put up two more beds…


The Moomins must have been hovering round in the background for my whole life, but I haven’t really noticed them until now. Maybe I vaguely sensed that their mix of whimsy, tumbling unpredictability and nordic melancholy wasn’t quite for me. Until now.

We started reading Finn Family Moomintroll at bedtimes about a week ago. I thought it was the first one in the series, but it wasn’t, so each character arrives with a strange sense of backstory. Maybe that would be there in the first book anyway.

This really hits the spot for Sam. I have to negotiate quite fiercely for how few pages I am going to read. For him they have just the right mix of warmth and adventure, with slight threat in the distance.

Moominhouse is such a welcoming place – Sniff, The Snork, The Hemulen, The Snork Maiden, The Muskrat are all made completely at home, despite their quirks and flaws. Moominmamma seems to take everything in her stride.

So when Thingumy and Bob turned up just now in chapter six, fleeing from The Groke, and Moominmamma mistakes them for mice, she tells Sniff to run down to them with a little milk. Then she catches sight of their suitcase…

“Luggage too,” thought Moominmamma. “Dear me, then they’ve come to stay.” And she went off to find Moominpappa to ask him to put up two more beds – very, very small ones.

That night the Groke is waiting outside, freezing the ground she stands on:

She sat motionless on the sandy path at the bottom of the steps and stared at them with round expressionless eyes. She was not particularly big, and didn\’t look dangerous either, but you felt that she was terribly evil and would wait for ever. And that was awful.

Wikipedia: “The Moomins, generally speaking, relate strongly to Jansson’s own family – they were bohemian, lived close to nature and were very tolerant towards diversity. Moominpappa and Moominmamma are often seen as straight portraits of Jansson’s parents Viktor Jansson and Signe Hammarsten-Jansson.”


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