Tag Archives: Enid Blyton

Somebody’s “Enid Blyton” Collection.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

Not mine (though I bought them all). My Enid Blyton collection, when I was that age, and living in Ceylon, was COMPLETE — starting with Noddy and extending all the way to all the series. Not a book missing. So, my collection was probably 6 – 8 times larger. It was also in a glass fronted, bookcase. They, my adoptive parents, gave the books away when we left Ceylon in 1967. They broke up the set. To be fair, it must have cost them a pretty penny to get all those books in Ceylon — some would have to have been ordered from the U.K. But, my adoptive father never had any problems spending money on books.

These books came out yesterday. This is a whole new setup. New shelves … she put up etc. She used to keep her Enid Blyton books in a drawer for safekeeping. It made me happy to see them out.

IF you are sharp-eyed you will notice a Richmal Crompton ‘Just William’ book amongst these. She treats that book as part of her collection — given that it is British!

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by Anura Guruge

Scottish Robert Louis Stevenson, Who Wrote “Treasure Island”, Was Born This Day, 167-Years Ago; November 13, 1850.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Louis_Stevenson

Given my anglophilic upbringing, Robert Louis Stevenson was one of the many British authors, alongside the likes of Enid Blyton, Captain W. E. Johns (who wrote the ‘Biggles‘ books), Richmal Crompton (of the ‘William’ series) and Sir Walter Scott, I was familiar with at a fairly early age — even though I was living in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) at the time. I remember having had to read — and then summarize each chapter in 5 sentences — ‘Treasure Island’ when I was about 12. I think I read it multiple times — in that I was so taken by it.

I did NOT know his whole life story until just now — as I was researching this. Fascinating. Worthy of a book in its own right.

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by Anura Guruge

Harper Lee, Of “To Kill A Mockingbird” Fame, Was Born This Day 91-Years Ago.

by Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harper_Lee


I read to “To Kill A Mockingbird” in 1968, when I was 14-years old, and was in the U.S. — the first time around (1967 – 1968). I loved the book, though thinking back I had NO IDEA as to the racial overtones or any of that. Just liked the story as it was. I really should re-read it.

I have to make a CONFESSION. Until quite recently I had NO IDEA that Harper Lee was female! Not that I have anything against female authors. I grew up on, and am still an adherent of, Enid Blyton — and she is as female as you can get. Just never realized. I was shocked and delighted when I found out.

She was quite the lady. I really must read “To Kill A Mockingbird” again.

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by Anura Guruge

Tintin (By Hergé) Memorabilia Auction At Delcampe.

My current collection of Tintin comics. I really SHOULD complete the set.

Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail


by Anura Guruge

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Click images to ENLARGE and enjoy here.

Here is the link to the ‘Delcampe’ auction page.


What the comics looks like. Click to ENLARGE and savor.

I have now been an avid fan of Tintin comics for nearly 50 years — though in my old age I do appreciate that much of the material is blatantly racist and that Tintin is far from what I would want in a son! I actually tackled this in detail in this post, 4 years ago, when the the Vatican classed him as a ‘Catholic Hero‘.

As you can see from the top image I do have a FEW Tintin comics. They represent the 4th set of Tintin comics I have owned over the last 50 years! My adoptive father, who loved books (probably even more than I do (if that is indeed possible), introduced me to Tintin comics, in Ceylon, in the early 1960s — when I was around 8 – 9. As I have chronicled before the one thing that I had a plenty when growing up (alongside corporal punishment, food and tuition) was book. My father got me whatever books I wanted or what he thought I would like. He got me the Tintin books because he wanted to read them too. And that is OK. It is one of the few family traditions that have endured. The current set of Tintin comics I have — I got for Devanee a few years ago. She reads them, I look after them along with our collection of Asterix comics (and I will confess I like Astrix much, much more than I do Tintin). I went through the same process with Matthew, my son, when he was about 9. I got him Tintin books — because like I and Devanee he loved them.

I did say 4th set. So first set was what my adoptive father got me in Ceylon in early 1960. When we left Ceylon in 1967 I was not allowed to take any of my HUGE collection of books. They were just given to folks. Great shame. That library would be worth a FORTUNE today since it included complete sets of books by the likes of Enid Blyton. In the 1970s as a fairly well to do professional in England I bought myself all the Tintin & Asterix comics for my new library. That library too got mangled when I moved to the States in 1985 though I did bring across 3,500 books! [I was given a 40′ container to bring across whatever I wanted.] The 3rd set was what I bought for Matthew and the 4th for Devanee.

I just got an e-mail from Delcampe about the Tintin auction. Funnily enough, in the last month, Devanee had mentioned that she would like me to get more Tintin books. Hhhmm. I haven’t bought much from Delcampe. But I will take a look at this auction. IF I see anything that is cheap I will indulge.

