Would Lucy Mangan and I get on if we met, I wonder? We have a lot in common, but we are also very different. For someone so young, Lucy’s Book corner in the Guardian on Saturdays, contains a less predictable selection of much loved books than I’d have thought.
Though the more I read of Lucy’s musings, I can see she is really trying to be me. Hmm. A duel, perhaps?
Why Lucy’s corner has to appear in the Family section is beyond me. No, it isn’t. We must be grateful for anything on books, anywhere. And why should we expect children’s books to be considered literature?
A while back Lucy enthused about Astrid Lindgren’s The Six Bullerby Children, and she appears to have picked the same memories that I would have. The day Lisa moves into her new room has always stuck in my mind. I always wished it could have happened to me.
And every Christmas as I slave away over something or other, I think back to the Bullerby Christmas preparations.
With my background I have also, obviously, seen the Bullerby film, which managed to translate pretty well. My main source for feeling superior, was that the child actors were so ‘soft’ that you could tell how much they winced when walking barefoot home from school. Modern children!
It’s a wonderful piece of nostalgia, and it explains Swedes perfectly; our summers, our Christmasses and our in-betweens. And I did want the grandfather so much.
If Olle really is called Olaf in English, I wonder what the others are called? Can we cope with Lasse and Bosse, or not?