Childrens’ Stories

Sometimes it all gets too much – the news bulletins and the stories from Our Own Correspondent – and I need to escape. Sometimes it’s Austen or Eliot, the unabridged versions read to me through the BBC Sounds app, more recently it’s been childrens’ stories. I listen to them when I’m sewing the gift samplers. You have to adapt a little. They were written for younger ears than mine but when you do it is rather magical, especially if they were known from childhood, such as Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows. I started listening to that yesterday after the final chapter of The Railway Children. Yes, they are a little dated but the escapism is complete as they relay that sense of having nothing very much to do, the stretch that one felt as a child at the beginning of the school holidays when the sun shone and there were fields to play in and dens to make. At the end of a morning’s sewing I can feel a little guilty, something wicked has been done, like going to the cinema on a weekday afternoon. He says, rubbish, enjoy yourself. Do I? Do I do that? Yes, if escaping onto the river with Mole and Ratty or laying the table for tea in Three Chimneys cottage is enjoying myself – I do. Ah, literature, what would I do without it?