotic Lucy-Ann when she’s about to mention Jack.

The girls wait until they are distracted, leg it and the spies manage to both fall over the same chair? Stupidly the men have a) left the trap door open, and b) don’t think to pull the lever to close it before the girls can get out.

The girls aren’t much smarter. They don’t think to slow the men down by shutting the doors from the outside, and Lucy-Ann screams a lot as they run. They’re lucky there are not other spies around as they make themselves a real target!

Dinah impresses a little more by grabbing some large, handy rocks and pelting the men with them (she has great aim!) but when they reach their access window they discover the plank is gone!

They are therefore caught and weirdly Dinah shouts “where’s our plank?” more than she does “let us go.”


RANDOM PADDING

Two men dressed in black, with balaclavas and black face-paint are fighting in the woods… from the identical outfits you have to assume they’re actually on the same side? And then a phone rings. Bill and an army sergeant are observing the fight.

Then Bill and Aunt Jane drive down the same road approaching each other. Neither makes any effort to pull to the side so there’s a bit of a stalemate and horn honking. But it’s all right as she then recognises him and shouts “Bill Cunningham, you male chauvinist.” She forgives him when he reverses and invites him over. (He was already invited to Spring Cottage so none of that was at all necessary!)


NIGHT-TIME ESCAPADES IN THE CASTLE

Buttons appears in the castle in the middle of the night and Jack attaches a note to his collar to get Tassie’s help.

Grogan – Allie’s American friend turns up again and is more threatening towards the girls. He reveals that Scar (Scar-neck in the book) is coming tonight.

All three men walk right past Philip but don’t notice his hand holding the visor open.

One climbs Jack’s ladder again but is scared off by the eagle flapping its wings on the nest. The eagle must like Jack better…

Philip exits the suit of armour, revealing it is a hollow front and not a full suit, but it’s still noisy getting out of it. He then follows the American friend down a secret passage leading (presumably) out of the castle. He leaves the girls behind because “If they find you’re gone, they’ll know which way.” Not really, they could have opened the trap door and gone out and hidden elsewhere in the castle.


BILL AND JANE, TASSIE AND ROSE

Bill finally visits Spring Cottage. He has a weird moment when Jane reminds him that Philip’s father loved nature too and Bill says “Yes, I remember” in a very deep and meaningful way. I’m not sure quite that I’m meant to infer from that, if anything.

Button returns to Tassie’s caravan. Who’s sent you a letter? You can’t read, says Tassie’s mother (Rose), snatching the note from her. She’s furious when she reads the note and says your fancy friends are at the castle, but won’t reveal the rest, just shouts at Tassie for getting involved. Tassie lruns away just as Sam arrives.

Sam’s look is so threatening that Rose rushes off after Tassie. (Bearing in mind this is well after dark). None of this is dramatic enough, clearly, so Tassie has to fall over a bit as well.

Jane reveals the children are at the castle just as Bill goes to leave and the thunder and lightening starts.

Tassie follows Button in, emerging at the end of what looks like a large tunnel (very similar to where Grogan exited earlier). She claims she came in by an underground stream when she meets Jack to plan a rescue.


AND HERE BE SPOILERS!

Sam turns up in the cellar and reveals he got in with keys. Niko says that Scar won’t be happy about all this. And then… Sam removes his neckerchief to reveal…  A SCAR.

So not a cliffhanger this week, but a major reveal!


We’re really getting somewhere now! The final episode will hopefully have a thunderstorm and an exciting escape. It’s just a shame that there are so many padded out earlier episodes and then the ‘kidnapped’ section is so short as a result.

Also disappointing is the consistent ‘comic’ villainy shown by Nico and Mannheim.

Nico – “Ask them about the boys. I saw them in the woods with some boys. Oh, and they had a parrot.”

Grogan “Where?”

“Here, on his shoulder. Like that bloke, you know, pieces of eight, pieces of eight…” (While doing a jig and a parrot-type squawk).

It’s just so annoying!

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Monday #230

Well, we have another Monday in our midst, and it’s got some good news attached to it. Fiona has had her baby boy!! Brodie was born last Sunday, and is now over a week old, and he is GORGEOUS!! Auntie Stef is desperate to get up there for cuddles! So I hope you’ll join in congratulating Fiona and her other half on their new arrival! Look how gorgeous he is in his Noddy sleep suit.

20170813BrodieCampbell

1 Week old and already a Blyton and Beatrix Potter Fan! 

Now, for the more boring part – this week’s blogs!

