Monday, 9 September 2013

A favourite Book and Painting


Recently my blog has been likened to Gerald Durrell's very first novel My Family And Other Animals.
If I could write with half the talent and affection that Durrell did about his mad family, Greek friends and eclectic collection of pets, I would be a happy bunny as this book above all others was a bible to me when I was a small boy.
The book has everything but the kitchen sink thrown into it. a harassed mother, a collection of witty, bohemian teenagers, larger than life Greek peasants a strawberry loving tortoise and a family boat which was christened with the unlikely name of Bootlebumtrinket
If you have not read it...please do so....it's a hilarious and affectionate read of a childhood we all wished we had experienced.


Apparantly Lilian Cheviot was a popular painter of dogs in the early part of the 20th Century.She is not an artist that I have ever heard of, but I found it rather fascinating that she painted this painting entitled " Come Over Here"
In it , she depicts a bulldog, a welsh terrier and a Scottish terrier all standing together on the French Coastline in 1915. And it is a painting I would adore to own, especially given the fact that these have been the three breeds of dogs we have kept over the years.
I couldn't afford the frame the original has been placed in

42 comments:

  1. I adored that book too and read it over and again. A few weeks ago, a friend lent me one of his later books of childhood reminiscences - I'd read a couple of others but not come upon that one.

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    1. I think it was a wonderful pre war look at an ex pat lifestyle

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  2. I too loved that book...plus the two BBC versions on the TV...always make me smile. You can only compete with GD when you start taking in revolting insects....but your blog makes me smile as much as his books

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    1. Thank you...mind you I could never think of a name such as THE BOOTLEBUMTRINKET

      Although the crackhead whores Coe a close second

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  3. I still reread it from time to time...

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  4. OMG! What an amazing painting. I think I would have freaked out if I had seen a painting depicting my furry family.

    I'll give the book a try.

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  5. I've never heard of the book, but it does sound like something I should have (should?) read! As for the painting, I am familiar with the work of this artist because she also did other Scottie paintings. And that's why this particular piece in your post caught my eye when I saw it in an antique shop more than a month ago--And I have to tell you, when I saw it, it made me think of you, I'll have to see if it's still there....

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    1. I suspect you would love it Kim

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  6. What excellent taste you have! I too loved his books. So much, in fact, that on my first visit to the UK as a backpacker over 30 years ago I caught the ferry to Jersey just so I could visit his zoo.

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    1. I have never been but always wanted to

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  7. Quite ironic that you would find that painting...it would still be neat to have a copy of the depiction even if the original is too pricey.

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  8. I loved the book as a girl,and wished I'd lived with that family.
    Jane x

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  9. The book I read when I was young; wonderful. I would liked to have seen the BBC TV adaptation. Not quite so keen on the painting, but things that tug at memories always become favourites.

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    1. Yes, I am usually a lwatercolour landscape lover

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  10. To my shame, never read any Durrell (I think). Better put this on my 'must' list as time left to do it in is getting alarmingly short, or at least one ought to assume it is.

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  11. One of my favorites by Durrell was A Zoo in My Luggage and survived moves from Virginia to Oklahoma and back again, followed by other adult up-rootings.
    Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. OMG I forgot that book.. I loved it too
      Wasn't that when he started to collect animals for zoos?

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  12. The book looks sweet. I will investigate.

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  13. Never heard of that artist John but I do love her painting of dogs - she has captured the essence of dogs.

    Loved My Family and Other Animals too, although my favourite book as a child was always Ann of Green Gables - I love it still, particularly since I actually bought a copy on Prince Edward Island at LM Montgomery's house.

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  14. You might not be able to afford the frame but what about The Professor? You now know what to say when he asks what you'd like for Christmas... Would a good print be acceptable?

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  15. Now I'm dying to read that book - but my small town library doesn't have it. Of course, I'm not really surprised since we're in the American plains area surrounded by farms! Of course, there are several books and videos of the Little House on the Prairie series. However, I just checked the Savannah (Georgia - where I'll move by the end of the year) libraries' online catalog and they have the video and book you mentioned plus 2 other books - so I'll be reading/viewing them!

    Nancy in Iowa

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  16. I loved the BBC TV show but have not read the book.
    The painting is wonderful because that is just how my Scotties look.

    cheers, parsnip

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  17. I loved that book when I was younger and for once I thought the BBC TV series truly did it justice.

    Love the picture of the three dogs :-)

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  18. Yes, I can see the similarity...

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  19. i READ THAT book!!!!! AND i HAVE it!!!!! Love love love the scorpion family dinner party LOL

    theres a tv series of it???? where? what was it called???

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    1. I never saw the BBC SERIES but I do remember the scorpion was it not in a matchbox

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    2. Yes! It was a mother scorpion with all her little babies on her back, stored temporarily in a matchbox by a young gerald.. when it came time for his brother to light the candles on the table for the dinner party, while everyone was seated...LOL!

      There was a second book, one written by him about his trips abroad with his wife, looking for new species...Oh thank you for reminding that I should be reading this again! xoxo

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  20. I have every single book he wrote. The person who christened our home Menagerie Manor did so after reading Durrell's book of the same name.

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    1. I think I will search out all f my old copies

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  21. what about a print? and then buy a beautiful frame

    http://www.ioffer.com/i/canvas-art-print-of-lillian-cheviot-s-come-over-here-b-525929397

    my favourite is the highland fling painting.

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  22. I haven't heard of that book before, but I'm willing to bet the family farm that you're a better writer.

    Love,
    Janie

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  23. Oh I loved that book too, one of my life-long favourites. I still have a copy. In fact I have lost track of the number of copies I have bought over the years, as a gift for family and friends. The Durrells were a talented family. As I recall it was brother Lawrence (who wrote the Alexandria Quartet, another influence on my youth, everybody was reading it!) who named Gerry's puppies Widdle and Puke. Inspired names!

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    1. MARGO Wrote a book too.... Apparantly after the Corfu period she eventually ran a boarding house in Bournmouth

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  24. An all time fav. book, when the kids were younger we'd read it together every summer, we also worked our way through most of his other books. My children were inspired as indeed was I but must confess to not being overly happy when I found the "pet" spider in the chinese takeaway carton (clean) under the chest of drawers. Never been overly fond of spiders...

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  25. Never read the book, John, but I know I enjoy your blog.
    Have a great evening. :)

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  26. I read the book after seeing you mention it on here, and i vaguely remember seeing the cover as a child. Yes, the Bootlebumtrinket, Widdle and Puke, and i marvelled at the life he had in Greece. He tells a good story, but so do you.

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  27. I think you are much, much nicer than Gerald Durrell. He could spin a good tale but as a human being he was quite unpleasant.

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  28. Ah, I loved Gerald's books!

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  29. While I know who Durell is, I wasn't aware of the book. It sounds great.

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  30. Don't hide your light under a bushel, John. You never know: You might shine it on yet another forlorn creature in the thicket (me). Then you'd feel compelled to take me home. Then what? I suppose I could be shepherdess to your flock, flirt with Jason across the fence, annoy the Professor and generally make myself useful.

    Your blog is right here in the footsteps of Durrell.

    Great book. Read it when a child. Yes, the feel good factor. Which, of course, is precisely what your readers take away from "Going Gently".

    U

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