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Close sightings having quenched my need for mortal thrill, I am glad our boat ride along the Katherine River is more about the sweeping landscape.

This is a river around which 13 sandstone gorges stand sentinel, their creamy ledges darkened over time due to water and soil erosion. Craggy and orange under the setting sun, they look to me like the gobbled-up side of a giant carrot cake, left behind by a picky eater.

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Tim Minchin talks Matilda, LA, and keeping it real

I do not see any swallows, but in the middle of May, I am dazed to have seen winter. Winter in the Top End is still about the tropical sultriness, pickled round the year. This means we break a mean sweat while climbing the ledges of the Arnhem Land plateau, but the sun we catch dripping down the western horizon, just behind the savannah, is sweeter for it. The sunrise cruise at Nitmiluk National Park takes you through floodplains teeming with crocodiles, whistling ducks and water buffaloes top ; Mossy rock pools in and around Kakadu make for some sweet water lounging bottom. Aboriginal lores ascribe the rock art top found around Arnhem Land to Mimi, a benevolent ancestral spirit who taught indigenous people the laws of the land; The Katherine Gorge bottom in Nitmiluk is home to sunsets in screaming tangerines.

The last few days in Top End, spent in the city, tosses me in the way of more characters like Adam—drifters from different parts of the country and the world that decided to put down anchor in Darwin. Having travelled from the Swedish Lapland 12 years ago to meet a pen pal, the tourism coordinator never went back. I have spent mornings tree-gazing from the weedy waters of Buley Rockhole, stepping out to pick Billygoat plums aka Vitamin C bombs! Anxious to not let a single memory slip through the cracks, I have come to liken its trickling sap to the stickiness of sunsets, best tasted with your back to a dusty old rock.

One that might, on closer inspection, reveal a millennia old sketch of an aboriginal hunter or a kinga crocodile. The snatches of city or highway life in between have seen me crack open every alien ale and lager. If the things I find along the way startle me—the brilliance of stars spread out like croc eyes; the taste of chicken salt on potato spuds—it is nothing to how much I am surprised by my will to keep moving. I, with my metropolitan inertia, am happy to hustle amid nature.

Waltzing through the Aussie Outback

The rich tan on my already-brown cheeks tells me I have chased as many trails as I have missed. Even the fresh bruise that smarts against my knees has the strange sweetness of a mid-read paper cut. I, however, am not Adam or Kaylee. I am yet to learn to stay back for love. But Matilda, despite being taught that little girls should be seen and not heard , found ways to assert her power — and, as I've grown into a young woman, I've recognised society is still implicitly teaching women , 28 years later, that our voices aren't important.

Waltzing Matilda - Australian Nursery Rhymes and Songs - Aussie Kids Songs

Here, perhaps, is a good place to include a comical piece of advice from Matilda's mother: "I'm afraid men are not always quite as clever as they think they are. You will learn that when you get a bit older, my girl. Matilda gave me the courage to think that, perhaps, even though I was a girl, even though I was shy, even though I was just a child, my dreams were valid and I could one day make my voice count. Lindsay Lowe, writing for The Atlantic, described Dahl's Matilda and its film adaption as "an ode to introversion It's a sentiment succinctly expressed by Twitter user and Matilda fan Christine Edwards, who said the book " let me know that my thoughts were indeed valid ; even as a child, nerd, girl, outsider".

And it was a common theme in the responses the ABC received when we put a call out for readers' fondest memories of Roald Dahl. Research fellow at Deakin University Michelle Smith said the story of Matilda taps into the fantasy of children being able to fight back against injustice. Matilda was published in , almost 50 years after Dahl's first children's book, The Gremlins, was published in The themes are dark, the storylines macabre — they're funny and filled with absurd, made-up words, and there's no shortage of grotesque wickedness.

They're also wildly popular — his books have sold more than million copies worldwide and have been translated into more than 50 languages. This month marks years since Dahl's birth , and children — and adults — are still as enamoured as ever with Dahl's small protagonists, his filthsome, frightsome villains, and the endlessly entertaining tales he spun.

Kris Howard is the founder of fan website Roald Dahl Fans, which she has now been managing for 20 years. Of Dahl's appeal, she recalled a quote sometimes attributed to Dahl, sometimes not, but certainly reflective of his writing: "Children love food and violence. Indeed, Dahl himself wrote in for the Sunday Times: "I believe that mentally I am a sort of overgrown child. And while children's stories filled with gross-out ideas or dark themes are common nowadays — think A Series of Unfortunate Events, the Harry Potter books, or the work of Neil Gaiman — when James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were first published in the early s, they were nothing short of groundbreaking.

But it's impossible to look back at Dahl's career and influence without acknowledging the unpleasant things — and I'm not talking about the snozzcumbers from The BFG. Take, for instance, the oompa loompas in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which were originally written as black pygmy people. There have been reported instances of Dahl expressing his anti-Semitism — in he told The New Statesman: "There is a trait in the Jewish character that does provoke animosity Both Dr Smith and Ms Howard also noted that there were arguably misogynistic undertones in several of his books, including the character of Miss Trunchbull character in Matilda.

Ms Howard said those views could be used as a springboard for starting a conversation with children. I didn't pick up on these things when I first read the books either — though Ms Howard notes on her website that "as a white girl in Indiana I might not have been as attuned to racial issues as others", which could also be said of me. This year's film adaptation of The BFG — following in the footsteps of 's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, starring the inimitable Gene Wilder , 's Fantastic Mr Fox and, of course, the beloved version of Matilda — is just the latest Dahl tale to be transformed for the big screen.

And Tim Minchin and Dennis Kelly's Matilda the Musical has been a runaway success since its West End premiere — I, of course, have tickets booked for its trip to Brisbane later this year. So too do the many, many fans still enthralled with Dahl, each with their own memories of his books. JOHN--A policeman. JO-JO--A hairy-faced person. JOLT--A sharp punch. One who jumps a claim. KEEK--To have a look. KICK--To protest. KID--A child; to deceive.

KNUT--A flash person. LAD--A humorous fellow. LAG--To delay. LARK--A practical joke. LASH--To strike. LICE--To defeat.

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LID--A hat. LURK--A scheme. MAG--To talk; scold.

The Kangaroo Tale: Matilda - Jacqueline Jenkins - Google книги

MAUL--To pull about. MEET--An appointment. MILL--A strenuous fight. MOB--Group of larrikins; flock of sheep. MOKE--A poor horse. MOLL--A dissolute woman. MUG--A silly person; the face. NARK--An obstinate man; an informer. NICE--Physical fitness. NIX--A warning; nothing. OUT--To be unconscious. PARD--A friend. PHIZ--The face. PIKE--Australian name for species of salt-water fish. PLUG--To strike. POKE--A collar. POT--A sum of money.

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PROP--A horse stopping suddenly. PUSH--A crowd of larrikins.


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QUID--A sovereign. RAG--A newspaper. RILE--To annoy. ROLL--A number of notes. RORTY--a rowdy. SCUT--A mean person. SET--To be satisfied. SHAG--A black-and-white bird which lives mostly on fish. SHOT--To be drunk. SLAB--A piece. SLOG--To hit heavily.