Classic Repeat: Paddington Bear – He always looks forward to a morning chat!

THESE WERE SOME OF THE CHRONICLES IN PADDINGTON’S HECTIC LIFE.

Chosen by FRANK MORRIS

FROM GROUND TO WATER: PADDINGTON GETS A RIDE DOWNSTAIRS, NOT ON A BANNISTER, BUT ON … A RIVER! IN ALL HAPPENS WHEN … SEE THE PADDINGTON FILM ON VIDEO AND YOU’LL GET A BIG SURPRISE!

One of the things that made visiting his friend’s antique shop in the Portobello Road so special was the fact that it was never the same two days running. People came from far and wide to seek Mr Gruber’s advice.

It was something to browse through his vast collection of books, which covered practically every subject under the sun. Paddington became quite knowledgeable about antiques himself. He could immediately tell a piece of the genuine Spode china from ordinary run-of-the-mill crockery.

He would never pick anything up; just in case he dropped it by mistake.  “Better safe than sorry,” was Mr Gruber’s motto. They were never short of things to talk about. During the summer months they often had their morning tea sitting in deck chairs on the pavement outside the shop. Here they discussed problems of the day in peace and quiet before the crowd arrived.

Paddington couldn’t help but notice his friend usually had a faraway look in his eyes whenever he spoke of his native Hungary. “When I was a boy,” Mr Gruber would say, “people used to dance the night away. That doesn’t seem to happen any more.”

EAR FOR MUSIC

Paddington … did learn with Mr Gruber’s help … to play a tune called “Chopsticks” on an ancient piano at the back of the shop. It wasn’t easy. Having paws meant he often played several notes at the same time.

But Mr Gruber said anyone with half a ear for music would have recognised it at once.

On cloudy days, when there was a chill in the air, they made a habit of retiring to an old horsehair sofa at the back of the shop. And it was on just such a morning. Paddington arrived rather earlier than usual and found to his surprise that Mr Gruber had acquired a new piano.

It was standing in almost exactly the same spot as the old one had been, near the stove.

There was no sign of Mr Gruber, which was most unusual. So to pass the time Paddington decided to have a go at playing what had become known as “his tune”, when something very strange happened.

As he raised his paws to play the opening notes, the keys began going up and down all by themselves!

A SAD ENDING

He had hardly finished rubbing his eyes in order to make sure he wasn’t dreaming, when he had yet another surprise. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Mr Gruber crawl out from underneath a nearby table.

“Oh dear,” said Paddington, “I hope I haven’t broken you new piano.”

Mr Gruber laughed. “Have no fear of that,” he said. “It is what is known as a ‘player piano’ and it works by electricity. You don’t see many around these days. I’ve just been plugging it in to make sure it works properly.”

“I don’t think I have ever seen a piano that played a tune all by itself before,” said Paddington. “We didn’t have anything like that where I come from. But then we didn’t have electricity either.” This was a sad ending.

<< This is an adaptation of the book, Paddington, by Michael Bond. << See the Paddington Bear movie on video.

lIIustration: Where to go: “Excuse me, where is Paddington Station?” Here you are: You’re in it!


PLEASE NOTE: MY APOLOGIES FOR THE INTERUPTION THIS WEEK. THE ARTICLES, WHICH WERE DUE TO BE PUBLISHED TODAY, WILL BE PUBLISHED ON NOVEMBER 16. MEANWHILE, THE REST OF THE OTHER STORIES EARMARKED FOR PUBLICATION THIS YEAR WILL BE RUN EARLY NEXT YEAR.


Classic Repeat: Cover. Magazine’s 100 years – perfect tales for young people to read!

Written and adapted by FRANK MORRIS                                                                                                           

CELEBRATING A CENTURY: THE SCHOOL MAGAZINE, FROM 1941, SHOWING HOW THE DESIGN HAS EVOLVED FROM THE BLACK AND WHITE COVER OF 1916, OF PURELY TYPE AND DRAWING, HAS DEVELOPED INTO THE MODERN LOOK OF TODAY.

It is a world first! The School Magazine for 100 years has collected tales for children of Australia, making it the longest-running literary magazine in the world. It became a constant in the lives of primary school students since its beginning in 1916 as a 16-page monthly publication.

The publication’s existing readership is141,000. Its centenary will mark the launch of a new anthology, For Keeps, which, according to the editor Alan Edwards, will raise awareness of the magazine’s contribution to children’s literary resources.

Professor Ewing, one of the magazine’s four ambassadors, said the magazine still had a vital role to play to bring new works of prose, poetry and plays into the classroom and home. For children among disadvantaged families and children from isolated communities it was seen as a real break-through.

“Even though we’ve got fantastic books for children in this country, not every family yet understands the importance of literary texts for children and they’ll not necessarily be in every home,” she said. “It’s the books in the home and what we do with them – the sharing, the reading of them – that is so important.”

WITH DICKENS, KIPLING, ETC

When The School Magazine was first published its content reflected the prevailing literary establishment of Blake, Coleridge, Dickens, Kipling and Shakespeare. The iconic first editions were filled with stirring texts, psalms and prayers.

With the depression and war, the pages shrunk.

In the early 1980s, simple comic strips appeared and character mascots were introduced. A few years later, it became a two-colour publication, before switching to full colour in 1999. The literary magazine has introduced many of our best-known writers and illustrators, like May Gibbs, Ruth Park, Pamela Allen, Kim Gamble, Robin Klein, Tohby Riddle and many more.

Tohby Riddle, author, illustrator and former editor of The School Magazine, said the school magazine had spoken to generations of children. It played a role in developing Australian children’s literature, which is highly regarded around the world.

“That’s a huge achievement,” he said.

<< The Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax Community Newspaper and Frank Morris.

lIIustration: Going modern: Now referred to as Touchdown, the school magazine’s received an intent going-over and introduced colour in l951.


FRANK MORRIS COMMENTS …

THE FINAL INSTALMENT OF 1914-18 THE GREAT WAR WILL BE PUBLISHED NEXT WEEK.

GRAND YEARS TOOK IT UPON ITSELF TO PUBLISH THE FIVE YEARS WAR EVERY WEEK UNTIL FINISHED.

THE 1918 MELBOURNE CUP WAS RUN ON NOVEMBER 5 “LESS THAT A WEEK BEFORE THE WAR HAD ENDED … IT WAS THE BIGGEST AND MOST LIGHT-HEARTED GATHERING FOR MORE THAN FOUR YEARS,”

ACCORDING TO THE NEWSPAPERS REPORTS. IT’S FITTING THAT WE RUN THE MELBOURNE CUP ON THE SAME SCHEDULE.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 02 November 18

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