10. Thursday 13 December. Winnie the Poo

10. Thursday 13 December. Winnie the Poo

2013 outside home

2013 outside home

My beautiful Byron,

Thursday it is here in California and the news is; Mr sunshine is back after a temporary break for grey clouds.

Blue skies are all around and the mighty Pacific is booming away in 25 degrees of that lovely warm reminder of what makes California so cool. (The warmth.)

Everyone round here is gearing up for the so called festive season. They sure take Christmas seriously. Almost as big as Thanksgiving.

I have been watching the news from England this week and I see that the government are still on with their Brexit nonsense. In America the news this week is about the Government people getting arrested. The lawyer for Trump, the Orange President, is a guy called Michael Cohen. Many people agree that lawyers are often dishonest people, and Michael Cohen sure is one shady lawyer. This week he was sentenced to three years in jail. For work he did representing the President. It seems every week they have another member of the Government being arrested for being a shady criminal. These are not good times to be in Government in either Britain or the USA, unless you are a shady criminal. Sounds a lot like family-law. Who knows where it will all lead. My biggest disappointment is how they provide education for children. Even before you were born, I wanted you to have a great education. With all that implies.

Sadly, both Britain and America do not share my sense of importance for the value of education. Do you know, in America, the President chose a leader to determine education for all American children by not considering any skill as an educator in his appointment. He chose a woman called Betsy DeVos. Who knows significantly less about education than Wallace did. This means a whole generation of American kids are going to have a hard time becoming educated.

John and Byron 2009

John and Byron 2009

I hope they have parents who encourage them to read books. At least that way they can educate themselves. When I look back at my school education, I learned most of what educated me from reading great books, travel, sports, smiling and music. So I guess American kids can still get around having Betsy DeVos trying to run education from a hopeless position that is her limited under educated billionaire brain. Kids who have parents involved in their education are a great deal more fortunate than those who do not.

I had hoped to be able to send you book to read. But do you know why I cannot? A family court judge, Michele O’Leary, and two members of family law have ensured that I cannot send you books on Amazon. I had one writer in mind this week.  AA Milne. The Winnie the Poo books. I saw a movie about him and remembered how amazing those books were for me when I was 9. I learned about AA Milne and how those books came to be written. Its a lovely movie BTW.

AA Milne  went to a very good school and one of the best universities, Cambridge. His education prepared him for writing very well. And he was writing very well when the ‘War to end all Wars‘ broke out and he found himself in a British officers uniform, at one of the most awful monuments to mans stupidity called ‘the Somme‘. Which is a WW1 story that no education can be considered complete without knowing about.

In that awful war, AA Milne suffered some PTSD. Post stress traumatic disorder. At the time they called it shell shock. Where the brain gets upset by hearing constant bombs falling and bullets whizzing passed your eyelashes. The anxiety of imminent death leads to a state of constant shock. The trenches of WW1 were simply awful for the 18 year old boys sent there to rot in the mud while singing God save the King.

https://thecaptivereader.com/2012/11/26/peace-with-honour-a-a-milne/?fbclid=IwAR2YrRwIBSFttnOW2zvnVHE_3ZqwZsvdpOYHVLBnd6WlDyggW4NkOwS-oVI

Click for link to book

Although now we know all about PTSD and in fact, when I experienced it I became a writer on the subject read by many people who were helped by my words. AA Milne also wrote about it, in a very similar way to me. But at a very different time, when people who had PTSD were often considered ‘cowards’ and some were even executed by their Government at the time. It is all pretty awful, and where AA Milne and me have a very common ground is in noticing how the called it  ‘The war to end all wars‘. And that’s how they explained it to the boys who died so horribly. Yet, as soon as it suited the Government at the time, they were right back to war. And people just forgot all abut ‘The War to end all Wars.‘ They print up anther batch of flags, mould up another batch of medals and print another batch of posters inviting heroes to go to war.

I imagine it is far worse to be a child in a family where the education on the history of war is absent than the converse. At least I have a book about war for you to read one day to help you form your own view on that awful business.

