Tag Archives: travel

Review: Mary Poppins Opens the Door

15 Mar

REVIEW: MARY POPPINS OPENS THE DOOR

It’s been noted before by others: the lack of recognition of Australian origins of the classic ‘Mary Poppins’ volumes. Recent conversations with those of younger years than myself: bears this out.

Pamela Lyndon Travers, real name Helen Lyndon Goff, was born in Maryborough, Queensland, the daughter of an unsuccessful bank manager, Travers Robert Goff. Moving to Bowral, N.S.W. as a child, it’s believed it’s here she evolved the idea of Mary Poppins.

Published in 1944, I first read ‘Mary Poppins Opens the Door’ as a child, more years ago than I care to nominate.

Question is: how does my childhood enchantment stack up against the viewpoint of middle-age?

My first impression is that it’s a true evergreen; that generation after generation will be captivated by the magnetic figure of Mary Poppins, who manages to simultaneously tame and enthrall her young charges, the Banks’ children.

Typically stern, even snappy, she nevertheless beguiles with enviable ease, everyone who comes her way.

Is part of her attraction the fact that she sets the children standards and boundaries?

Be that as it may, it’s surely her magic, her reverence: that propels her to stardom.

There’s a range of stories, including an encounter with the statue, Neleus, that’s briefly transformed into a living, moving child; a Cat that outsmarts a King; parties that see Mary present as an honoured guest. A chapter each, I feel that a few were a tad more drawn out than absolutely necessary.

Nevertheless, this volume is and remains a great choice for children and parents to read together or separately, and discuss.

Copyright ©

 

 

After the Rain, the Flood…..

9 Mar

Yesterday, the rain….Today, the flood!

A bright sunny Sydney day; not a cloud in the sky. That’s what we awakened to this morning! So off we head to the local river baths.

But, alas, history repeats itself: the river is in flood. The turbid water creates a diminishing visibility of about two inches; after that, you can’t see anything save the brownness. I know: I poked a stick in to see.

Debris: mainly leaf litter, though interspersed with filthy scum, floats in clusters near the promenade. At high tide, the water level is about one foot above that predicted for normal conditions, and the temperature’s about four degrees lower.

So, I’ll be saying good-bye to swimming there for a week or more, until Mother Nature sanctions the clean-up. With dams now full to overflowing, we can only wonder when….

Yet, casting our minds back a few short years, we wondered when, and if, the heavy rains would ever come…..That’s nature for you, isn’t it?

Copyright ©

What a Rainy Morning!

8 Mar

Boy, did it rain!

It was nothing, here where I live, compared to the absolutely flooding deluge I’ve just seen on television that occurred in other parts of Sydney. Nevertheless, it was quite impressive.

It hammered on the roof, gushed down the window panes, washed onto the verandah. The front path, covered by several inches of cold clear water, led to an equally flooded nature strip, which squelched underfoot.

Visibility went right down, replaced by an all-engrossing sense of nature overwhelming us.

This is Australia: land of drought, land of flood!

Copyright ©