The old fairy stories are not known for their strong female roles. Off the top of my head, there seem to be four main types of women who constantly appear… Continue reading Shining Armour Loses its Shine
I popped this photo in my Pictures folder a while ago now, and keep seeking it out because I love everything about it… Continue reading One Great Photo: Skate Girls of Kabul
Daisy and Will had a hard time in ‘The Curtain Twitcher’s Handbook’, they really did. What with restless ghosts and an age-old murder-mystery, uncomfortable high-school shenanigans and a terrible family tragedy, they didn’t get much of a break.
So to call them back and make them go through even more seems so, so cruel! In two minds as to whether or not to inflict another helping of torture, I thought it would be good if they talked it over first. And so they did… (Contains Spoilers!)
DAISY: “We have to fall out.”
DAISY: “It’s our second book together. We have to fall out in this one.”
WILL: “Why?” Continue reading “Sequel Cliches: A Character Chat”
Within a few moments, the kitchen hands had a fire lit. Free and unburdened by work, there seemed to be a magic about them tonight on the Eve of May. Sparks seemed to fly from their hands as if they were witches.
The kitchen girls produced food as if from nowhere. Their hands were empty and then suddenly full. Of things like a whole clove-studded ham, freshly baked loaves, mincemeat pies and honey cakes.
The washerwomen unfurled the largest of blankets, which seemed to float over the glade like a ship’s pennant before landing in the perfect picnic square.
The cleaning girls pulled wooden sticks from the fire and touched them to a million candles in a million lanterns. They peppered the clearing and hung about the trees, as bright as captured stars.
The village girls arrived bearing jars of jams and pickles, and jugs of ale from the tavern, their cheeks rosy and warm from the walk through the dark woods. They greeted the castle workers with whoops of joy and tender embraces. Most of them were related, after all. Mothers, daughters, aunts and cousins.
Catalina was awestruck. She had never seen anything so magical or so perfect. It was hard to connect these people with the downtrodden, subservient characters that ordinarily toiled in her world.
Someone showed her to a space on the blanket. Another handed her a silver goblet, full to the brim with ruby red wine. She drank half of it down immediately. The youngest serving girl, Joan, approached her, goaded by all the others. She brought out a crown of hawthorn blossom from behind her back.
Dropping a curtsy, she said: “We wish to crown you the May Queen, my lady.”
“Me?” Catalina replied, delighted. “It would be the greatest of honours.”
She rose up onto her knees and bowed her head solemnly. Joan placed the blossom crown on her head and everyone clapped.
“What do I have to do?” Catalina asked Maude, her nursemaid.
“You have to start the proceedings,” Maude replied. “Oh, look, my daughter’s here!”
And then Maude abandoned her. But Catalina had been waiting for many years for Maude to abandon her, so she didn’t care one bit.
“What do we do first?” she called out to the nearest girls. “And can we please do everything?”
But nobody had chance to answer her because, just then, there was a strange rumbling noise in the glade. There was a lot of ‘shushing’, and the women fell quickly silent, listening hard. Catalina stared along the hidden path to the right of The Tree as the rumbling came closer.
“It’s Boboli!” A washerwoman exclaimed.
She was greeted with disbelief.
“It can’t be…”
“Don’t be ridiculous…”
“He isn’t due this year…”
But the rumbling came nearer and, just as Catalina’s eyes were burning with the strain of staring, a black horse walked into the clearing pulling a black covered wagon, on which was written in gold the legend ‘Boboli ~ Who Knows All That Is Worth Knowing’.Continue reading “‘Do Not Mistake Love for Happiness…’”
In which Dr Williams comes across another strange petition in the intriguing medieval Blackwood archives… Continue reading Begging Letter #4: Tree-Climbing Sheep
You never need to throw writing away, because every piece of writing contains something useful. Continue reading Writing and Cucumbers
Has anyone else had the odd experience of coming across their fictional character’s name in an obscure place? This is the first time it’s happened to me, and it felt like a lovely little link had been made between the real world and my imaginary one, and gave me a warm glow for the rest of the day 🙂
Daisy May’s bike was leaning up against a fence in the old (for New Zealand) town of Lawrence in Otago, half a world away from Daisy’s home. It might have been ironic, because Daisy is highly allergic to exercise, but it would be just like her to have a bike that was only useful as decoration.
Has something similar happened to you? I’d love to hear about it!
Daisy May plays a hopeless game of netball – an excerpt from ‘The Curtain-Twitcher’s Handbook’
When I got to the Sports Hall, the teams were already being selected.
“Aah, there you are, Daisy,” said Mrs Bennett. “You were meant to be choosing today but I wasn’t sure where you’d got to.”
I closed my eyes briefly, thanking whoever was in charge of this whole mess that I hadn’t had to choose a team from amongst all these people who hated me. A small reprieve.Continue reading “I found Daisy’s Bike!”
Witches don’t exist. Not the ones who fly around on broomsticks cackling at the moon and turning people into frogs. That was all made up by some nasty men to get rid of little old ladies who knew a lot about plants and healing, but not much about the Lord. Of course, that’s a very broad sweep over the subject because I can’t go into it now.Continue reading “Can a Witch REALLY Turn You into a Toad?”
I want to hear about it… the odder the better!
I’ll start you off…
Most odd jobs are summer holiday jobs. Students with a chocolate addiction, like me, had to make enough money to feed their habit with Cadbury’s Buttons, Mars Bars and Double-Deckers. They are generally not fussy about what they do because it’s only for six weeks, after all.
Funnily enough, I often get a bit nostalgic about my summer jobs simply because a few of them were so very odd, and odd things don’t happen quite as much any more.
Here are a couple of my oddest jobs:Continue reading “What was your Oddest Job?”
The incidence of people coming into the cafe in their PJs must have been fairly high to warrant a sign on the front door Continue reading A Little Under-dressed