Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

July's literary house

Finn Family Moomintroll (Moomins Fiction) by [Jansson, Tove]

Nothing better for summer than a little Moominsummer Madness, and this story is madder than most. It’s from Finn Family Moomintroll. The family have found a Hobgoblin’s Hat, and discovered that using it as a wastepaper basket has its risks. Nothing stays the same for long in there: eggshells turn to clouds, and the words in the Dictionary of Outlandish Words become little rune-like animals. However, the most spectacular transformation happens when the children are out one afternoon …

‘Moominmamma had gone upstairs for a snooze, but before doing so she had dropped the ball of poisonous pink perennials into the Hobgoblin’s Hat in an absent-minded moment. The trouble was she should never have tidied up really, for while the house lay deep in its after-lunch nap the ball of poisonous pink perennials began to grow in a strange and bewitched fashion. It twisted slowly up out of the hat, and crept down on to the floor. Tendrils and shoots groped their way up the walls, clambered round the curtains and blind-cords, and scrambled through the cracks, ventilators, and keyholes. In the damp air flowers came out and fruit began to ripen, and huge leafy shoots blotted out the stairs, pushed their way between the legs of the furniture and hung in festoons from the chandelier.
‘The house was filled with a soft rustling sound: sometimes the pop of an opening bud could be heard, or the thud of ripe fruit falling on the carpet …
Moominmamma woke with a start, and, to her amazement, saw that her room was full of small, white flowers, hanging down from the ceiling in leafy garlands.
‘Oh, how beautiful!’ she said. ‘Moomintroll must have done this as a surprise for me.’ And she carefully drew aside the thin curtain of flowers by her bed and stepped on to the floor… There was a small forest on the staircase, and the drawing-room was a positive jungle …
‘And the shoots grew up through the chimneys and climbed down over the roof covering the whole of Moominhouse with a thick green carpet, while out in the rain Moomintroll stood and stared at the big, green mound where the flowers went on opening their petals and the fruit ripened from green to yellow, from yellow to red. ..
‘As they pushed through the door a remarkable sight met their eyes: the Muskrat was sitting in the fork of a tree eating a pear.’

Well, the cucamelons came close to taking over the kitchen last summer, but it was nothing like this!

In fact, there are paper scraps all over the study floor, but it's only because I'm trying to sort out the plot of the next Hippolyta, temporarily (at least) entitled A Murderous Game. Have to start proper writing next week, but there's a good deal of furniture to shift first - and indeed the plot to sort out!

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