Jim Corbett’s Hunting Tigers In India Books — A Huge Endorsement.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
by Anura Guruge

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Click to ENLARGE. My shelf of favorite paperbacks — with Jim Corbett’s “Man Eaters of Kumaon” definitely on there.

It was indeed quite the coincidence that I saw, when looking through Amazon Prime Instant Video, that there is now a movie, “India: Kingdom of the Tiger“, based on Jim Corbett’s mesmerizing books.

Just last week, on my near daily run, I had been thinking about Jim Corbett and his books. I was wondering whether I should go back and read them again and whether one of the kids might be interested. We are not into hunting BUT I was totally hooked on Jim’s books when I was around 12.

A partial list from Amazon.


My very precise autograph when I was around 12. Click to ENLARGE.

I had them all, in paperback, in Ceylon. As I had said before one of the few highlights of my days growing up in Ceylon was that my adoptive father totally indulged me when it came to books. He a great lover of books. I could get whatever books I wanted, even if it meant they had to be ordered through London. IF there was a series of books, as with Jim Corbett or Enid Blyton, he would get me the whole series. When we left in 1967 I could not take my beloved library of books with me. Hence why I just have ONE Jim Corbett from that collection, my favorite “The Man Eaters of Kumaon”.

I am probably, time permitted, going to reread “Kumaon”. I might them get the others. I am trying NOT to buy too many books of late. Just have too many. Even thinking of getting rid of some I have!

My two shelves of favorite books, one for small paperbacks and the other for larger books.
Click to ENLARGE.


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Egg Prices Have Gone Up Through The Roof In New Hampshire.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail

by Anura Guruge

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I don’t, thanks to the now disproven old chestnut that eggs make your cholestrol worse, eat that many eggs anymore. When I was young I ate enough to last a few lifetimes (and her the old theory my life was to be severely curtailed BECAUSE I ate so many eggs). These days, per my low-carb diet, I eat 2 eggs every 4th day. So in a given week I only eat 2 weeks (unless I am travelling and eating breakfast every morning). Given that I also do not no longer eat cakes, pies, muffins, donuts, bagels etc, I don’t ingest too much eggs in prepared food.

Major contrast to when my adoptive mother was alive (and her 84th birthday will be in 3 days time). She used eggs in her fancy cakes, puddings and custards like there was no tomorrow. People loved her sweets. But given that she was very much an International figure and dealt with people from around the world, from Heads of State to beggars, her use of eggs in her sweets would, quite frequently, cause those of us in the KNOW to raise our eyebrows — and in my case, even question her. She, having lived in India for 4 years, entertained many Indian VIPs over the years — even when she lived in Paris. Many of these Indian VIPs claimed to be strict vegetarians or even vegans. Some of them would not eat eggs. But this did NOT stop them from eating my mother’s, and we have to admit they were irresistible, cakes and desserts. She was world famous for her ‘Pineapple Fluff‘ — that really did melt in your mouth. Vegetarians would ask for seconds, thirds and sometimes fourths of her ‘Pineapple Fluff’ when they came for dinner. And my mother would gladly and proudly give them as much as they wanted. One of these Indians who LOVED my mother’s sweets was a delightful Professor from New Delhi. Way, way up in the government echelons. We had known him for years. I called him uncle. STRICT vegetarian. Would not eat eggs. But was even MORE PARTIAL to my mother’s many sweets than even I was and that was saying something. Once he was visiting Paris and, of course, coming over for dinner. So my mother made sure she made him a ‘Pineapple Fluff’. The ‘Fluff’ part was dependent on whisked egg whites. More the merrier. This time she used 12 eggs for that ONE Fluff. That evening between us, with I and the Indian VIP in the lead, we finished the Fluff. 12 eggs gone. After he left, we got talking. Whether he realized or not he had ingested a fair number of eggs. It was one of those cases of “don’t tell, don’t ask” when it came to food.


An Enid Blyton “Noddy” egg cup with Noddy eating his mandatory, very British, boiled egg for breakfast.

Anywho …

I don’t eat that many eggs anymore. I even have containers of Market Basket Egg Substitute in the fridge, though I don’t use that much either.

The kids, especially Devanee, eat a fair amount of eggs. Plus Deanna and the kids need it for all their baking.

So it is not unusual for us to have 2, 3 sometimes 4 one-dozen containers of eggs in our fridge. We have a special place where they get stacked, one container on top of the other.

On Monday we went shopping at Market Basket — after my appointment at the Social Security Administration (SSA) office in Concord. Deanna asked me to go get some eggs. I went to do so. I, by habit, don’t buy anything without checking the price. I was surprised at the prices I saw. There were eggs at over $3 a dozen! Just a fortnight ago, I am sure, I had got a dozen eggs for around $1.89.

