Page 45 Review by Stephen
"What a wonderful feeling to be poor... and listen to the rain on my little hut."
There speaks a very rich man!
"Of course it is romantic to play poor, but I don't like it when the roof leaks... and it is rather chilly sleeping under a boat at dawn."
Hmmm. That's the Marquis Mongaga in love with the idea of being bohemian and slumming with the Moomins after they've had enough of high society and posh hotels, neither of which they understood. Nor could they comprehend why almost everywhere was marked "PRIVATE".
"I think picking flowers would soothe our nerves. It usually helps."
"This is a private wild meadow. Get off this property!"
"But who owns everything here, then?"
"People with money, of course!"
I think you'll find that 99% of the biggest Bajan houses are owned by 1% of Barbados' population and 99% of them will be white and only part-time residents.
Still, Snorkmaiden and Moominpappa did want to see The South (it really was that vague) and so they set sail to foreign climes with alien customs. They found it surprisingly easy to get a room at the snazziest hotel but they were under the impression it was a house and they were its private guests. Do you suppose that it all went horribly wrong?
Over and over again Tove Jansson in the form of right-minded Moominmamma extols the virtues of a modest life in MOOMIN (and boy, do we have all the MOOMIN!). She finds the hotel room way too big for comfort so they retire to the bed instead and set up shop under its canopy.
I love the way she answers everyone about everything with "Yes, dear", reassuring all and sundry whilst sort of ignoring them.
May 22nd 2015 sees the UK release of this as a feature film, by the way. The illustration shows the original black and white Tove Jansson strip which you can find in MOOMIN THE DELUXE SLIPCASE EDITION or MOOMIN COMIC STRIPS VOL 1 and its transformation into an animation frame. This particular version is coloured too, but differently.