Tuesday, May 12, 2020

The REAL Lord of the Flies! (The Last Hobnob)


The Last Hobnob.

   Is it just me or does my half eaten Hobnob look like the moon? Yes, this is the kind of thing that entertains me, my friends!
Listen, the real reason I took a photo of this was to tell you that this is my very last Hobnob.  I brought this back with me when I visited England in October 2019. The sell by date for these biscuits was May 11, 2020! That means if you plan on sailing around the world, take some Hobnobs! 

Now, I am not sailing around the world anytime soon but that does remind me of a story that I want to tell you about...

I am sure that you have read the book "Lord of the Flies". If you haven't read it, then you must have heard about it. Seems like we had to read it in school. It is a book of fiction written by William Golding in 1954, about British boys stranded on a desert island and well...it's not very pretty, shall we say.  Now, what if I told you about a true story of boys on a desert island?   It is fascinating!

In June of 1965, six teenage boys "borrowed" a boat and sailed away. They were in a Catholic boarding school in Naku'alofa, which is the capital of Tonga, in the South Pacific.  Caught in a storm, they drifted for eight days with no food and no water.( They managed to catch rainwater in some coconut shells and shared it amongst themselves.) On the eighth day, they reached an island (not the kind with gorgeous sand and palm trees but an island that was mostly rock and is today considered uninhabitable named 'Ata.) They set to work with a great determination to survive. These six teenage boys lived for 15 months on coconuts, fish and tame birds. These kids worked together! They worked out a two man roster for garden, kitchen and guard duty. Whenever there were arguments, this was settled by "time outs". Each day began and ended with a song and a prayer. (They had made a guitar from a piece of driftwood, half a coconut shell and six steel wires from the boat.) 


I read about this in a British newspaper and you may read the same piece just here!  Please take the time to read it, you will also see photos!  (Rutger Bregman is the author of "Humankind" and is the Dutch author who unearthed this story. He discovered this story because it was...oh be still my heart...mentioned on a blog! 

The boys were rescued on Sept. 11, 1966 and the doctors were astonished at the boy's good health. They had survived because they had worked together and had learned to lean on each other. Their true story is the one that should be read in schools! Captain Peter Warner who rescued them, wrote his own account of this and said, "Life has taught me a great deal, including the lesson that you should always look for what is good and positive in people."

Can you imagine the JOY of the families when they were reunited with those boys? (They had been assumed dead and they had had funerals for them.) AND I do wonder what it would have been like for them, what foods did they want to eat first? I hope they didn't give them a SEAFOOD buffet they like did for Tom Hanks in Castaway! (Sorry, I know I am veering over into fiction here...but I did enjoy that film but why would you have shrimp for someone just rescued off an island?) See the things I think about?



Can't seem to get that video on here but if you click on the above, you should be able to see it.  It is so worth watching!






24 comments:

  1. If only the world's leaders would act like those boys.

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  2. Their diet was a perfect one on which to survive. Fresh seafood and coconuts...`

    In saying that, I bet they did want a juicy thick steak and some chips/French fries...followed by some Hobnobs to dip in mugs of hot cocoa or Milo upon their return to civilisation! :)

    Keep taking good care, Kay. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones...and remains so. :)

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    1. It must have been dreadfully frightening for them. Even though they worked hard to survive, I can't imagine what they must have gone through. I want to know more about them!
      You take care too, Lee!

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  3. A heartwarming story! SO much more uplifting than Lord of the Flies.

    I've never had a Hobnob. They look kind of like an oatmeal cookie perhaps? I noticed the other day at the grocery store that it now has a "British food" section in its foreign food area. Next time I'm there, I'll see if Hobnobs are among its offerings.

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    1. A Hobnob is made of oats but there is something else there...ginger perhaps? Not sure but I think I told you before in another post that it is THE number one biscuit in the UK!
      So I am not the only fan! If you see them, BUY them!

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    2. I checked the Brit section at the grocery store -- alas, no Hobnobs!

