I had two quite tough and tiring days to end the working week so didn't think I would be putting out a post this weekend and then two corresponding things happened to change my mind. First my dear friend Barbara from the fabulous March House Books Blog gave me the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Thanks so much Barbara - if I can manage it I will put together the prerequisite acceptance post although I have to admit I am becoming more and more aware of my limitations! Then yesterday I noticed that Terence (Agman) from Aviator had dedicated a post to my last offering of the Nadir Quinto Star Maidens. (I had a fabulous response to that post ans would like to thank everyone for your wonderful comments.) Terence's words: 'If you've ever wondered? where children go when they dream visit this post' kind of blew me away - if I had to put into words what I was trying to achieve with these posts, describing them as 'the place where children go when they dream' would be the highest accolade I could aspire to.
This week I'm not featuring a fairytale or particularly colourful post, but for a while I've been wanting to do the second of three offerings on the Bill Woggon Story of the Ballet Coloring Book (first posted in January). I know a few people besides myself have very fond memories of this book (I hope Georgia comes back to find me again - I'm sorry it has taken me longer than expected to include these extra pages.) I would have been a contemporary of these two little girls at the time the book was published and as I was a big fan of ballet I identified with them entirely.
Today though what I want to post is not the ballet aspect of the book but the family at the core of the story. Those of us from the era will recognise the lifestyle it contains immediately and like me, I'm sure, will find it equally delightful.
'Mommy' is the quintessential 1960's home-maker. She is beautiful and feminine, always immaculately dressed (with high heels and jewellery) and perfectly coiffed. Mommy prepares tasty meals for her family, the table is artfully set and her home filled with flowers. In the next post I'm planning from this book you will see she is also able to whip up a sparkling array of ballet costumes for her two girls without breaking a sweat.
'Daddy' is clean cut and handsome. He is the breadwinner of the family. Every day Daddy disappears to that strange and mysterious world called 'the office'. Daddy is the decision maker of the family and everything must be deferred to him (although to my eyes now he looks impossibly young!).
The womenfolk of the family are however not above some clever feminine manipulation to ensure that Daddy makes the correct decision.
The family is rounded off with Fiddle Diddle the dog. When I bought the book I knew it was used and not in perfect condition but was so happy to have finally found a copy I have no complaints. Some of the pictures are coloured in and a few pages are missing. Amongst them are Fiddle Diddle's antics at the ballet class so unfortunately I will not be able to include any of those.
This last picture is the one that produced the biggest reaction from me. When Daddy gets home he is brought his pipe and slippers to relax after a hard day at work. Here he is happily smoking away indoors with a daughter on each knee. As a child I would have found this completely normal and not given it a second thought!
The Story of the Ballet, illustrated by Bill Woggon. Costume design by Cassie Bill. Published by Saalfield 1963/64.
Recently I've been mentioning how much my new extended commute eats into my day, leaving me with little time to pack in everything else I have to try to do outside of working and travelling - and as a result I'm feeling quite tired. It is a bit of a conundrum though because the commute itself is through beautiful scenery and I often think to myself that many people spend a lot of money to experience just once what I get to see it all its changing moods every day.
It takes about half an hour to get me to the station and on to the train and twenty minutes to walk to my office when I get to town but everything in-between is by train. I suppose I could spend the time more constructively if I bought a tablet or more portable laptop or even a book to read. But for the moment I am still enjoying the landscape as it glides past and to be honest I value the downtime. I suffered a nearly fatal dose of encephalitis when I was a teenager leaving me prone to migraines and my eyes extremely light sensitive. Working in IT and staring at a monitor all day was probably not the wisest career choice! So this chance to sit and do nothing is often quite appreciated, especially in the mornings when the train is empty before we reach the commuter belt. (Coming home I've had to work out a strategy of juggling two different types of trains to have the best option of getting a seat!)
As Shakespeare so eloquently said 'had we both world enough and time'!
|Leaving Rathdrum station|
I took a few photographs to show my husband and son some of the parts of the trip I enjoy the most and thought I would also share them with my blog friends.
We start off through fairy forests and lovely farmland.
Then after Wicklow Town we hug the coast almost the whole way into town.
|Bray Head (Between Bray and Greystones)|
I was quite lucky to get the next photo as I don't usually have my camera with me and on this particular day a sailing ship just happened to be there as we went past. They were moving and we we moving and I wasn't sure if we would get close enough before they disappeared around the corner (and we went into the tunnel) but I just managed to snap this shot.
Iarnród Éireann have recently introduced a new fleet of commuter trains that are very smart and it feels more like you are in a plane than a train. There are glamorous sounding announcements first in Irish and then English throughout the journey. The older trains are not as smart but they are possibly more comfortable and seem bigger.
The 'station' at Kilcoole is quite unique - it is just a single platform on the beach! (There is a car park but no station building.)
|Sunrise at Kilcoole|