We are so lucky to have members of the family spread over the UK. Last weekend we all headed down to Dorset donned in our best bib and tucker for a family wedding.
It was a wedding to remember the bride was stunning, the weather was great, the best man was a bit woof and we had some alpaca to keep us occupied in between photo shoots.
We decided to take a holiday cottage in Wareham for a week so we had somewhere to rest our weary wedding heads and take the opportunity to explore the stunning Jurassic coastline and the UNESCO world heritage sites.
On our first adventure we decided to take a stroll to Corfe Castle a spectacular ruin which stands at the heart of the Purbeck region. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates back to the 11th century.
Corfe Castle and this area is said to have been the inspiration behind Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series of books in which she names Kirrin Cottage, Kirrin Castle, Kirrin Island. Even today in the village you can find The Ginger Pop shop for ‘Pop Ices’ and lashings of ‘Ginger Beer’ and all things Enid Blyton.
Hearing the name Enid Blyton rockets me back to my childhood and the adventures of Julian, Dick, Anne and Georgina (George) – and their dog Timmy. Not to forget Uncle Quentin, George’s father, brother to the father of Julian, Dick and Anne and a world-famous scientist who let the children be free to explore during their holidays.
For those of you that have not read the Famous Five, the stories take place in the school holidays when the children return from boarding school. Every holiday is an absolute adventure involving crime, lost treasures, long lost secrets, smugglers caves. This is a time when children were kicked out the door at 8 am and only returned for tea.
Going on a hike, jumping over a streams, camping outside, cycling, picnics and of course swimming is exactly the way a childhood should be spent.
Who are the Famous Five;
- Julian is the eldest of the five, brother to Dick and Anne, cousin to George. He is tall, strong and intelligent as well as caring, responsible and kind. His cleverness and reliability are often noted by Aunt Fanny. He is the leader of the group.
- Dick has a cheeky sense of humour, but is dependable and kind in nature. He is the same age as his cousin George, and older than his sister Anne. Inclined to tease his sister at times, Dick like Julian is very caring towards Anne and does his best to keep her cheered up when she gets upset. He uses his wits and saves the five in many adventures.
- Georgina (George) is a tomboy, she cuts her hair very short and dresses like a boy. She is headstrong and courageous by nature and, like her father, scientist Quentin has a hot and fiery temper. George has a loyal dog named Timmy who would do anything for her.
- Anne is the youngest in the group, she is more likely than the others to become frightened, but ultimately she is as brave and resourceful as the others. She likes doing the domestic things such as planning, organizing and preparing meals, keeping where they are staying clean and tidy, be it a cave, house, tent or caravan.
- Timmy is George’s faithful dog. He is friendly – clever, affectionate and loyal to the children. In the first book of the series, George’s parents have forbidden her to keep Timmy, and she is forced to hide him with a fisher boy in the village. After the end of the Five’s first adventure, her parents relent and she is allowed to keep him.
The books have been around since the early 1950’s, even today, more than two million copies of the books are sold each year. A real testament to the talent of Enid Blyton and love of adventure that is a must for children growing up.
If you have kids I would highly recommend these books for their reading list. If you have the time plan a trip to the Jurassic coastline for a real adventure.