Monday#230

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Grown Up Blyton: Too Many Cooks by Marina Pascoe

Continuing my theme of let’s see what books we could read as adults if we wanted a break from Blyton, I have decided to look at Too Many Cooks by Marina Pascoe. This is the second book in the series of Bartlett and Boase Mysteries but I decided to review it because I have recently finished reading it (well listening to it) and I can’t quite remember all the twists and turns of the first book in the series. So shall we take a look?

bartlettandboaseBartlett and Boase

Set in post world war one, we’re in slightly different time zone than Enid Blyton’s mysteries, which are set more in the post world war two period but the detective methods are similar and Bartlett and Boase have all the characteristics to unravel a mystery that the children do. The lack of ‘scientific’ research at their fingertips allows me to draw comparisons between the two authors and the different series.

George Bartlett is a inspector, moved down from London for the good of his wife, Caroline’s, health and runs the small Falmouth constabulary alongside his trusty local boy, Archibald Boase. Between them they make a formidable team, even though they are very different. Bartlett thinks of Boase as a substitute son to the one he lost in France during the war and the two rub along well. Boase is included in the Bartlett family life quite a bit by this novel because he is stepping out with Bartlett’s daughter Irene. Together life in Falmouth is supposed to be a bit of an easy ride for hard working Bartlett, after London life, but it doesn’t turn out that way.

George Bartlett is an easy to like character, devoted to his wife daughter Irene, and faithful hound Topper, he muddles through a lot of Falmouth life, with a rough London edge to him. In most novels this would have made him an outsider to the locals but he seems to fit in alright, and everyone, apart from his superintendent, like and respect him.

Archie Boase is a young man, living in rooms in Falmouth with an appetite to rival that of the Famous Five – he always seems to be eating pork pies!- and is eager to impress and get on with everyone. He’s a fine copper, and has a good knack at seeing things from a different perspective. Boase works well, and respects his superior, Bartlett, usually bowing to his superior knowledge but at the same time he’s not afraid to speak his own mind. Never a bad thing in such a close knit dynamic.

About the Story

So now I’ve given you an idea of Bartlett and Boase as characters, maybe it’s best to look at the story now, and see if I can get you interested in them.

The mysteries that I’ve read (Empty Vessels and Too Many Cooks) turn into great rambling, difficult to solve mysteries. There are curve balls thrown at every chance and  there are so many twists and turns I really have to be paying attention to what I’m listening to to be able to understand how someone got from A to C without passing B, as it were.

My best advice about Bartlett and Boase is, forget Agatha Christie, forget G.K Chesterton, and anyone similar. What you have here with Bartlett and Boase are two policemen, doing their job and having difficult circumstances, but they have human nature in the way. Especially when it comes to Too Many Cooks because there is so much deceit that goes on with one of the characters because she’s worried about the consequences that will catch up with her. If you learn anything from this book, its that self-preservation always gets in the way.

Too Many Cooks is a murder story, there is definitely no way around it, because of the nature of the kill(s). I won’t go into too many details but a body is found and there’s a young women who always seems to draw Bartlett and Boase’s attention and something never really feels quite right with her. Between the detectives doing their best to figure out a murder, find a missing man, and chase this strange girl who seems to be everywhere they turn, your head is so full of information that its hard to know which way to turn.

I cannot fault the writing, quite frankly, because it takes a skilled writer to be able to work with so many threads in a plot and bring them all together successfully, which Pascoe does manage to do…well almost. I did feel a bit jilted at the ending because it wasn’t the resolution I would have liked, but I think that actually adds to the book and the realness of the story. Things don’t always work out nicely which is…ok and because we’re reading adult books now, we can’t expect the nice happy endings that Blyton would give us. I know that is one of the reasons we still do read Blyton, but hey you might still enjoy Bartlett and Boase.

Set against the backdrop of the port town of Falmouth, where author Marina Pascoe actually lives, the atmospheric descriptions of the place are well worth a read. Pascoe also manages to convey that the police investigation takes a lot of time, and leads and information can be slow. I think sometimes you lose this in a more fast paced novel, but that does not make it any less absorbing. With cultural additions, such as Egyptology rearing its head and having a large part to play in the story, and things such as dances and clothing being so accurately described and portrayed you really feel as if you are back in 1920s Falmouth. Always a good mark of a proper expert.

Why read it?

I realise I may not have entirely sold you this book, but I can promise you, it will keep you hooked and desperate for more. The twists, turns and amazing things that come out of them are worthy of Blyton and Christie. You should really give these books a go, even if you’ve been put off by my review. Smooth reading, with a wonderfully vibrant 1920s backdrop.

Let me know your thoughts below!

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