I picked up Alice in Wonderland the other day, my old copy from when I was little. It’s a pretty book, bound in red leather with a gold trim and fine paper, the kind that old books always seem to have, the kind that crinkles so nicely as you turn the pages. No real rhyme nor reason for my picking the book off the shelf where it has sat, happily undisturbed for a very long time now. I sort of happened upon it absentmindedly and then found myself immersed in the story, as if falling down some kind of rabbit hole of my own, down into a world of nostalgia and fairytales. There is something at once comforting and decadent about reading children’s books as a grown up. Don’t you think?
I vaguely had at the back of my mind a thought that perhaps Aeneas and I could add Alice to our repertoire of bedtime stories, though I wasn’t sure if perhaps he is still to young to enjoy it as I did, or too much of a boy to enjoy it as I remember doing. As I flicked through, I paused for a while upon the tea party scene. I don’t know how well you know the story of Alice, but perhaps you too remember the scene with the long wooden table and the delicate china tea set, the Hatter and the March Hare and the tiny little dormouse, who snoozes on the table. I have somewhat of a soft spot for long tables and pretty china, as you know well – so perhaps it was inevitable that I should gravitate to this part of the book. Anyhow, about half-way through the chapter, there is this darling little piece of dialogue. I would give you a synopsis, but Lewis Carroll phrases it so very prettily that I don’t think I would do his words justice. It goes like this: [Read more…]