WIntersmith Read Along Part II

My daft, toothless cat, Waffles.
My daft, toothless cat, Waffles.

Everyone, please be welcome to the second installment of the Wintersmith Read Along. This week, Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow is our host. Make sure to swing by her place for insightful and intelligent conversation and to catch links to everyone else’s posts.

Chapters 5-7 are covered this week. If you haven’t read the book, please be warned that spoilers are more numerous, and some even better hidden, then the wee free men that populate this series.

1. “I’m not here…” At Miss Treason’s funeral, we see Tiffany get the better of the Feegles, sneaky though they are! What do you think of the way Tiffany’s ‘witching’ is getting better here?

Well, she did indeed surprise them. That gave me a chuckle. Of course, the Foldin’ o’ the Arms, Pursin’ o’ the Lips, and Tappin’ o’ the Feets made me laugh out loud. Tiffany is getting much better at managing the Feegles, but I am sure they still have a few things to teach her. Like what is worn under the kilt……*worried look*.

2. It’s decided that Annagramma gets the cottage, at the meeting of witches – but we learn that Mistress Weatherwax put Tiffany forward for it. Do you think Tiffany should have gotten the cottage?

Tiffany was very patient with Annagramma, especially when she was being a bit of snot about it all at the funeral feast. And Tiff cleaned up the cottage right nice and wrote down lots of useful info about the folks. In some ways, yes, Tiffany would have done the folks a better turn, but I also believe she is a Chalk witch and wouldn’t have stayed over a year anyway because the bones of hills would have called her home. Besides, the only way Annagramma is going to learn something is by actually having to do it.

3. Nanny Ogg appears at last, to take Tiffany in while the Wintersmith’s about. Next to Mistress Weatherwax, she’s my favorite of the witches! What do you think of her so far?

I’ve always enjoyed Nanny Ogg. She is just so earthy. She’s practical and easy going and a delight to be around. She makes a very good counterpoint to Mistress Weatherwax. While I might find her extra elastic-y drawers a bit odd, and personally I can’t recommend storing food in them even for a short flight home, she’s still a hoot to read about.

4. We learn a little more about “the dance” that Tiffany interrupted, now – and I love the summer-winter mythology that’s explained to her here. What’s your take on the effect it’s having on Tiffany (and her feet)? And do you think we’ll be seeing more of the Summer Lady as well as the Wintersmith?

For a good half of this book, we have the older witches repeatedly telling Tiffany that she shouldn’t have joined in the Dance, that she was a fool to do so, and she should have realized that empty spot wasn’t for her. Pratchett writes this silly attitude so well into the plot, and it is so very true to human nature. How many of us have experienced this type of thing – where everyone else, especially elderly know-it-alls, knows what it is that you missed and everyone feels the need to point out your ignorance. Poor Tiffany.

So, it is nice to finally have more info and to have at least some of Tiffany’s questions answered. She can’t very well fix the problem if she doesn’t understand how she created it in the first place. Yes, I expect we will see more of the Summer Lady as she will be key in creating balance with the Wintersmith.

Yeah! Fresh veggies in the winter. Can’t beat that!

5. Poor Annagramma … I’m starting to have a little more sympathy for her now, as she turns up desperately seeking skulls! Do you think she’s got what it takes to be a good witch, when it counts? Or is her case as hopeless as it seems?

Annagramma is lacking in all practical skills except one – pulling off Boffo. Mrs. Earwig is all Boffo and taught a lot of it to Annagramma. Now if Annagramma can just keep everyone happy with her Boffo while she learns some real skills – lancing of boils, delivering babies, politely dealing with folks who are in pain or just lost a loved one, she might turn into an acceptable witch, barely. Unfortunately, it might very well be more painful to Tiffany than to Annagramma.

6. Oh, dear. Rob Anybody has a Plan … With all of the seriousness surrounding what Tiffany’s gotten herself into, do you think the Feegles can help her this time? Or are even they in over their heads?

The PLAN involves a book on Romancin’, interpreted Feegle style. Of course the plan will work. Hunting for nuts. Yes, well, we call it searching out hot springs here in my little valley.

Other Tidbits:

I love Pratchett’s little footnotes: for witches an old friend & an old enemy may be the same person; Assistant Postmaster Groat’s socks and an interested lady commenting on his sense of hygiene.

Does ‘scuggers’ really mean leg warmers? I have to ask. I mean, if I want to be complimenting folks at work on their leg warmers and sound all Scottish cool and use the term ‘scuggers’ I better well check before I make a mistake.

It was very kind of Miss Treason to give Tiffany an Unexpurgated Dictionary and Chaffinch’s Mythology. She also called Nanny Ogg a strumpet! Ha!

Avoid the rumbustiousness by avoiding the beans. Wise, wise wisdom from our dear Miss Treason.

Frost fern Tiffanys on top of the snowflake Tiffanys. It really is sweet in a cold stalker kind of way.

Jam with ham folks. That’s what you got to deal with in the afterlife.

Poor Tiffany had to give up her necklace. Yes, nearly all of it is Boffo…but a few things are more than that.

It’s good that Daft Wullie now has a keeper, even if that keeper is Horace the blue Lancre cheese.

Library oxen via Feegle delivery. Awesome!

13 thoughts on “WIntersmith Read Along Part II”

  1. I loved that bit about ‘strumpet’. “It’s apparently a woman of easy virtue. That must mean she’s a great person, if she finds virtue easy…”

    I hadn’t thought about Annagramma’s style as Boffo, but that makes sense. I guess I just saw it as snootiness, but she has been taught that it is important to have a very witchy attitude and appearance. I think that it might keep causing problems, though, that Annagramma’s idea of ‘witch’ is very different from what Miss Treason’s was.

    My answers are here:

    1. I find virtue easy. Perhaps I should turn that into a Halloween costume…though only a few folks who are hard core Pratchett fans might get it.

      I agree that Annagramma definitely has a streak of snootiness to her, even if you remove all the boffo.

  2. D’oh – forgot to put my link here! Everyone else’s (except Lynn’s) are gathered there now…

    The afterlife sounds awful! 😉

    And yes, that’s an interesting way of looking at Annagramma’s witching. I hadn’t thought of it that way either, though I think if she can get over the less useful parts of what Mrs Earwig’s teaching her, she could in fact be a good ‘boffo’ witch. 😀

  3. 1. Well, traditionally nothing at all is worn under the kilt . . . which could be rather unpleasant with the Feegles and their aversion to washing! 😀

    4. I am drawn to wonder why precisely Tiffany couldn’t resist the temptation to join the Dance. I can only assume that the other witches feel the urge to join in, but not as powerfully, and I am quite sure that Ms Treason would not have taken Tiffany along if she had suspected that the girl would fail to control her feet. Maybe it was just an unfortunate coincidence that Tiffany was having all those feelings about Roland at the wrong moment.

    I cannot comment on the ‘struggers’ – I certainly never came across it in Aberdeenshire, but I don’t think I ever saw anyone wearing leg warmers either . . .

    1. Kilts should come with a caveat – must wash first if going commando.

      Perhaps since Tiffany was thinking about Roland, and he is her first crush and all, and her strong will to do things anyway, all coincided to put her in the Dance. Still, another warning label could have prevented much nonsense for Tiffany….but that would have left me with one less Tiffany Aching book to read.

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