Christmas Tea with Mr. Tumnus

Dear Diary,
I am spending the Christmas holidays at my Grandmother’s house. I helped her decorate the tree yesterday and today we are awaiting guests. But guess what happened just today morning?

Well, I better start at the beginning. You probably remember how I and my three cousins found a door inside granny’s wardrobe last summer. You know the green one with all the colorful dresses granny wore when she was young. I had just intended to borrow the red and white dress to dress up like a summer Santa, but then I decided to try looking for matching shoes deeper inside the wardrobe. But instead of matching shoes I found a magic country hidden far inside the wardrobe! My cousins and I had the most wonderful adventures there during the summer. But that is a story for another time. However, one of the many creatures we met there was the fawn Mr. Tumnus. He is a lovely fellow with the coziest little house situated just beyond the lamppost. Well, a few days ago I got a letter from him! It was an invitation to a Christmas Tea Party on Christmas Eve morning!

As today is Christmas Eve I got up early, dressed in my prettiest frock and borrowed a brown fuzzy coat from granny to shield me from the cold Narnian winter. Then I opened the green wardrobe and went inside. I was rather excited because Narnia is not always there, but thankfully today it was! The forest looked so lovely with tall evergreens frosted with white silvery snow. The forest is really thick but the lamppost lights it up beautifully. I love how the warm yellow light flickers and creates golden shadows on the snow. I walked slowly in the new deep snow towards Mr. Tumnus’ house. He had lit red lanterns outside his house and the small windows flamed cozily behind cream lace curtains. I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Beavers were there too! It’s been so long since I’ve seen them! Mrs. Beaver had knitted scarves for all of us for Christmas. Mine was pink and purple, my favorite colors. Mr. Tumnus’ scarf was red and yellow, the colors he likes best. There was a wonderful spread of cinnamon cakes, chocolate cookies and peppermint tea. And Mrs. Beaver had brought her famous marmalade roll. My contribution was ginger biscuits that granny and I baked yesterday, and they all loved them! Mr. Beaver dipped his biscuits in his whiskey coffee and was happy as a horse the whole morning! After the tea Mr. Tumnus played his flute for us. The Narnian carols are rather strange, but very beautiful, and when you hear them you can’t help but look at the flames blazing in the fireplace and then the most magical thing happens! You can see shapes in there! The flames start changing and whatever the music makes you think of appears in the flames! I saw flying unicorns migrating together over the ocean seeking the colder climate of the north where they can fly among stars even in daylight! Those images made me very dreamy and I wished I had brought my sketchbook so I could draw them. Maybe I will make an attempt at it later today.

Mr. Tumnus hadn’t brought a Christmas tree because all the trees in Narnia are like living creatures, they even sing in the Dawnlight if you pay proper attention. Instead of a Christmas tree there were garlands of cones and sugared red autumn leaves and apples and cinnamon sticks hanging in the windows. It was so beautiful and smelled delicious! After the tea we all went outside to see the snow fairies dance among the trees. They can be hard to spot because they look a little like mist when they move, but if you squint your eyes you can clearly see their beautiful little shapes, almost like icicles with snowflakes for wings and dewy cobwebs for clothes. They look especially beautiful when the golden sun rays hit their little bodies. Mr. Tumnus played his flute again and they really loved that! It was absolutely magical!

But then it was time to head home. Even though time is different in Narnia I didn’t want to overstay my welcome. And the beavers wanted to go too so I decided to keep them company along the trail. But the trail was actually gone because so much snow had fallen the last hour! I thought I would have to wade my way through the forest. But the beavers told me to let them walk first and with their fat tails the patted the snow down so that it was all flat and perfect for me! My boots made that lovely sound they make when you walk on hard flat snow. None of us talked the whole way we just stayed silent and listened to that lovely boot music, and just as we came up to the lamppost I could hear the church bells chiming from the open wardrobe door. The beavers smiled and stayed and listened for a while while I bid them goodbye and disappeared back into the wardrobe. There I hung up my brown fuzzy coat and went right over to you dear Diary to write it all down, so that I would never forget my Christmas Tea with Mr. Tumnus.

Wait, now I can hear granny calling from downstairs. I better go and help her prepare for the guests. Talk to you later! And Merry Christmas!

Yours truly,
Trini.

* The above artwork is by the beautiful artist Pauline Baynes

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C.S Lewis and me

I frist encountered the magical world of C.S Lewis through the BBC Tv-series “The Chronicles of Narnia” from 1989. I must have been just 5-6 years old, or even younger, when Narnia became the name of my own magical world. I made this world so detailed and vivid that when I first read the books in their original form I was quite let down. C.S Lewis’ writing was very straightforward and to-the-point and lacked the detailed descriptions that I have also craved in books. Nevertheless, he is the father and creator of this enchanted world with all its magical inhabitants and adventures, and for that, he has my absolute admiration, gratitude and utter respect. He has inspired my imagination to take flight ever since I was just a very little girl through his books; unabridged and complete, and abridged picture book versions.

The BBC series that introduced me to the wonderful world of C.S Lewis was normally telecast during Easter in Norway, as a morning treat for kids. My family and I spent our Easter in a sailing boat at sea, and it was only my uncle who had a TV in his boat, so he made us pay an admittance fee in candy in order for us to watch the series. Something we happily did, even though our storage of candy was quite limited.

My favorite parts of the series are the scene in Mr. Tumnus’ house when he and Lucy take tea for the first time in the first book, the scene in the magician’s house when Lucy makes the magician and his subjects visible in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”, and when Eustace and Jill first meet the marsh wiggle in “The Silver Chair”.

