"let your boat of life be light, packed with only
what you need - a homely home and simple pleasures, someone to love and someone to love you,
enough to eat and enough to wear
and a little more than enough to drink:
for thirst is a dangerous thing"

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


did you know millicent margaret amanda aka milly-molly-mandy when you were young?  she was the creation of joyce lankester brisley and "the bestest sister" and i recently rediscovered the books in our local book warehouse.  we spent hours (maybe an hour) re-reading our old favourites which we grew up with in our little cottage called "alroy" (we did not name it - it was alison and roydon - why did people do that?) in rosebank - in our minds a bit like the little village where m-m-m lived (but not really) because we were on the railway line and definitely did not have a thatched roof.

introducing milly-molly-mandy to amy and kelly, my nieces was a bit like when i hired the video of the party with peter sellers to watch with my boys when they were young.   the were all equally unimpressed.

i would like to share my copy with you

if you did not know her, milly-molly-mandy's world was so uncomplicated and simple.  it was one of my favourite childhood pleasures.  on opening the book you looked at the map of her world:-

you went on to follow her adventures when she went fishing with billy blunt, you were envious when the little attic room where they used to store jam was converted into her new bedroom, you were a tad bored when she learnt to make a patchwork tea cosy (just for you gareth) and were in awe of her first camping out trip.  a snippet from the chapter "milly-molly-mandy camps out":-

"When Billy Blunt came back with his rugs and things (loaded up on his box on wheels) they asked him if it were very creepy-feeling to sleep out of doors.  And Billy Blunt (having slept out once) said "Oh, you soon get used to it," and asked why they didn't try it in their tent.  So then Milly-Molly-Mandy and little-friend-Susan looked at each other, and said firmly, "Let's ask!" So little-friend-Susan went with Milly-Molly-Mandy up to the nice white cottage with the thatched roof, where mother was just putting a treacle-tart into the oven.

She looked doubtful when Milly-Molly-Mandy told her what they wanted to do.  Then she shut the oven door, and wiped her hands, and said, well, she would just come and look at the tent they had made first.  And when she had looked and considered, she said, well, if it were still very fine and dry by evening perhaps Milly-Molly-Mandy might sleep out there, just for once."

don't you love the pictures.  i, much to my strict aunt anne's disgust, could not stop myself from colouring them in.  they looked like they needed it, to me

red thatched roof, don't think so.

i have to just show you one last picture of her kitchen:-

sorry, one more:-

off blackberry picking with little-friend-susan with sticks to reach all the berries.  the whole family waving goodbye, not a thought of rapists or drunk drivers.

no wonder amy and kelly think the stories are "weird".

if i have whet you appetite - norman has them at his bookshop at belvedere park for 40 sa rands each.  treat yourself.  only the covers are not quite the same and you will have to colour your own pictures.


  1. I got VERY excited when I came across some Milly Molly Mandy books recently and wanted to buy them for Gracie. Thanks for reminding me that they wouldn't be appreciated for the genius that they are by children today!

  2. Shame you didn't ask me before you used my pictures. The last two are from my my blog post.

  3. Sue, I really do apologise. This was one of my first posts and I realise that I have been rather tardy about proper referencing. I was in the habit of googling and then clicking images and using them without finding the source. My sons have warned me and I now will pay more attention to it. I still find it rather difficult and especially with Pinterest and now Tumblr having so many wonderful pictures, it is not easy to know how to find the original source. Time for me to learn as this started as a "hobby" and has now become an addiction. The Quince Tree is a great blog by the way, you now have a new follower and I plan to read more this evening. Once again sorry and thanks for the "reprimand".