Friday, January 17, 2014

The Book thief and other stories

While the United States is battling a cold freezing vortex (taking away all the cool air from the other parts of the world no, we on the other side of the planet, in normally super cool Gilderoy Victoria, are melting in a 41+ C (106F) degree heat wave for a week…today so they say is going to be the last of this 8 am it was already a mellow 35C..the weather forecast temperature is creeping up all the time though for the coming week . Scary! The bunnies are doing great in their rammed earth environment, but the earth is warming up and when it keeps up like this , especially without any cooler relief during the night, I think we might be in trouble.…Apart from that it is proving to be extremely difficult to sort and spin my angora custom orders without it sticking all over me, making me look like an escaped yeti..noooooo! no picture…lol

I had to evacuate all the computer stuff from my studio to the cool tiled kitchen because the computer just could not cope with the heat and shut off every 5 minutes. The spinning I can do I do in the living room by the fan, listening to the audiobook “the bookthief”  by the Australian author Markus Zusak , which has been on the best seller list for a loooong time now and has been recently made into a movie with one of my favourite actors, Geoffrey Rush.Who by the way, plays the part of Hans Hubermann, extraordinarily and breathtakingly well.

The audio book takes you on an adventure and view of second world war Germany for 13 hours, the movie had to do it in just over two. I just finished reading the book and saw the movie straight after with Paul and because everything was still so fresh in my mind, I was surprised how much vital information, characters and plots were left out or had been changed.
I suppose wrapping that intense story that is so visual in the book , up in just two hours is a feat and something has to give, but it just makes one point clear: reading or listening to any book before seeing the movie is probably the best way.
Read the book please! It is compelling, has an amazing narrator, Death,  who is in a way so funny  ( he says he is haunted by humans) and caring and so insightful and ofcourse the backdrop of second word war Germany in all of its facets is just breath taking…like watching a trainwreck much unnecessary pain and suffering.

The reason why I think the book/story was so compelling and touched me so deeply is because it is so personal..I grew up with stories like that all the time and somehow I wonder, if the kids growing up today, will have that same magical story telling as part of their lives or just share the televised versions of mass media..anyway I digress…
Let me start from the beginning ….

My grandmother was German, from a very small village near Potsdam in Northern Germany. Just after the first world war, as a young woman, she went to the Netherlands in search for a job as a nanny and housemaid. Lots of German girls did, since the Netherlands stayed pretty much out of the first world war and were better off…
She met a handsome native American there, from a land far far away with black eyes and black hair and dark skin. He was about to return from his army service in Europe to go back home , but instead, met my grandmother: a blonde, blue eyed German girl and they married. He never went back home.

Two children were born and by that stage the economy of the  1920s/1930s was disastrous , no jobs, no money, so …after struggling to survive, my grandmother persuaded him that it were best to pack up and go to her families little farm in Germany. At least there was food there.

So off they went in the mid 1930s…talk about bad timing!…..a blonde German woman with a husband and two kids in tow, who looked extremely out of place with their darker skintones and black hair. Not a good time to look and be different. Well, as a matter of fact I still think the human race has a hard time coping with those who look different but that’s another story

The stories my mother told me about what she had to go through, the name calling, the physical hurtful pain and the strange mentioning of the fact that “because she looked and was so different, she was not allowed to wear the Hitler Jugend outfit or be part of it and she felt so bad about it, being set aside like ”…It was so terrible to hear your mother say that, but she was a child barely 10 years at that time, much the age of Liesel, the girl playing the Book thief. ….

I heard about her favourite nephew , taken away to the Russian front, who never came back , frozen to the ground and hurt.
I heard about the fear of the black coats the SS, coming to take people away and the deceit of neighbours, the fear of being taken away was looming every minute of every day.
I heard about the bombs falling and just after, my mother went to see if there was anything worth taking to survive in the bombed parts of town. She found a shoe store had been hit and picked up all the shoes she could carry in a big bag, only to find out when she got back home , that all the shoes were left shoes, no right shoes at all…and she as scolded by her mum . I can just hear my grandmother tell her off : “Why did you fill the bag with shoes and not food!??!? you Zaumensch!”….

To grow up in that time so filled with fear and anger and anguish is soul destroying. And yes, they were taken away ….eventually, and yes… Death came... to take my Grandfather away, much like in the book, when he took Liesels brother Werner: on a train, the pneumonia proving to be too much....My grandfather was buried in the snow, in an unmarked grave in a small town and I have no idea where.

If the Book thief’s story is so close to my stories, it must be so close to thousands of others…and like Markus Zusak so beautifully puts it, the only thing that seperates us from a lump of clay is a word….a story…
Let’s fill our lives with stories and share them, please share them. Stories can be the souls of people long gone, but who live on and who will continue to make a difference. Words can start a war or end one. Words can touch your heart, make you change your perspective. Words  make the world just that little bit bigger.

On this weeks update some Gaga! Tops , tot celebrate different and vibrancy: A base of Blue faced Leicester wool with angora, glitz and cashmere. Super soft handle, very nice shine and a fabulous yarn to spin and wear ! Ver soon I will be able to offer you a GaGa! Blend with a base of super super fine merino as well, but you will just have to wait a tiny bit the meantime: Have fun with GaGa!

Please don't hesitate to contact me at any time if you have any questions okay? Always happy to enable. All my contact details are to be found at the end of this weeks blog entry. Have fun !!!
GaGa! Bunny Tops
A super vibrant blend of
Blue faced leicester, Angora Bunny, a bit of bling! (glitz) and Cashmere
100grams (+/- 1.9Oz)  AU$24


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