Thursday 30 January 2014

Waving Goodbye

As my Archaeology degree comes to a close in a matter of months, it is now time to focus on that- but I have truly loved blogging on Roald Dahl for this short amount of time. 
I hope I have reminded you all to remember not to forget about books, especially Roald Dahl's, and to evaluate the way tales and fables have influenced you- even when you haven't realised!!

The blog will remain up and the comments still live, but it will probably act as more of an archive- but who knows what the future holds. Maybe one day there will be a role for heritage blogging, but for now I've got to get a degree- and then save the world one blog at a time.

Thank you all for reading, clicking, scrolling, commenting and getting involved.  As a leaving gift I, or rather Dahl, leave you this....

“We have tears in our eyes
As we wave our goodbyes,
We so loved being with you, we three.
So do please now and then
Come and see us again,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.

All you do is to look
At a page in this book
Because that’s where we always will be.
No book ever ends
When it’s full of your friends

The Giraffe and the Pelly and me.”

-The Giraffe, the Pelly & Me, Roald Dahl 

La fin.

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Your Series

 This marks the first post, in what I hope to be a snowballing idea for Dahl heritage..

It's very simple, just send in, comment or tweet your earliest Roald Dahl memory so it can be added.
Then have a good time reading others tales of childhood terror and literature love- have fun guessing who's could possibly be who's.....

+) My earliest memory of RD- falling in love with charlie and the choc factory and wishing I would somehow find a golden ticket... also made lickable wallpaper thanks to Roald Dalh's revolting recipes book!

+) Although the storyline line is a little muddled, my earliest and most vivid memory was of the absolutely terrifying (when you're 6 years old, anyway) crocodile in "the enormous crocodile" - I could never get over the size of his menacing jaws and teeth - and its stuck with me ever since.
Oh and him being flung into the sunset at the end of the story!
+) Lying in bed listening to the BFG tapes when I was small, my heart would race all the way through thinking that giants would appear at my window too Making "Plate of Soil and Engine oil" from the Roald Dahl recipe book for Sunday lunch pudding, perhaps THE best chocolatey treat....
+) Every night my dad used to sit down with me and read a bed time story- he's really good at putting on daft voices for all the characters. One night he brought out a book with a collection of Dahl's stories; the Witches, Esio Trot, The Giraffe the Pelly and Me, and the Twits (the latter he began to read). To this day I still feel a bit uncomfortable when I need to itch my belly, as Dahl said - only ugly, nasty people get itchy bellies! Of course, for me, Dahl wouldn't be without Quentin Blake- together, they are magic, and I will most definitely be reading those books to my children one day. 

+) I used to listen to Dahl's autobiography in the car with my family on our annual summer drive to the south of France. When he's in Africa he's served rice with fried bananas in, on a big banana leaf (I think). We have a banana tree in France so at the start of the holiday I demanded from mother some banana rice on a leaf like Roald Dahl had. It was delicious, definitely recommend it.  
+) When I was little I was inseparable from my copy of the twits. I once went to the toilet and fell asleep reading it.  

+) The first time I remember was when we listen to his tapes. I don't know who did the audio voice over, but it was very calming and I would always fall asleep.  I think I had to listen them 5 or 6 times before I had heard the whole story between naps.
+) I rememeber when I was suddenly signed up to the Roald Dahl Kids club. I had a badge and new book mark. I was also given my first Dahl audiotape "The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me". I actually thought i was really sad when I first listened.

+) I once ate a worm because that's what happened in the twits. I'm still not ashamed of myself- rather proud if I say so


Saturday 4 January 2014

Willy Wonka's Micro Cake

“There is something about very cold weather that gives one an enormous appetite. Most of us find ourselves beginning to crave rich steaming stews and hot apple pies and all kinds of delicious warming dishes; and because we are all a great deal luckier than we realize, we usually get what we want—or near enough.”
Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

So the winter is upon us, it seems the only thing for it is to make like the effervescient, ever singing and dancing Mr Willy Wonka and whip up something yummy and exciting from not a lot.
How does chocolate cake sound?

It is rumoured that when Mr Wonka is relaxing, long after the Oompa Lumpa's are in bed- he knows how to make phizzwizzing cake in less then 3 mintues.
Much like a Golden Tickets to his factory, the recipe for this, Willy Wonka's Micro Cake, can be found here:

For this you will need: 
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons of milk
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
 1 large mug & a microwave

Add dry ingredients to the mug, and mix well. 

Crack an egg and add it to your mug. Be sure to mix it well to avoid any pockets of flour in the corners. 

Pour in the milk, oil and chocolate chips, and mix well. Add the vanilla extract. 

Pop your mug into the microwave & heat for 3 minutes. Wait until the cake stops rising, and sets in the mug.  If it is still very goey, add for 1 min extra.
If necessary, run a knife around the sides of the mug, and tip the still warm cake out of the mug and onto a saucer.
 You can make it even more chocolaty by adding some Chocolate Chips into the mixture before you Mircowave.  

“He turned and reached behind him for the chocolate bar, then he turned back again and handed it to Charlie. Charlie grabbed it and quickly tore off the wrapper and took an enormous bite. Then he took another…and another…and oh, the joy of being able to cram large pieces of something sweet and solid into one's mouth! The sheer blissful joy of being able to fill one's mouth with rich solid food!
'You look like you wanted that one, sonny,' the shopkeeper said pleasantly.
Charlie nodded, his mouth bulging with chocolate.”
Roald Dahl,
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

Tuesday 31 December 2013

Interview: Paul Lyalls

Paul Lyalls is the current writer in residence at the Roald Dahl Museum
This blog has been lucky to track down this whoopsy-splunkers writer, and he has kindly agreed to be interview by us!!! 
I hope you agree Paul is Phizz-Whizzing and Whoopsy wiffling for getting involved- and his answer are whizz-popping!

