Friday, 31 December 2010

seven swans and an otter


The sight of seven swans gliding down the river left Much speechless, so I'll do the blogging for him today. Prince Crown decided to bring his brothers and sisters, so they sailed past this morning before flying back to Swan Isle. Tide was awestruck, but of course Swanfeather had to jump in there with them.

For any of you who are waiting to hear from She of the Stories in person, she's just taking a bit of time out for Christmas and New Year and spending a bit of time with family, godfamilies, and friends. I happen to know that she is pinging to start writing again.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

six geese a laying

That lot indoors went off today to see her folks. More blooming birds! And only me here to shoo 'em all off the garden and chase 'em down to the river.They can lay all the eggs they like, we don't want 'em. And goslings may be very cute but they grow up stroppy and hissy. The only one around here that wants a goose is Younger Son. He was pecked by one in a park when he were little, and he's wanted to eat one ever since.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

five gold rings

Five gold rings? Now yer talking. Just wait till Lady Sunshine and the Lassie get 'ere, there'll be two pairs of earrings before you can say bling. And as for the fifth one, well, Lady Sunshine's gonner need one come the summer, in't she?

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

twelve days of Christmas according to Much

Lots of blooming birds. Why anyone would want to put a partridge up a pear tree is beyond me. Them turtle doves makes a right racket, I don't know what them French hens are talking about but it don't sound polite, and as for them calling birds. Four of 'em, at the corners of the garden, all yelling at each other 'over 'ere!' and 'oi!' and 'what?'. I told 'em, you can all sit in a tree and talk to each other quiet or I'm calling the cat. That fettled 'em.

So what's tomorrer?

Thursday, 23 December 2010

from all at the house of stories


All is ready for the festival. The year is turning, and the light coming, even though it doesn't feel like it when it's dark in the middle of the afternoon and every tree in Anemone Wood is coated with frost. So beautiful, and so bitter for the animals venturing out in it. They stay safe and warm in their homes as far as might be.

Everyone has the day off today, so the kitchen animals are sliding down from the Tower on tea trays. The Threading Makers are building snow hedgehogs, Sepia's choir are having a snowball fight, and Catkin... oh, now where has she got to...?



That Stephen wot does the garden, 'e come in 'ere on Tuesday when it were six degrees below freezing. 'Er Ladyship takes 'im a mug of coffee, stops for a blether, and they see this big funny looking duck bobbing down the river.

'I think it's a goosander, but I'm not sure' sez Stephen. 'Er didn't know, so she goes indoors, picks up the bird book and checks it. Sure enough, it's a goosander, and she goes out with the book to show him. The whole thing takes four minutes, by which time he's drunk his coffee and left the mug on a stone step. She tries to pick it up and she can't. It's frozen solid.

Laugh! I nearly fell off me snail.


From Tony, Margi, Wonderful Daughter, Lovely Older Son, Lady Sunshine, Lovely Younger Son, Hamilton Bear, the Mistmantle Animals, Hammy the Wonder Hamster, and all at the snowy, icy House of Stories beside the frozen river, we hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a Good New Year.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Had you guessed? So my best friend's family wanted to give her a special holiday as a birthday present, and decided that she needed someone to accompany her to Vienna, to chaperone/entertain/get lost in the snow with/drive her round the bend/speak bad German, whatever.

There isn't room to tell you all about the elegant houses, the gluhwein, the Lipizzaner horses, the ride in a fiacre, and the Christmas markets. Or even the snow, which drifted down all Tuesday and was so soft it blew around our feet and looked like mist. Oh, and we went to Mozart's house. He wasn't in, but we were able to wander through the rooms where he composed.

Oh, and the breakfasts. The Viennese do take food seriously. And I learned the sad story of lovely Empress Sissi.

And I remembered how good it is to get home and sleep in my own bed.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Away we go

My friend and I are going on a very special wee trip this weekend. Not telling you where, but we're hoping for snow (surprisingly, as we should be sick to death of it by now. But holiday snow is different.) See if you can guess it without any further clues. Tell you all about it when we get back. And, no, it isn't Lapland. I'm not that fond of snow.

The washing machine is working now, so I no longer need a crew of otters to swish it around in the bath. They can go and play in the river, which has changed colour since the thaw started. And I'll pack - which Terry Pratchett book will I take? Nobody else makes me laugh so much.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


Them folks must be filthy. Or fussy, I dunno. They're always washing. They wash themselves, they wash their clothes, they have a bloke with a ladder to clean the windows, they clean indoors, blimey, 'er even washes the floor, dunno why, it's there to be walked on. Me, I wait for it to rain, and I don't smell. Neither does me snail.

So, yesterday, they're both working downstairs when something in the kitchen went bang and the lights went out. Music on the radio stopped. Computer shut up. Now, I dunno what a trip switch is, but something tripped. Not surprised, if they leave it lying around, anyone might fall over it. Anyway, 'e tripped it back o again and everything was still working except the washing machine. Must have been the washer what went bang.

Now, if this were 'er Mistmantle island there'd be a load of animals and a washtub, and all them little critters would be jumping up and down on the clothes, making a great game of it. As it, 'er's packed him off to the laundery-ette. Reckon they'll be in there a lot this week.

Friday, 3 December 2010


Snow all around, as far as the eye can see, only that isn't very far when it's coming down so fast that you can't see the hills. All the plant pots have tall sparkling bonnets. There are powder puffs on the fence posts and any car that stays put for a day is snuggled under a snow duvet. Temperatures rarely rise above freezing. There are icicles hanging from the traffic lights.

Roads are dangerous, schools are closing, public transport is disrupted, and for two days there was no bread in the shops because the supplies weren't getting through. On Wednesday, a journey that should have taken Lovely Older Son half an hour lasted from eleven until well after three. People have been sleeping overnight in cars, trains, and lorries because nothing could move. Somewhere near Sheffield, the local Methodists have opened their church to provide shelter, food, sleeping accommodation, etc to all who need it and about seventy lorry drivers stayed there until they could move on.

It's only about six inches here, but in parts of Yorkshire, Northumberland and Scotland it's far worse. My sister in Northumberland now has waist deep snow. The forecast is for a slushy weekend, then more snow and ice.

It's dangerous, wet, freezing, and so, so beautiful. And the children will never tire of it.