In honour of Robert Westall’s birthday here is a beautiful quote from him:
“I don’t remember how old I was. I know I had sadly abandoned hope of dragons. I had checked for wolves under the stairs and found only a sack of musty potatoes, and a meter with the faint exciting whiff of gas. But there were still monsters. The lamplighter walking in front of us was a minor wizard. He put his long pole to the gas lamps and created darkness. It was broad daylight till the gas-lamps flared; instantly night gathered round them like smoke.”
Find out more:
* Lovely article about the last lamplighters in Britain http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2848038/The-magical-job-Britain-Enchanting-story-gas-street-lights-five-men-burning-just-did-Dickens-day.html
* Robert Westall Website http://www.robertwestall.com/
I think this quote sums up the magic and power of Michael Morpurgo!
“I think we yearn to feel close to our fellow creatures. We long to feel we are part of their world, not mere observers. Certainly that is true for me. I am lucky enough to live and work in the heart of the countryside. As I write this, sheep are shifting in the field beyond my window, policed by foraging crows, a blue tit clings upside down in the thatch searching for insects for the straw, a whirl of starlings unfolds in the wind and is buffeted away over Innocents’ Copse. I have only to put on my boots and walk down the high-hedged lane towards the Torridge river to see where the badger has passed on his way last night up his alleyway through the field hedge. My nose tells me a fox has been by even more recently. Down by the river I might see a heron lifting off and lumbering skywards, and I might hear the slap of a leaping salmon and the plop of a water rat. If I’m lucky, I’ll spot a kingfisher flashing by, straight as a jewelled arrow – gone before I saw it. And if I’m very silent, still and patient, I might know that moment again when an otter came away. We just met. And when tonight I go milking under a star-filled heaven, the vixen will cry at me and the twany owl will let me know he’s there and watching, and I’ll feel part of it all, just one of them.”
In order of the wonderful Terry Pratchett’s birthday here is a lovely quote by him:
“Fantasy is like alcohol, too much is bad for you, a little bit makes the world a better place. Like an exercise bicycle it takes you nowhere, but it might just tone up the muscles that will. Daydreaming got us where we are today; early on in evolution we learned to let our minds wander so well that they started coming back with souvenirs.”
Every Monday we will be looking at a short extract from a text and analysing what and how the writer has written.
Feel free to add your own comments/analysis below!
“Birthdays plunge me into a great fog of dissatisfaction. It started on my 19th with a deep trepidation about leaving my teens. You could get away with just about anything by blaming it on teenageness but 20 seemed, like, totally old. Now 20 seems, like, totally a long time ago. A general feeling that I’ve under-achieved my way through life thus far is compounded by another year gone and not much changed. Yet another year where I failed to unpick life’s great mysteries: God, the universe and karaoke.”
Catriona Stewart (http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/13060935.the_birthday_dumps/)
– Great imagery – The imagery of the fog is perfect for describing that feeling that lingers around and makes it difficult to see your way through
– Trepdidation is the perfect word to use here- it implies the dread and fear that is felt as the writer gets a year younger.
– Use of teenage slang (,like, totally) helps to create an informal and humourous tone. It tells the reader that she isn’t taking herself totally seriously.
– Great use of the rule of three to help the self-mocking tone up. She uses an anti-climax (karaoke) to underscore the other two, more serious, points.
“Bears like Paddington are very rare. And a good thing too, if you ask me, or it would cost us a small fortune in marmalade.”
I have always loved Paddington Bear – I think it is because I always related to his clumisness and his bumbling attempts to help!
When I was wee we used to have to get a slow and boring bus ride into town and the highlight was driving past Stepps and waving to the Paddington at the window! He changed outfits accordng to the seasons and even now when I drive past I give a wee wave!