At least, not unless you have lived in Belgium for a long time, ideally all your life.Â But this is funny.Â Also, I see that the long disputed Brussels Halle Vilvoorde (BHV to its friends) constituency rated a mention in the FT the other day.Â And I have kept a supplement that came with Le Soir on the linguistic regime in Belgium.Â I may put it up on my wall.Â All this on the day that the French say they wouldn’t mind Wallonia being tacked on to France.Â Sigh.Â This is all beginning to take its toll.Â As is NaBloPoMo.
Onwards.Â L is for Lewis.
C.S. Lewis, of course, another convert.Â I read “The Magician’s Nephew” when I was in second class (7/8).Â I can still remember how hard it was to read and stumbling over the unfamiliar words.Â I got it from the library at the back of the classroom and I sat at a sunny window and read and read.Â I think it must have been by far the hardest thing I had ever read and I took long breaks to look at the picture on the cover and wish that there were perhaps a couple of more pictures accompanying the text.Â I can also remember having real difficulty in imagining how “Digory” might be pronounced.Â It is probably still my favourite Narnia book.Â They are all wonderful although I find “The Last Battle” a bit depressing now.Â I remember having a lengthy argument with my (11 months) older friend (now an Ambassador to Vietnam) about how “The Magician’s Nephew” was the first of the Narnia books, which it was.Â Very annoyingly, using her 11 months of knowledge to the full, she was able to inform me, quite rightly, that “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” was written first and “The Magician’s Nephew” was thought up to explain it.Â Â I still have, here on the bookshelf, the full set of the Narnia books that my father brought me home from London as a present in the 1970s and I still read them very regularly.Â I hope that my children will love them too.
Hello I am a Narnia fan too and like you I can remember reading the books for the first time at age 7-8. Although I think the Voage of the Dawntreader is my favourite. I expect we have the same set too as mine are also from the 70’s. How nice to look forward to sharing them with your family 🙂
P.s. I have read that the lamp featured in Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (and magicians nephew) was inspired froma lamp CS Lewis saw glowing out of the trees on Hampstead (probably near Highgate woods) one snowy, winter evening.
Oh dear. I loved The Last Battle when I was a child- will I hate it now? Probably. I guess you were in a rush and didn’t have time to mention Lawrence or Lessing (wasn’t her reaction to winning the Noble priceless?) but can I please put in a word for Laurie Lee – As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Rose for Winter about Spain during and fifteen years after the Civil War, respectively, are marvellous and happily do bear re-reading.