SO earlier this week The BFG was released for home viewing. You can now own it on Blu-ray and digital download. It would make a great Christmas present for the family. A few weeks before, I sat down with one of the most interesting ladies I have ever had the privilege to interview, Lucy Dahl the daughter of Roald Dahl author of The BFG and many other amazing children’s books. My daughter is a huge fan of his writings.
Lucy Dahl captivated me the entire interview, the way she describes things made me wish I had her childhood. It made me wish I grew up in an old English town where I could just live a new adventure every day. But it wasn’t just where she grew up it was who raised her too. Her father was not just creative in his story telling, he was creative in all he did.
photo credit Chelsea Watcher
He Was The BFG – Her dad would tell her and her sister stories of The BFG every night and then after he tucked them in the BFG would come visit the both of them. The BFG lived under their apple orchards which was beyond their garden and no matter what the weather was outside he would come and visit them. They started to suspect it was their dad…..
“When our friends started to say there’s no such thing as the BFG, as they do, we questioned. Dad said, you mustn’t, the minute you stop believing in magic, it will never happen and it also must have worried him tremendously because the next morning when we woke up. His precious lawn, his garden, he was an avid gardener, and the grass had huge brown …that said BFG across the whole garden …that he had done with weed killer…..And he said to us, you’ve made the BFG cross that you’re not believing in him and he obviously wanted to tell you that he’s here, and then we realized that it wasn’t the BFG sticking a dream through our window one night when I think dad had a bit too much to drink and he fell off his ladder.
Everything was a Fairy Tale –
“so he would test his ideas and his characters and people on us, although we didn’t know it at the time. Um, we just thought that we were getting great stories and he created this whole sort of kingdom of where we lived”
He was constantly telling stories about different creatures that lived on their land. He was also very creative with food, where it came from which is described a bit more in detail later.
He Encouraged Mischief – He never wanted the girls to behave.
“he would actually help us plot and plan naughty things to do [TECHNICAL INTERRUPTION] because he said that well behaved children were boring, but the trick was to never get caught, so that’s actually one thing about my father that I haven’t used in my own mothering [TECHNICAL INTERRUPTION] because it’s fine when you’re four, five, six, seven, eight and then you get to be a teenager and you have that programming to just don’t get caught it’s not so good.”
He would encourage them go go out and have adventures outside. He would always stick up for the underdog. There was once a girl on her school bus that was a bully and would take their snacks. He helped them come up with a funny rhyme to teach everyone on the school bus and one day before she took everyone’s snacks they all sang the rhyme. Lizzy was never a problem again.
He Encouraged Courage – There was an air raid shelter from the second World War, in the school grounds and they were not allowed to go into it. He encouraged them to go into it just not to get caught. She was allowed to go out in the morning on her horse with a packed lunch and would be home around dinner. She said she would look back at those narrow trails and think to herself how could he let me do that it was so dangerous.
He Was always In Character
so he spent a lot of time as an actor would in character, but he was sort of in fantasy land, I suppose, or, or in his imagination, um, because we would wake up in the morning and open the door because it was in the days when the milkmen would deliver the milk early in the morning. And we’d go get the milk and sometimes there were a little, bowl or teenny, weenie little eggs. Now I know they’re quail eggs, but um, he said that the MinPins which is another story that he wrote, little people that lived, lived in our woods beyond the orchard, um, that the MinPins had delivered eggs to us overnight and sometimes there were big eggs, duck eggs. Now I know they’re duck eggs, but they were BFG eggs.
To accomplish this once a week he would go to London to find all these wonderful items that would play a part in his stories and keeping them alive for his daughters. Then they would as a family find creative ways to cook these special magical fairy tale items. And because of all his creativity with food Lucy eats everything. She loves food so much she’s a food writer.
Lucy Dahl seems to have inherited some of her father’s ability to tell stories. Maybe not the creative type that you put down in a book but in a way that you share. I could have listened to her stories about her childhood and her father all day long. You can share a piece of her father by purchasing The BFG. You can also enjoy her energy for yourself in some of the extras on the Blu-ray.