Saturday, 29 May 2010


Why are they complaining about the rain? It's all water, and water is good! Bit cold, though, where She of the Stories lives, so she arrived in Mistmantle today. Funny how she can just do that. No swans, no tunnels, she just does it.

Apparently it's a bit freezing in Yorkshire today. I believe the white wreaths of mist look very pretty lifting off the hill. She bought summery fruit and veg today anyway, because she likes it, so they've been huddled around the fire eating summer quiche and little tomatoes. They're a funny lot. By the way, it's beautiful summer on Mistmantle, and we're already thinking about how to celebrate Midsummer. Definitely something to do with food. I can't understand why Urchin won't eat a nice bit of fish, can you?

Monday, 24 May 2010

noodles poodles apple strudels and other things that made me laugh

Yesterday, I was telling some small children about what happened at Pentecost, and said that the disciples all started speaking in languages they'd never learned, and saying words they'd never known, like bienvenu, guten morgen, bravissimo, apple strudel - at which they all fell about laughing, because apple strudel is one of those naturally funny words. I think I once told you that I love words that end in 'le' or sound as if they do. So when we went back into church I was thinking of noodles, poodles, and apple strudels.

I look forward to your thoughts about noodles, poodles, and apple strudels. Or fiddles, riddles, and taradiddles. (I believe taradiddles is a rhythm that drummers use.)

And later I had one of those 'I'm sorry, but it's so funny' moment. Delightful younger son just lent me another Terry Pratchett, 'Guards! Guards!'. I just started reading it in bed last night when husband was dozing off to sleep. There's a long exchange of passwords in the pouring rain, then the door opens - well, eventually, because 'the Door of Knowledge Through Which the Untutored May Not Pass sticks something wicked in the damp.'

So I lay awake giggling helplessly with my teeth clenched. Shaking. I hope I didn't wake him up, but I probably did.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

virtual dolphin

This morning I was riding a dolphin across the sea. Well, sort of. It was toddler group today, and the alternative to a delightful small boy falling off a low level seesaw was for me to sit at the other end. These things may be sturdy, but they're not built for anyone over thirty-six inches tall. Still, the seesaw was a dolphin, we rode across the sea, escaped from pirate ships, got caught in storms and whirlpools (that bit was hard work) and fell in. Then we did it all again. Imagination is a wonderful thing. Dignity - well, I never did have much of that.

Have you read Happy Holidays, Hammy the Wonder Hamster yet? Quick, before he has his next adventure.

Oh, my legs will hurt for a week after that seesaw.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

much and such

Everybody wants to be on the blog today, so

Bloomin' 'eck, 'ers been to the garden centre again, and we know what that means. 'Er and 'er friend went off on Wednesday and came back with them gro-bags and stuff, and summat to put in 'em. Tomaters and beans and stuff. Chances are the slugs'll have 'em, and them things are cheap in the shops anyway come summer. Mind, I saw some strawberry plants in there and I'm partial to a few strawberries. 'Er won't notice, not with all them 'olly'ocks and snapdragons and acky-leejy things to talk to.

Mistmantle seems to be all quiet just now, so I've hung up the Oakleaf Crown for the afternoon and gone out to see the island in spring. The blossom is still on the fruit trees, until a gust of wind sends a shower of petals over us. For some of the little ones it's their first spring, and all this is new to them. They've never seen bluebells before, or wriggly tadpoles. They're making daisy chains and planting out their own little gardens when they're not chasing each other up trees and down tunnels. Hide and seek is much more fun now that the trees are in leaf and everything's growing, and there are more places to hide. Fingal's repainting his boat, Urchin seems to spend a lot of time with Sepia just now, Oakleaf is learning to swim, and Catkin - oh, she's just Catkin.

Thank you, Your Majesty. And now, especially for the overseas readers - we now have a coalition government between the Conservatives and the Libdems. We have a Conservative Prime Minister, David Cameron, with five Libdem MPs in the Cabinet, including the Libdem leader as Deputy PM. To me, it's not the best possible outcome. But it's the one we've got, so let's hope good comes of it.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

strange times

For all of you - the garden is full of frilly tulips and dandelions, the bluebells are coming up and it's been as cold as Siberia for a week. Husband gave the grass its first cut last week but it doesn't look cut, it looks chopped. Hammy is winning new fans at a wheel-spinning rate, and the study looks like a bomb site. The laddie mended the cow clock, so for the first time in a while we have a clock with a terrifying cow that pops out and moos loudly at you on the hour.

For non UK readers, we have had our general election and don't have a clue about who's running the country. No party had a clear majority so Labour and Conservative are hurling themselves at the feet of the Liberal Democrats offering cabinet posts, everlasting love, free sweeties, and even electoral reform. This looks like very good news for the LibDems, but how do you make those decisions without selling your soul? The Prime Minister has offered his resignation.

Perhaps we should ask the queen to take over and do it herself. I'll help her, if she likes.

Where's Crispin of Mistmantle when you need him?

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


Oh, I've been so busy promoting my new book, I forgot what we called it! I've been telling you it was Ahoy There Hammy the Wonder Hamster, and it isn't, it's called HAPPY HOLIDAY, HAMMY THE WONDER HAMSTER! I made that mistake because it was going to be Ahoy There, but that's what you say when you're on a boat and I don't do boats, and besides, Happy Holidays is better, so it's Happy Holiday Hammy the Wonder Hamster, and it's so exciting, and there was that man in the boat and I'm not sure where the boat went, and...

Calm down, Hamilton. I do apologise for the confusion. It's Happy Holiday, Hammy the Wonder Hamster. When you have a hamster on a wheel going round in your head all day, you do get confused. He's looking forward to his new book being in the shops.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Vote Hamster!


Apart from a general election, that is. If you're eligible to vote, vote. If not, have a think about what's worth voting for. If you're too young to vote, make sure the adults around you (1)get off their bottoms and down to the polling station and (2) ORDER OR BUY 'AHOY THERE HAMMY THE WONDER HAMSTER' in which our hamster hero (with Bethany) goes to the seaside to stay with Bethany's grandparents. An exciting story of fur, flags, castles, gallant rescues and people getting wet. Don't you just love a hamster with attitude? Come to think of it,

He's clever, he's cute, he's loyal, he's brave, and he's great in a crisis. Brown, Cameron and Clegg, stand aside! HAMMY FOR DOWNING STREET!