26 November 2008

Winnie the Pooh and Piglet Too

I have a love of Winnie the Pooh, and especially Piglet as that was Sam's nickname (owing to the fact that he looked a little like a minature large white pig with his porky little legs).

I have wanted to visit Ashdown forest since I read Christopher Milne's autobiography and found that "Pooh's Forest and Ashdown Forest are identical". For example, the Five Hundred Acre Wood became the 100 Aker Wood and Gills Lap became Galleons Leap. The North Pole and the Gloomy Place are in Wrens Warren Valley while a memorial to Milne and Shepard is in the location Enchanted Place.

Ashdown Forest covers an area of approx. 10 square miles, but despite its name, woodland makes up less than 40% of the total area of Ashdown Forest and it is doubtful whether that figure was ever much higher. Apparently the word “forest” is derived from the Latin "foris", meaning “outside” and in medieval England meant outside cultivation and belonging by default to the Crown. Now I know why commoners have such a hard time.

There is a bridge, Posingford Bridge, located close to Hartfield village, and Ashdown forest where Poohsticks is played and was first mentioned in The House at Pooh Corner. Though it is not known whether the game was first played at the bridge then written into the story, or vice versa.

Poohsticks is a simple game which may be played on any bridge over running water; each player simultaneously drops a stick on the upstream side of a bridge and the one whose stick first appears on the downstream side is the winner. Of course, it is not just any stick, it should be made of organic materials preferably willow and not of any artificial materials. The stick should be be dropped, not thrown, into the water as any player who is deemed to have thrown their stick should be disqualified.

There is a shop in Hartfield village, that is known as Pooh Corner, another place on my list to visit eventually.

Max over at Britishspeak was asking about Poohsticks and it reminded me to mention it in this post.

9 comments:

A. said...

We were not so very far away from Ashdown Forest at the weekend, as we made our way around the M25.

I have always wondered why the New Forest is so lacking in trees, and the meaning of "outside" I imagine explains it.

Relax Max said...

Thank you for the information. Even I could do that. But isn't it difficult to see which stick was which? Sorry to be so analytical, but if the water were running the least bit fast, the sticks would seem to be hard to identify. I suppose such aspects are best left unanalyzed. :)

Relax Max said...

PS - Your affinity for small dogs is well taken. :)

MeHereNow said...

As I was reading I was thinking "I hope she knows about the shop!" I live not very far from Ashdown Forest and have been to the shop but not ventured to find the bridge - yet!

Rae!xx said...

What a gorgeous dog and I am Tigger, so I am realiably informed....lol...bouncability and all that..xx

AnneDroid said...

Poohsticks is a great game. I played it as a kid, and our kids like it too.

I'm a bit of an Eeyore fan. I love his grumpiness.

Kathy G said...

Thanks for the history lesson.

The W.O.W. factor said...

Neat information! I had no idea! And Poohsticks? I never knew there was a name for that game! We just played because we could...
Have a great day Sage!
Barb

Janet said...

My inlaws sought out Ashdown when they went to England 15 years ago, and actually played Pooh Sticks off the bridge. Keith who is on my blogroll lives near there.