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    3. Oh no! Keep an eye out for them! I promise you they are good! :-)

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  4. Wow, what an impressive feat, surviving 15 months (after having survived the storm and the eight days at sea, of course)!
    You are right, stories about the goodness in people should be read at school, too.
    As for the boys' diet - I love coconut, but even I would have had enough after a while, I suppose...
    Whenever I have been away from home for a while, one of the first things I try to have to eat is a buttered Brezel (the real Swabian version) fresh from the bakery. Not that I eat them all the time when I am home, but they very much taste like "home".
    And when I am in England, I always make sure to have certain food, too - my home away from home!

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    1. I very much like to read non fiction and especially stories of survival. Not sure why this is so but I find these kind of books fascinating.
      We have so many examples of cruelty that we should focus on the opposite, I think.
      Now you are making me want to have a buttered Brezel, fresh from the bakery. It might taste like home to you but it simply sounds like HEAVEN to me!
      And like you, when I visit England, my home away from home, there are certain foods that I can only get there and truly enjoy them. xx

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  5. I love this story and you are right, it should be the one read in school. When Lord of the Flies was written there was a very pessimistic attitude about human nature. Human nature can and so often does, show real kindness and cooperation. A lot of this is demonstrated during this pandemic time.

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    1. I remember that I liked "Lord of the Flies" when I read it for school but it was the writing that I admired, I have always had a preference for British authors! And honestly, I edit the worst things out anyway...I do the same for films!! During this pandemic, we need to know what to expect but we also need to focus on what we can hope for, that one day there will be end to it.

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  6. Oh no,, the last one! I hope someone sends more!
    Lord of the flies is required reading here in our schools, at least it was, maybe not now,,

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    1. Hey Laurie! No, it is too expensive to mail things like that to the USA. I will just have to enjoy it when I am able to visit and believe me, I DO enjoy them!
      Take care and so nice to see your comment! xx

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  7. Wow, I can't believe it's a true story and not fiction.

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    1. I know and I am glad that the author found out about this story and wrote about it so we CAN know!

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  8. I read that article the other day. Now I know why I never liked The Lord Of The Flies.

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    1. I know I am bad but when I read The Lord of the Flies, I remember thinking, "if only they had a few girls on there, they would have sorted them out!" There, now you know what a bad teenager I was! I think I even said that to the teacher in the class and I remembered he laughed. I always did like to make people laugh. :-) I am serious on here but in real life, I am funny.

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  9. It's a long time since I had a hobnob!
    Your half eaten one does look like the moon!

    When I was at school (many years ago now) Lord of the Flies was required reading … but perhaps not now.

    All the best Jan

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    1. It's funny how books go in and out of style. One of my favorite books of fiction is considered racist but honestly, it is the exact opposite of that. It is "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mark Twain. (Note, he wrote the title that way, without the "The" in front of it...so as not to give the book any "airs"! It is a GENIUS piece of writing. Makes me sad that people can't see that.)

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  10. I've read the book and enjoyed it. Not so uplifting for the wildlife on the island mind you :o) During the era of pirates and whale hunting tropical islands were routinely stripped of any wildlife as it was how they resupplied their ships, leading to mass extinctions, especially turtles which could be stored below decks in long rows and would still be alive months later, even if not fed or watered. Highly prized meat for long sea journeys.

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    1. Sailing...I am a daughter of farmers and I really don't know why I have such a "thing" about it. On the long sea journeys, how could they keep enough food to keep them healthy? I find it amusing that the Brits are called "limeys" because they ate limes to prevent scurvy! Genius, if you ask me! Sad about the wildlife being decimated but that is interesting though about the turtles being able to stay alive even without food or water. I wonder if my Hobnob was anything like sea tack? Isn't that something that sailors would eat, that was made from oats? Not sure...I have read a lot of books about ships at sea. Have I told you this? I once won a small spelling bee at my school because I spelled "gunwale" correctly! :-)

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  11. Opps. Sorry,senior moment. I'll correct myself Kay. It was giant tortoise, that during dry spells on remote desert islands had evolved to exist with limited food and water, and could go months, still alive without either. Look up "In the heart of the sea." Nathaniel Philbrick. A very interesting book if you like true life sea adventures.

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    1. No problem, I knew you what meant. I called them turtles but I imagined the giant tortoises on long rows in ships, so I guess I read your mind anyway! I am thinking that the book, "In The Heart of the Sea" is one that Amazon always recommends to me since it sees my other reading materials, so now that you have told me also, I really do need to read it! And I do like true life sea adventures!

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