Thursday, 3 March 2011


The next book off the shelf was Mooninland in Midwinter by Tove Jansson. How I enjoy these books. Some of the characters in them are wonderful, The Dweller Under the Sink, the Groke, Little My, (I especially like her) as for Snufkin, he got me playing the harmonica. And that was in the summer of 1972 when my brother decided he wanted to discover England and thought the best way to do this was to walk it north to south. When he explained the idea to me I readily agreed to join him. We hitched to Bewick on Tweed and then turning south set off on foot on our biggest pererration yet. We meandered through the English countryside towards the distant south drifting east and west as we did so. I took two books to read. One was a Moomin book the other an Arthurian tale of the search for the Holy Grail. I soon tired of the latter and dumped the introspective writings. I was twenty one, my brother by my side, walking in all weathers through the English landscape; sleeping under hedgerows, heading for distant blue hills, through woodlands, valleys and vales, over unnamed streams, past village greens, parish churches. We saw every westerly sunset, listened to every dawn chorus, I was on my own quest, and Mooninpapa’s adventures entertained me. The writing so spare yet burgeoning with imagination, the book went the entire way with me until I had to drop away to continue my adventures in Norway. My brother heading on until he heard the sweet sibilance of water on that distant coast

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