Monday, 24 August 2015

Fictional Food Adventure: Reading Heidi by Joanna Spyri

Well, 'Heidi' is very dear. I always loved her, and her Grandfather, the Alm Uncle. 

At first, my Mum would read this story to me at bedtimes, and then when I was older I would read it to myself, along with the two sequels, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children. This time around, I listened to it on cd, while sitting at the kitchen table cutting out about a million Hello Kitty biscuits to bake for a 4 yr old friend's birthday. It certainly made the time fly.

I always had a very clear picture of the Swedish mountain where Heidi went to live. And it has stayed the same for every re-reading, never changing. The angles from which I see everything is always the same too. I wanted to be there, on that wondrous Alp, in the fresh air, with the flowers and the milk and cheese and bread! But, I feel like I had my own little Alp to grow up on - the fields that sloped away from our house, when I was little, felt immense and steep. In the spring they would be filled with golden buttercups and in the summer they were an ocean of waving grasses. They were mine to skip about in, and feel free and wild in. I loved to look up and see the buzzards circling and gliding on the thermals, and hear their cry. When I hear a buzzard now, it is a sound that takes me instantly home to those fields. And I understand Heidi's homesickness when she is whisked away to Frankfurt to live among bricks and carriage wheels, far away from the wind in the pine trees. I still miss the sound of the grass rippling around me, and the surrounding greenness everywhere. 

'Heidi' is one of those refreshing novels that remind you of all the good things, and of simple happiness and goodness. I love how she is so thoughtful of others, and whenever anything good happens to her she wants to share it. Or if she is given something, she saves it for the people she loves who she knows will really appreciate it. She feels things strongly, and so her joy is a full one. 

I will always treasure these books. They are a part of me. 

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