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Tragic Rabbit

NEWS: Mysterious white substance falls across the UK

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Brilliant grasp of the Brit psyche!

The motto of the UK Met Office should be 'Perpetually taken by surprise' - or maybe that should be the motto of local councils and the highways agency.

It takes only the lightest snowfall for people to claim they're snowed in and can't get to work.

A lot of your satire shows remarkable perspicacity about the Brits and our foibles. You telepathically plugged in to some UK hunk by any chance???

Bruin

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Brilliant grasp of the Brit psyche!

A lot of your satire shows remarkable perspicacity about the Brits and our foibles. You telepathically plugged in to some UK hunk by any chance???

Bruin

When I was a small child, Bruin, I lived in a chilly Victorian stone manse complete with bricked up bedroom fireplaces and inadequate central heating, with a busy jet-traveling father and a frosty mum, and where the dusty library of turn-of-the-century English books beckoned - not realizing her vanished world was antique, for example, I thought that little Alice spoke lovely English - and thus did I learn the language.

What I didn't know was that I was simultaneously imbibing over-voweled spelling and archaic Brit attitudes, and would never be free of them.

Alas for wee me!

TR, running a fever and seeing St George...

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I too lived in various Victorian houses and still live in one (built 1872) and not one of them had central heating (not even working badly). The coldest of them didn't have running water or electricity either.

I'd like to be warm but I can't give space to radiators which steal wall space and ought to be called 'convectors'.

And I still think Alice spoke excellent English and some of Lewis Carrolls letters to little girls are as heartbreaking as anything I've read here. But I won't spell "can't" "ca'n't" as Carroll did. (As in "one ca'n't believe impossible things." - and do you know I just looked it up in a Wordsworth classics edition of Alice (complete and unabridged, it says) and they've changed Carroll's spelling!. Unabridged my foot. If leaving out Carroll's apostrophes isn't abridgement I'm a Dutchman!

I had to go and check it in the Nonesuch edition (which I've done) and I'm right. He argued that ca'n't is short for cannot and the omitted 'n' is as worthy of an apostrophe as the omitted 'o'.

And I suppose as Tragic Rabbits go to have an ordained clergyman of the C of E writing "one ca'n't believe impossible things" is pretty tragic. As you say over the pond: "Go figure!"

Love,

Anthony

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You didn't find a wardrobe in a room upstairs that contained a portal to another world where it was perpetually winter and animals could talk and...???

Bruin in empathy

Adding to my youthful time-space confusion, I read very few children's books aside from the Alice books. Most of the children's books I've read were consumed during a blessed months-long doctor's reprieve from sports spent in a school library stocked with nothing else. I first heard of CS Lewis as a teenager, when I found that many of my friends who liked Tolkien also liked Lewis. I didn't much care for him.

I did read enough as a tot, though, to always seek out secret doorways, passageways, and magical mirrors - something I still do, of course.

TR

PS Anthony, for a Yank, such houses are out of the ordinary. Americans endlessly tear down houses and build newer ones and carparks. And, of course, it's still a new country. I also dislike the floor heaters you speak of and prefer the old Roman hypocaust systems. I don't see why our homes ca'n't heat the floors with the hot water pipes, too. It's been a couple thousand years since the technology was introduced.

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I first heard of CS Lewis as a teenager, when I found that many of my friends who liked Tolkien also liked Lewis. I didn't much care for him.

I'm with you on that one. Lewis was a friend of Tolkien and sent him a draft of 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. Tolkien urged him not to publish it. Tolkien believed strongly that children's fiction ought not to be allegorical, or carry any message. He strongly denied all suggestions that his stories referred to either of the world wars, for instance. And Lewis's book is a thinly veiled allegory of the Christian redemption by crucifixion story.

I read all the Narnia books when I'd only just learned to read. I loved them. Some years later when I discovered what they were really about I felt violated.

Bruin

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