Friday, 1 November 2013

Remember remember the FIRST of November

Here I sit, hot tea, steaming gently in the morning chill, near my right hand. The windows on my left face east and the sun is just peeping over the rooftop next door, lighting up the clouds in vivid creamy splendor along the edge of the mottled grey. My bed is made, my stretching exercises are done and my sketchpad is in my work bag ready for the morning. I feel good. when I learn how to put links to videos in here you will hear the songs going through my head but here is a link to a James Brown song :)

I have my first idea for the month. In general terms it is about toys through the ages. I like historical links and I enjoy talking to my own children about then and now concepts. I have a young lad at work who calls me the dinosaur lady because he thinks I had one as a pet when when I was a child. He is so cheeky. I was talking to my son about Enid Blyton stories and we were discussing why the thought police decided to decimate the originals instead of using the historical aspects to talk about how far we have come. We were talking about how the toys in the original Noddy books were representative of the toys of Enid Blyton's early years and that toys such as Golliwogs were something that was taken as a normal part of a collection and a normal attitude in representing one part of society at the time. Changing the toy to a fairy tale character(Goblin) changes the story because Noddy lives in Toyland. Changing the behaviour of the toys (Don't run over a skittle or a roly poly man) denies the purpose of the toy. A skittle is meant to be knocked down and a roly poly man knocked over. So I think we need an updated toytown rather than re-imaged Noddy era toys. That brings me to Little Black Sambo, the original story has many aspects which are not today considered appropriate particularly the names and yet the historical context is a marvelous discussion starter. I recently found an updated bleached beige version of the story and it has lost all of the original appeal. My children all had Little Black Sambo read to them and what they remember of the story is that he was a brave and clever kid who outwitted the dangerous tigers and got a stack of huge pancakes and licorice and all of his clothes back. The licorice was my embellishment of course. As they grew older I began discussing the names used in the story and why the characters would be called that and why we no longer think that is okay. How many times do we take away the enrichment of our children's learning by sanitizing stories? Time for me to make a phone call and take my daughter to school band but I will be thinking about this idea a whole lot more. Happy idea generating all you PiBoIdMo's

NanowriMo and Aus Rom here I come.