Later on that day we had to go to both Hannaford and Fiddleheads in Alton. I checked egg prices. A couple of years ago, when Fiddleheads in Alton was ‘new’, their featured product was a dozen of large white eggs for 99 cents. Then it went up to $1.50. This week it was close to $3.00. The cheapest I saw was around $2.85 at Hannaford.eggcups

I kind of had an idea as to what this was all about. When I came home I checked. Yes, Avian flu. Prices will continue to go up. So a HEADS UP. This will also impact prices at restaurants and that for prepared food. Keep an eye out.

Oreo Library Destructing SuperBowl Ad. Was WRONG, Sacrilegious and Above All STUPID. I Am Boycotting Oreos. They Make You FAT Anyway.


Anura Guruge

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>> You Would Expect Power Failures In A Superdome … — Feb. 3, 2013.
Volkswagen’s Super Bowl XLVII ‘Jamaican’ Ad. — Jan 30, 2013.


Wanton destruction of anything is invariably wrong and inappropriate.

To glorify the wanton destruction of a LIBRARY and books is beyond the pale.
It is ignorant at every level.

Books are sacred. Libraries are the symbols of civilization.

History vilifies the barbarians that destroyed ancient libraries.

If Oreo wants to be associated with wanton destruction, destroy a bar.

This was totally and utterly wrong, irresponsible and reprehensible.

What kind of message is this for our kids.

This is but another facet of the mindless violence that we confront each and every day.

If you thought this ad. was funny then I feel real sorry for you.

I will tell you this with conviction. You would never see an Ad. in India, China or Sri Lanka that glories the destruction of a library.

I am boycotting Oreos. They make you fat.

Please join me. Say ‘NO’ to Oreos.

Growing up in Ceylon, in the 1950s and 1960s, I had to literally and figuratively worship books by putting my hands together in supplication and bowing my head. It was nothing to do with religion. It had all to do with learning to show respect for books and what they stood for: learning and knowledge.

Both my parents were academics, though my mother wore it lightly. My father was and still is a fanatic. He was and still is obsessed with all aspects of books: reading, writing, publishing, reviewing and preserving. The obsession has been safely and completely passed on to his only child: that being me.

I grew up surrounded by books. My father had a large library at the front of the house. Three walls were covered, floor to ceiling, with books. The other wall was all glass, floor to ceiling windows. He had it built, along with the house, in the late 1950s. He used metal shelving a very novel concept in those days. But books were not restricted to the library. There were books everywhere; kind of like this house.

My father grew up dirt poor. His father was a postal carrier. My father lived in a slum, with open sewers at the front. Just like the pictures you see from Africa. My grandfather, though he would go onto be a government appointed Justice of the Peace (JP) and a very successful insurance agent, continued to live in that slum, by choice. I knew it well. We would go to visit him and my grandmother there. It was quite the contrast. Our house in Colombo, with the library, was huge with 20′ slanted mirrors, fancy stone work and an open air roof garden. Then we would go to Kandy to see my grandparents and would have to step over open sewers.

Growing up my father didn’t have money to buy books. His father did however give him a few cents a day to take the bus to school. Ceylon did not have school buses at that time. My father opted to walk the 7 miles each way and save the money. It still wasn’t enough to buy books — which in those days were expensive. But, he could collect enough to take a bus or train to a place that had a good library. He would then spend all day Saturday or holidays COPYING out textbooks into notebooks (we called them exercise book) in longhand! Yes, we have all seen copies of my father’s hand copied text books. He did this even when we was at university.

He graduated with a Ph.D., at the age of 22, using these copied texts and immediately went to work for the then Prime Minister as a Private Secretary. From the slums to the P.M. residence through education. He was a made man from that point onwards and never looked back. Guess what he did when he had the money. He bough books, more more and even more books. He is still buying books though he gave away much of his collection to educational institutions in Sri Lanka.

I could read when I was 3. There was no TV, there were no computers and there were no video games. Just the radio. So I learned to read out of necessity to keep myself entertained. As soon as I could read, in English and Sinhalese, my father made a deal with me. He would buy me and all books I desired as LONG AS THEY WERE ENGLISH! Looking back this is so funny. My father was and still is a great nationalist. My mother was an anglophile. We spoke Sinhalese and English interchangeably in the house, even switching from one to another in mid-sentence. At school I was taught in Sinhalese. We just got one period of English a day. My mother was hell bent that I would be fluent in English. My father was ambivalent. My mother would reward me, typically with chocolates or cakes, if I spoke more English at home than Sinhalese. And they bought me English books. They would buy me complete series of books, by the great English writers, in one go. I had my own library, with each series, carefully lined up together. I owned most of the books written by Enid Blyton (well over a 100). My mother was her greatest fan. I had all the Richmal Crompton ‘William‘ series (39 books). All of ‘Biggles‘. My cousins and friends were in awe. So … that is just a part of the reason, I love books.