Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Now that the schools are back, everybody's catching colds. Lady Sunshine was sneezing last week and I didn't want to catch it, so I hid behind the settee. At present, if I sneeze, my back hurts.

This makes me wonder about something. In the UK, most people of my generation upwards were taught that you shouldn't stay off work/school unless you have two broken limbs and pneumonia. Across all the generations, it seems to be normal that if you have a cold you take some powders and potions, struggle into work or school, and get on with it.

I think somebody once told me that it's different in the US. Apparently, there it's considered anti-social to go into work snuffling and sneezing and spreading your germs around. You're supposed to stay home till you're better. This sounds much more sensible to me, but is it true? Can anyone from the US advise me?

Today is the Festival of St Michael and All Angels. Happy Angel Day, everyone.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

lying in wait

We now have a gardener, and he is doing an amazing job. He has cleared out several tons of jungle, removed the ivy which threatened to wreck the steps, and generally sorted it. We haven't yet told him about Much, hidden amid the ferns.

What do you think? Should we warn Stephen, or should we wait until he pulls out a handful of weeds and finds a grinning chap on a snail? Much isn't scary, so he might be a pleasant surprise.

Captai Padra sits outside, too, overlooking the river. He was once by a pond in the garden of my much-loved Uncle Gordon, and after he died Padra came home with me. He stands overlooking the river and generally keeping an eye on things in his usual way - easy-going, but never missing a thing.

Friday, 17 September 2010

oh, what a shower

Sorry I've neglected you. My back, which was improving, suddenly got a lot worse. This was very frustrating, just when I was looking forward to being normal again. Now I do everything very slowly and can't sit at a computer for long, so the blog has suffered.

I could have asked someone from Mistmantle to help, but autumn is a very busy time on the island and I don't like to bother them. Hamilton hamster is busy inventing a hamster-friendly bicycle and Much - well, I now have a gardener and if Much starts off on this subject I'll never shut him up.

Before I was crocked I was looking for a new raincoat, a mac to replace the wee showerproof jacket I've had for at least ten years. Can anyone tell me why macs usually tie around the middle? It might look very elegant on a leggy model, but I'm five foot three and anything that ties round the middle makes me look like something in a field with straw hair and a post holding me up. All I want is a longish swingy coat with a hood, a subtle colour, and a reasonable price tag.

In the meantime, I'll go out in the rain in my old jacket. Hang on, there's this post down the back...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


I was telling a reader about Rosie today, and she suggested Rosie should do a blog. Rosie herself is extremely shy, but as I'm her adoptive mother I'll tell you about her.

Rosie is a very beautiful roe deer who was spotted by a member of the public with her leg caught in a fence. They very sensibly contacted those amazing people at Tiggywinkle's, who came out, rescued her, and took her back to St Tiggywinkle's Hospital to attend to her injured leg.

Rosie needed surgery, which was successful, so she still has the use of all four legs. However, she'll never be fast enough or strong enough to be released to the wild, so she has a new home in the safety of the deer paddock at Tiggywinkles, where I hope to visit her one day. And so I hope, will you.

As my foster-deer, she's a member of the House of Stories community. We are highly privileged to have her.

Monday, 6 September 2010


TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL, HAMMY THE WONDER HAMSTER! This is Hamilton Hamster, guest blogging for Poppy Harris or Margi or whatever she calls herself, to tell you about my most exciting adventure yet, and I'm so excited I can't run over the keys fast enough, to teellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyybnm,./ oops I fell off the keyboard.

This is the book about when I met a trombone. I love trombones, even when they make rude noises, (and they make lots of those, especially when you're first learning). And there's a monster in the book, too. Honestly, I don't know why Bethany's mum lets it in the house.

Book comes out this week - get hold of it at once!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

new things

New month today! And a new season, but it doesn't look like autumn. It looks like high summer, with the sun shining beautifully and not a cloud in the sky, and, yes, the schools go back tomorrow. Grrrr.

New book. Too Cool for School, Hammy the Wonder Hamster, is released next week. My favourite Hammy book! Hammy will no doubt tell you all about it soon.

New friends! Lady Sunshine is in the process of moving house, so in the meantime her cuddly toys are at Hamilton's Holiday Home with our cuddly toys. Between them, they are taking over. There's a duck hiding under chair cushions so it quacks when anyone sits down. A large rabbit is draped over the back of the settee, the lemur usually ends up round my neck, and you can't get up the stairs for the bears. Should I pack up a picnic?

Daughter goes home today. Boo-hoo. It's been so good having her here. Drive safely, darling.