Monday, 28 June 2010


Blooming footie were rubbish. I've 'ad enough of watching that lot through the window and gone back to me snail. Took a bit of finding, mind, it's like a jungle down there. Her should have sorted it by now, she said she 'ad a my-grain, blimey, I don't care whose grain it is, she should leave it where it is and get down this blooming garden.

Mind you, them ferns and stuff are nice and shady and it's hot enough to fry eggs on me 'ead this weather. I could do with a kip, and 'er needs to get to work. Then again, there's tennis on the telly. Times like this 'er suddenly remembers 'er Scottish roots and shouts 'gie't laldy, Andy Murray!'

Whatever that means.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

one of those weeks

Lots of work to do this week. I should be writing constantly. And I am doing lots of writing, honestly, but -

the two 'days out' that I bought at a promises auction have both happened within the last week, so I've been to Harlow Carr gardens with Daphne and Skipton (wonderful Cornerstone bookshop) with Debbie.

The visit to Harlow Carr meant a lot more gardening to be done. As the weeds are taking over the world, it needs doing anyway.

Lots of mail arrived from Hyperion, some of which has been with them for a while, so that all needed to be answered.

Following the visit of a mouse to the toy cupboard at Toddler Group, all the toys have had to be taken out and washed.

WHile I'm not into football myself, it's a good idea to keep half an eye on it so I know if my sons are going to be traumatised.

And it's Wimbledon fortnight.

I did suggest to a certain royal person that I could do with a few hedgehogs to help in the garden and a secretary, a squirrel to take the post out, and a washer-otter to keep things going while I write/watch the tennis. 'Tennis?' he asked. 'What's that?' So now every able-bodied animal in Mistmantle is at it.

But I have been writing. : )

Thursday, 17 June 2010

puffins and squirrels

Thank you to Nels, who sent a swan to let me know that the post had arrived. Brightwing is now resting on the river and enjoying the sunshine before flying home. She is breathtaking, and the ducks are terrified.

I was in London this week for the Puffin party. Oh, how I love Puffin! I could never have imagined, in the days when I read The Jolly Postman to my children, that one day I would be in a posh London venue with a glass of champagne in my hand, listening to Alan Ahlberg make a speech about how great it is for all of us to work for Puffin. Me and Alan Ahlberg. Us Puffins.

The next day, I popped into the Victoria and Albert to find that they had a new exhibition of architecture for small spaces. On the lawn is a construction called Ratatosk. Hard to describe - see if you can find it on a website - but it's made of ash trees sculpted and made into sort of arched pavilion. It's beautiful, and not only are you free to walk into it and touch it, it even has footholds cut into it so children can climb on it.

I learned that Ratatosk is a squirrel from Northern mythology. He sits in an ash tree at the centre of the world and takes messages between earth and heaven and the underworld.

I always knew squirrels were at the centre of the universe!

Sunday, 13 June 2010


Strange! I wrote a blog entry on Friday, tried to post it, and it vanished. I'm deeply suspicious as to what will happen to this one.

Yesterday was all a bit strange. Pleasant sort of strange. I was in York for a study day, shared with excellent company in a beautiful environment. Nearby an order of nuns were having a big gathering day, and the younger and more able bodied were looking after the old, lame, and wheelchair bound, all of whom had that deeply joyous look that elderly nuns do have. A group of Geordie ladies were sitting at a table outside having morning coffee in the sun.

It was a race day, so lassies in in the sort of outfits you only wear for races or weddings were teetering up and down the street on scary heels, accompanied by cocky young men and swaggering older ones. And of course the streets were full of large and cheerful blokes in red and white shirts, curly wigs, face paint...

I don't mind the football, it's the tat I can't stand. Oh, and the noise.

If this post gets through, please send a swan over the mists to let me know.

Sunday, 6 June 2010


Can't hardly see out of me shrubs these days. What 'appens is, we get a few days of sunshine then a lot of rain, and before you can say snail the garden's shooting up like the blooming beanstalk. What with brackens and buttercups you could lose a small child or a dog in there. Come to think of it, 'er's five foot three and you could lose 'er in it.

Last night, she wanders out with a glass in her hand. Not a pair of shears, a glass. She settles herself down and says - isn't it lovely sitting out here on a summer evening! Scuse me, missus, isn't lovely sitting out here on a snail with a cotoneaster halfway up his shell and bracken on me 'ead! Like being in a blooming jungle.

If you see 'er, tell 'er to stop sitting around in the sun and get out and sort her garden. And I wouldn't mind a change of direction, neither.