Photo Credit: Paul Lyalls

1) How did you get involved with The Roald Dahl Museum? 
RD appoint a writer each year.  This year they wanted a poet.  I applied and got it.  To get the job you had to write for both children and adults and also be published for both and be able to perform and workshop with children and adults.

 2) What is your favourite aspect of the Museum? 

I like the dinkyness and old worldlyness of the place.  I like the fact that it's a museum with a lot to read and what a good read it all is.  I like the fact that it is in the writers home town and that it is just a converted stables or some such thing, full of quirky bits and pieces of his life.  It's like he's just popped out for a Kit-Kat, and will be back in 15 minutes!

3) What is your favorite Roald Dahl work? That's a tough one. Maybe Matilda because she is such a heroine and ultimate best friend.  I like the Twits as well because of the originality of the humour and the situations.

4) Do you feel Roald Dahl has influenced your work at all? 
It's starting to, I'm taking to branching out in some of the themes and making some situations much more surprising and much more extreme which is what RD did. My latest Kids collection which only came out a month into the residency reflects his influence, particularly in poems like 'Two types of parents' and 'Heaven'.

5) You run workshops at the Museum, what does this involve?  
Part show, part writing exercise, aimed at adults and children.  I have been getting people to write poems and also I've spent time sitting in the chair writing poems to order from people wandering past on whatever they've wanted (Dreams,  turning six, Spitfires etc).  Also I am visiting schools in Buckinghamshire on behalf of the Museum. These involve performing whole school assembly shows  and visiting selected classes for focused writing workshop.

6) How to both Children & Adults react to Roald Dahl's work? How do they react to the your workshops? 
Everyone seems to love RD's work and the fact that I am poet for RD goes down a storm.  Adults and kids are in awe at my appointment. It's the champions league of the residency world! 
I don't want to be the one to say it, but everyone loves my workshops and work.  All the stuff I do is fun and funny from start to finish and adults and kids love my poems and performances. 

Paul will be sitting in Roald Dahl's chair again and writing poems for anyone on Sunday 12th Jan 11am to 3pm if you would like a poem written there and then, come along,  if you can't make it contact him here- see if you can arrange to tell him what you'd like a poem about and he'll write it in the chair for you.
You can also follow Paul on Twitter (@PaulLyalls) or have a click around his website.

Paul's latest books show that poetry is necessary for all ages! 'Catching the Cascade' (adults)& 'A Funny Thing Happened' (kids) can be found on Amazon and at most good bookshops (and probably a few indifferent ones too).
His latest collection "Do me a favour & favour" is new this year!  Available from The Roald Dahl Museum or The big Green Bookshop.

Friday 27 December 2013

Merry Christmas

"Where art thou, Mother Christmas?
I only wish I knew
Why Father should get all the praise
And no one mentions you.

I'll bet you buy the presents
And wrap them large and small
While all the time that rotten swine
Pretends he's done it all.

So Hail To Mother Christmas
Who shoulders all the work!
And down with Father Christmas,
That unmitigated jerk!"

Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake wrote this poem for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in 1988. It part of a full anthology found in the Roald Dahl Treasury

Mother Christmas- the busiest mum on earth at this time...
Picture: Quentin Blake

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a happy new year and a lovely break from work (giving you more chance to read some Dahl books!)

Monday 25 November 2013

The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre

The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, in Great Missenden Buckinghamshire, is an interactive, dream world dedicated to the promotion of Dahl's life, achievements and works. Central to the museum are Dahl's Children's Books, but it is also home to the 
Roald Dahl Archives
Photo Courtesy of Britain Magazine
 The museums was opened as a charity in 2001, stating its aim to "further the education of the public in the art of literature by the provision and maintence of a mseum and literature centre based on the workds of Roald Dahl"

This aim is realised through an extensive interactive collection, referencing Roald Dahl's Characters as well as his life. Discovering Dahl is made possible across all the floors of the museum, the Boy Gallery, the Solo Gallery and the Story Centre

Photo Courtsey of Hawkins Brown Architects
 The museum is set in a former Grade II coach house, with a courtyard guarded by the gates of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory.
The museum includes three galleries, an archive, a café, a writer in residence studio, a shop, offices and interactive education spaces.

The Boy and Solo galleries details Dahl's History, whilst the Story Centre is home to the museums Writer in Residence: David Lyalls.

Snapshots of the Museum can be found on the website, and you can also take a virtual tour.
One of the main attractions of the museum is Roald Dahl's writing hut. When Dahl moved to Great Missenden in 1954 the shed at the bottom of his garden became his private study and writing area. Dahl would retreat to the hut twice a day, working on a very strict writing timetable. The hut was full of curiosities and notes from his imagination, however the space was off limits to anyone but Dahl
Photo Courtesy of London Calling
Thanks to a refurbishment project the Hut is now inside the museum, where it can be better preserved as well as enjoyed as you can sit in Roald Dahl's writing chair.  
Explore the hut here.

The Museum employs professional staff, has a board of Trustees and is supported by five Patrons.

Find out more about visiting here.