The port keys to Narnia have always fascinated me. And all my life I have been looking for enchanted wardrobes and magic oil paintings of mighty ships at sea. Even the lamppost that is the first Narnian landmark after you’ve entered the magic Wardrobe has made me take hundreds of photos of Narnia-looking lampposts in the real world. I specifically remember one Wardrobe I found in an artsy hotel just outside Venice when I went there with my best friend to celebrate my 21st Birthday. It was magnificent, and yes, I did try to look for a magic country inside it.

When the “new” (well not so new anymore) Narnia movie came out, I was soooo excited. I spent hours on the Disney website playing Narnian games and watching trailer-clips of the upcoming film. But I was a bit let down when I first watched it in the theater. It was, as most modern movies are, fast-paced, action driven and computerized. The action bits (like the battle) were blown way up, and it had even added action scenes that were not there in the books. Having said that, I loved the four young actors who played the Pevensie children, they were all brilliant, and I wish I could have cast them in the BBC series, but I would have kept the old witch, played brilliantly by Barbara Kellerman. She is way scarier than the witch in the Disney movie.

The magic of Narnia will always fascinate me. It is not only a part of my childhood, it has become the totem pole of my imagination. I will always keep looking for secret doorways in paintings and wardrobes, and turn around to marvel over old lampposts. Narnia has become a part of me, of who I am, and that is all thanks to the wonderful C.S Lewis, who said so brilliantly: “Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia.” If only in my dreams.

Fictional Friends

image
Art by Tove Jansson

Have you ever read a book and just thought to yourself: Oh, I wish wish wish this person was real so that we could become friends! Or perhaps you even had a crush on a character in a book? Or maybe met a new favorite grandfather or aunt or teacher?
I certainly have! Sometimes I feel that half of my world is made up of fictional characters and imaginary worlds. 😊😊

So in this post I thought I’d share some of my favorite fictional characters with you. 😊

Luna Lovegood

imageImage from the movie: Harry Potter

Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling is perhaps my absolute favorite character in a book. I always love people, both in real life and in the fictional world, who are a bit eccentric, different, kind and who has a beautiful heart. Luna ticks all these boxes! I love how dreamy she is, and how she doesn’t care what people think of her. She is so strong, and sweet at the same time! I think she and I would make wonderful Friends!

imageImage from the movie: Harry Potter

In the case of Luna Lovegood I actually even liked her more after seeing the Harry Potter movies. Evanna Lynch does such a good job portraying Luna that she has become Luna for me, and now I don’t even want to see her in other movies, because I want to keep her as Luna Lovegood, my friend, in my mind! 😊😊

 

Radagast

imageImage from the movie: Lord of the rings

Radagast the Brown from the wonderful books by J.R.R Tolkien is another favorite of mine. He is like Luna, sweet, eccentric, different and kind. He loves nature and animals, and he has this innocent energy about him that just makes me love him. Of course he also has magical powers, and a carriage drawn by rabbits! What’s there not to love! 😄😄

 

Treebeard the Ent

imageImage from the movie: Lord of the rings

Treebeard is another character from the magical universe of J.R.R Tolkien. Treebeard is an Ent, a Tree Herder, who looks like a tree, but is not the same. Tree Herders are there to protect all the trees in the world. I love trees so much! I always have, ever since I was a little girl and climbed to the tops of trees. I always felt that trees are alive and can offer great healing and comfort, so like the Ents, I want to protect the trees!

 

Snuffkin

imageArt by Tove Jansson

A lot of you might not have heard about this character. Snuffkin is created by the amazing Tove Jansson, a Finnish-Swedish author, who wrote the beautiful Moomin books.
Snuffkin is a wanderer, he follows the season and wanders the land, sleeping in a tent he carries on his back and eat fish from the rivers and berries from the trees and shrubs. He is very philosophical and plays melancholic tunes on his harmonica. Snuffkin doesn’t believe in possessions and admires everything without needing to own it.

Snuffkin is a bit of a loner, but he is very kind and caring and always helps when he can.
His best friend is Moomintroll, but he values his freedom above the friendship, and only stays with Moomin through spring and summer, the rest of the year he is on a walkabout through the land and forests he loves so much.

 

Granny Weatherwax

imageImage from the book: Witches abroad

Granny Weatherwax is a character in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. I first encountered Granny Weatherwax in the books about Tiffany Aching, a young witch who has many wonderful adventures on her way to becoming a real witch. Granny Weatherwax is also a witch. Many readers of these books might not like Granny Weatherwax much, because she is strict, authoritative, sarcastic and frankly a bit scary, but I love her! Because she is wise, strong, fair, and despite her exterior, awfully good! 😊 I love how she is always honest, and straight forward, she doesn’t put on pretenses or airs, and those are some of my favorite characteristics in people! Granny Weatherwax has also been the inspiration for many of my stories about witches, in particular my Granny FlowerWitch stories 😊😊.

 

Coriakin

imageImage from the BBC series: Narnia

Coriakin is a character in the Narnia books, specifically the Voyage of the Dawn treader, by C.S Lewis. Now this might come as a surprise to many of you because Coriakin plays a very minor role in the book, but for me he has become the ultimate magician, who has inspired all my own literary magicians. I have to admit, it was actually in the BBC’s TV adaptation of the Narnia books I first fell in love with this character. He just had it all: the long white beard, the pointy hat, the blue cloak with stars, a huge old spell book, and he lived in a magical invisible tower! As a kid, I could ask no more from a depiction of a wizard! 😄