Mrs Babcary’s Diving Machine

Mrs Babcary’s Diving Machine

Sometimes you get a little glimpse back into your childhood and rediscover something that makes you understand your grown-up self a bit more. This made me very happy.

I used to love this book, and this page was my FAVE. You can even see the lines around the shark where I tried to trace round it. I remember I didn’t really care about the story even all that much because I was so captivated by this picture. But the story is rather wonderful. And you know how I feel about Octopi:

“Down and down, deeper and deeper, went Captain and Mrs Babcary, into a wonderful green world of waving seaweed and wandering shoals of fish.

And there on the sea-bed was a glint of gold, a flash of jewels!

‘Treasure!’ cried the Captain. ‘Golden nobles and pieces of eight! We’re rich, we’re rich!’

They were so excited that they did not see a large, round and very angry eye gazing at them furiously.”

“It was an octopus, a huge octopus with terrible, thrashing tentacles that twisted and twined round the diving-machine.

‘I am the Guardian of the Treasure!’ roared the octopus. ‘The treasure belongs to the sea and the sea shall keep it.'”

It all gets a bit dark and scary for a children’s book. But all the best ones are, in my opinion.

At risk of giving the end away (I have no idea if this book is still in print or not), what is so especially lovely about this story is the last page. The Captain grumbles that they lost the treasure, but Mrs Babcary says:

“‘We are rich. We have a beautiful cello to live in and a beautiful boat to sail in. We have the wind and the sun and the countryside and hundreds and hundreds of friends.'”

 

Look at that handsome gentleman.

Look at that handsome gentleman.

I have actually had this finished for quite a while.

But you see it’s not finished. Not to my slightly psychopathic standards of finish. I still have yet to complete all the very very many little black Xs that will provide the background for my eternal muse.

So there it is. Cast aside like so much else obsessed over and fallen-out-with craft. I think now with the nights drawing in the mood might strike me to fill some hours up with that. We’ll see.

Do you like it?

Taking shape

Taking shape

Hello.

It’s THE most busy and stressful time of my life right now, hence the long gap, but fear not, my needle is not resting idle and turning rusty.

Cross stitch, same grey palette as my original skull pillow, it’s nice to get back to the lovely calming rhythm of little x’s. Although this is a smaller scale than my original, and you can see at the top of the pics my wonderful contraption gifted my my guru, which allows me to stitch in this dull Yorkshire winter without going blind. So I stitch two-handed using my fanny frame, and look through the integral magnifier which forms the front part of this anglepoise daylight lamp. It’s a marvel.