I know it’s not quite the season to talk about Christmas but, after visiting Dublin in March, I felt an explanation was due as to what a “pantomime” is.
According to Wikipedia it is
..a British institution. Pantomimes take place around the Christmas period and are nearly always based on well known children’s stories such as Peter Pan, Aladdin, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty etc. Pantomimes are performed not only in the best theatres in the land but also in village halls throughout Britain.
In November 2022 I was sat on the sofa watching “The Graham Norton Show” on English TV. Apart from being an entertaining chat show with interesting guests and never a dull moment (especially with the red chair when people get tipped backwards), this programme is usually worth watching just to catch up with the latest films, series or books etc. This particular evening it inspired my husband and I to book a trip to Dublin.
“Molly Malone” (also known as “Cockles and Mussels” or “In Dublin’s Fair City”) is a popular song set in Dublin, Ireland, which has become its unofficial anthem.
Who was Molly?
It is unclear whether this song is based on a real woman. Molly was a popular name in Ireland in the past, derived from the names Margaret or Mary. The song is about a hawker who sells fish from her barrow whilst walking through the streets of Dublin.
In Spring of 2022 Nuts went on holiday to England. The headteacher of a primary school in Plymouth, Devon had read about Nuts and invited her to meet her pupils to tell them all about the StoryDoors.
A (not so) Common Red Squirrel
It is very unusual to see a red squirrel in Great Britain and they are considered to be endangered. The bigger grey squirrel was introduced into the UK from North America in the 1800s and since then the smaller native squirrel has diminished in number. There are still a few places where they still live (e.g. Scotland) and these areas are part of a red squirrel conservation project .
You can imagine how thrilled the school children were to hear of the visit of our little red squirrel, Nuts.
For Nuts her trip to England was also very exciting because she had never been abroad, never mind on her own!. A big adventure! There were lots of things to organise before she could travel. Together we made a list of all the things Nuts should take with her.
Map of Devon and Cornwall
Map of Europe
“Ich packe meinen Koffer und nehme mit……“
Before Brexit it was so easy to go to England because you only needed your German ID (Personalausweis). When you travel from Europe into the United Kingdom now you must have a valid passport (Reisepass). Fortunately we were able to get one for Nuts relatively quickly.
Nuts can speak English well but she decided it would be good to have a vocabulary book with her just in case she need to check some words. She also thought that it would be fun to teach the kids some German.
A map of Devon and Cornwall was essential. Nuts planned to explore whilst staying in Plymouth which is full of nautical history. Dartmoor national park with its wild ponies is not so faraway. The counties of Devon and Cornwall are famous for their wonderful beaches – perfect for building sandcastles.
To show the English children where Nuts lives, she included a map of Europe. Maybe one day the boys and girls would like to visit Witten!
Nuts’ Favourite Things:
Nuts packed a photo of her twins Fluffy and Flustered to look at when she felt a little homesick, and, if she got bored, she could always read her favourite books.
With love from Witten
Finally everything was packed into Nuts’ “StoryDoor” suitcase and off she flew to Plymouth.
Nuts is back again, having had a wonderful time. The teacher said;
The children absolutely loved (Nuts’) story.
Their reaction was so cute… they loved the idea that (Nuts) lives in a different county…
Drake Primary Academy
Nuts and I are planning a visit to England this year – maybe we’ll get a chance to drop in on her new friends.
Recently one of my friends passed away. The last time we spoke was on the phone and it was clear that we would not see each other again. Naturally, this was not an easy conversation but her words still resonate: “Pat, sei nicht traurig, alles ist inOrdnung.” (Don’t be sad, everything’s fine).
I have learnt from many of my German friends that English is not the most logical of languages – especially when it comes to the pronunciation of certain words. What I love about German is, generally, what you see is what you get.
My “StoryDoor” is a project I’ve been working on for some years. With the support of a web designer who has been extremely patient, I now have a StoryDoor website (www.storydoor.info.de) and a MyStoryDoor instagram.
A Good Story
The world of story telling is magical – often captivating our imagination and even explaining things we don’t understand.