Britta's Letters from her life divided between city-life in German's capital Berlin and life in a Bavarian village

Saturday, 2 March 2013

I am a Mymla!

I do hope for your very own good that you know the Moomin books of Tove Jansson.  
"What?", I hear you say, "Moomins? Aren't they children books?
Yes and no. 
They are the best guide to know people (Tove never drew a character only in black or white). I am convinced everyone of you knows a few Hemulen: 

 "..a great lot of enormous, rollicking, talkative hemulens who went about slapping each other's backs and bursting into gigantic laughs."  "(...) and in their spare time they blew the trombone or threw the hammer, told funny stories and frightened people generally. But they did it all with the best of intentions." 

I am a mymble. A Little My. My mother must have known that from the beginning, look at my hair. 

So Maman did everything to train and tame me. 
But though I became a Lady, I'm a wild one, always preferring Snufkins to Moomintrolls :-)  

"Yes, Moomintroll, always waiting and longing. Moomintroll who sat at home, who waited for him and admired him, and who always told him: Of course you have to feel free. Naturally you must go away. I do understand that you have to be alone at times. 
And all the times his eyes were black with disappointment and no one could help it.  

I was lucky: husband is a hybrid of both, romantic in a very male way. 
I really adored Moomin Mother - that selfless, warm, utterly unselfish broad-hipped creature with the homely apron and always a handbag at her side. But try as I might: I was not her. (And so much homeliness seems to have driven Moomin Papa into this obscure adventure with the Hattifnatts...) 

So: Do you know which of the many little characters of Tove Jansson you are? (Very unlikely that it is "that one, who is living under the sink"). 
Who is fetching his trombone? 


  1. Is there a quiz! I'd love to take a quiz and find out what Jansson character I am!

    Britta, I love the image of you with the pigtails and I rarely will play videos when people embed them in their posts but I trust you so much I had to see what you were up to. HA!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, my little, excellent secret Snufkin lover!

  2. Dear Suze,
    I think we both would fit like two peas in a pod. Definitely a Mymla, I would guess - with a few hues of Moomin.

  3. Aw bless you - you are a Moomin. X

    1. :-)
      "I feel rather nice, and I like truth when it isn't too boring. (...) I believe many of my readers will thoughtfully lift their snout from the pages of this blog every once in a while to exclaim: 'What a Moomin!' or: 'This indeed is life!' (Moominpappa in his memoirs)

  4. Delightful. Love the drawings and I love this juxtaposition in the quoted text: "in their spare time they blew the trombone or threw the hammer." Interesting options . . . a bit post-modern, maybe?

    1. Dear Sue,
      the books really are delightful (I am talking of the novels and short stories, not of the comics. And I don't like Trollkarlens Hatt' very much). Great: "The Exploits of Moominpappa" (though in GB they were abridged a bit), and: "Moominsummer Madness".
      Jansson was a wonderful illustrator - here, as in her prose, she always uses lines so sparingly - and thus evokes worlds.
      If someone in my family wants to describe a person it might happen that he says: "She's a Fillyfjonk". Then one gets the picture, instantly :-)

  5. I must say I am not acquainte..... seems like I should be though! x

    1. Dear Penny,
      I believe you will like it (the novels).

  6. Thank you for reminding me of the Moomin books. It was a long time ago I read some of them. This post made me feel like reading the series once again because you mention "They are the best guide to know people". I like Moomin Papa with a black top-hat very much. Though he is an adult, he is longing for the sea,,,,,

  7. Dear Sapphire,
    yes, he loves the sea so much. Moomin Papa is a wildly romantic character, a dreamer - in his 'memoirs' he writes: "My first Moominhouse arose with mysterious speed. That must have been due to inherited ability, but also to talent, good judgment and a sure taste. But one mustn't indulge in self-praise..." - to find out a little later that he had only done a drawing in the sand, though he "saw" a real building...
    And so funny this convincing advice for parents:
    "The Hemulen who had built the Foundling's Home (...) was interested in astrology (..) she observed the position of the stars. They seem to be most important things! Just imagine - had I come into the world only half an hour later I would have felt compelled to join the Hemulic Voluntary Brass Band, and one day earlier only gamblers were born. (Mothers anf fathers should keep such things well in mind).