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" You can't ever be really free if you admire somebody too much. "
" Mummy weighed sweets and nuts so that everyone would get exactly the same amount. During the year, everything is measured roughly, but at Christmas, it has to be absolutely fair. That's why it's such a strenuous time. "
" I wonder if the nursery and the chamber of horrors are as far apart as people think? "
" On the morning, Daddy and I get up at six o'clock because Christmas trees must be bought in the dark. We walk to the other end of town, as the big harbour is just the right setting for buying a Christmas tree. We spend hours choosing, looking at every branch suspiciously. It's always cold. "
" Dogs are mute and obedient, but they have watched us and know us and can smell how pitiful we are. "
" Lie on the bridge and watch the water flowing past. Or run, or wade through the swamp in your red boots. Or roll yourself up and listen to the rain falling on the roof. It's very easy to enjoy yourself. "
" All men are chums who will never leave each other in the lurch. A chum doesn't forgive, he just forgets - women forgive everything but never forget. Being forgiven is very unpleasant. "
" One makes a trip by day, but by night, one sets out on a journey. "
" When one's dead, one's dead... This squirrel will become earth all in his time. And still later on, there'll grow new trees from him, with new squirrels skipping about in them. Do you think that's so very sad? "
" It was the winter of war, in 1939. It felt completely pointless to try to create pictures... I suddenly felt an urge to write down something that was to begin with 'Once upon a time.' "
" Christmas always rustled. It rustled every time, mysteriously, with silver and gold paper, tissue paper and a rich abundance of shiny paper, decorating and hiding everything and giving a feeling of reckless extravagance. "
" Those damn Moomins. I don't want to hear about them any more. I could vomit on the Moomintrolls. "
" A theatre is the most important sort of house in the world because that's where people are shown what they could be if they wanted and what they'd like to be if they dared to and what they really are. "
" Nothing is as peaceful as when Christmas is over, when one has been forgiven for everything and can be normal again. "
" People idealise their animals, and at the same time they patronisingly overlook a dog's natural life - biting fleas, burying bones, rolling in garbage, barking up an empty tree all night... But what do they do themselves? Bury stuff that will rot in secret and then dig it up and bury it again and rant and rave under empty trees! "