AA Milne spent his time recovering from the PTSD hanging out with his kid, Christopher Robin. And that was how he came to wrote the books about Winnie the Poo. Christopher Robin became very famous because of those books. Pooh_Shepard1928Although he too had a very good education, he went to Cambridge, he formed a fierce resentment against his father and they never spoke.

Christopher Robin went on to marry his cousin, maybe to piss off his father who he was angry with, and they had a daughter born with awful disease (Cerebral Palsy.) He did not want any money from the Winnie the Poo books. He even gave away the stuffed toys that the books were based on.

When AA Milne died, he left the book rights to four parties. One of which was his family. They sold it to Walt Disney Company and soon Walt Disney Company bought all the rights.  They went on to sell over a billion dollars of Winnie the Poo merchandise. Only Mickey Mouse sold more. (For that period of time.)  So as we look back, AA Milne never enjoyed the reward of writing his marvelous  books. Christopher Robin didn’t enjoy one penny and was alienated against his dad because of it. And the big winner was the American Company who made a billion dollars out of one mans book helping him process his PTSD through the thought process of a private education in the British system

That is the backstory of Winnie the Poo. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928) Two wonderful books by a wonderful writer.
I kept my original copies from when I was a kid for you to have one day. But, again that is one for Michele O’Leary, Charlotte Adler and Tom Amlot to explain to you as they see fit.

Miss you,

love you,

Daddy

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LETTERS TO BYRON in chronological order:

The first of the LETTERS TO BYRON:  The PILOT
2nd GRAHAM COY
3rd:  TOM AMLOT
4th:  Thanksgiving day
5th: MICHELLE O’LEARY. The switch Judge
6th : Raining in California
7th: Music
8th: December Rain
9th: Brexit and Greek war
10th: Winnie the Poo
11th: December kayaking
12th: Family law and Mark Zetin
13th: Xmas day 2018
14th: Maria and Anna
15th: New years eve 2018
16th: Your first smile
17th: Your Uncle GEORGE
18th: The Mighty PACIFIC
19th: WEBSTER and Summer HOLIDAY 2019
20th: Breach of Privacy offense
21st: MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY
22nd: Philotimia
23rd: A short note
24th: MUSIC and KINDNESS
25th: Robin Hood
26th: SRA ethical code
27th: NINE YEARS LATER
28th: Valentines day
29th: EVZONES
30th: Rushing
31st: Quick Note
32nd: Johannesburg 2019
33rd: Still in Johannesburg
34th: More Johannesburg
35th: Last Johannesburg for now
36th: Traveling. Upgrade
37th: Spring
38th: Whales
39th: MEXICO
40th: CABO ST LUCAS
41st: 1 April. Wallace’s Birthday
42nd: SANTA BARBARA
43rd: Short letter
44th: PINEAPPLE EXPRESS
45th: KIRA visits
46th: Goodbye uncle Lazaros
47th: Easter Monday
48th: OJAI Tennis
49th: Short letter
50th: PARENTAL ALIENATION FACTS
51st: Cartagena memory
52nd: NEW RECORD
53rd: Last letter to 9 yo
54th: First letter to 10 yo
55th: D Day – 75 years
56th: LA QUINTA
57th: MASON GRADUATES
58th: DESIDERATA
59th: EARTHQUAKE
60th:  Chris and Golf
61st: Chris visits Byron in London
62nd: SUMMERTIME
63rd: PHYLLIS’ LETTER TO BYRON
64th: GUN CRAZY AMERICANS
65th: MISS YOU
66th: SCRUFFY
67th: Mason leaves for college
68th: ART
69th: Day after 911
70th: PAPOU. CALLING CHRIS
71st: Two Women
72nd: ANOTHER YEAR
73rd: PLANNING CALIFORNIA VISIT 2019
74th: KAYAKING WITH DOLPHINS
75th: M and M
76th: HALLOWEEN 2019
77th FINGER EXERCISE
78th: First late letter
89th: MIAMI
90th: Thanksgiving and the SRA
91st: Dentist
92nd: EDUCATION
93rd: Almost Xmas
94th: Boxing day 2019