Just checking in

It’s been a busy week so my plans for twice weekly blogging have gone to pot. Hopefully I’ll find time for my planned post all about Alan very soon.

The fairies haven’t been back. They’ve been really busy, and it’s been too rainy for them to fly this weekend. Last Monday, I had a lumbar puncture and it’s left me feeling a bit under the weather. My day job was manic last week, I was working at home when I might otherwise have been writing. I’ve also lost access to my main email account so I haven’t had any WordPress updates for almost a week.

In more interesting news, we took Muchkin to the Lego Weekend at Bluebell Railway. As well as riding on the steam trains, she did a Lego mini figure hunt and won a lolly pop, completed a piece of Lego mosaic, and did some Lego building. She could have made a Lego train and taken it home but she already has one and didn’t want another.

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Still Away With the Fairies

This is an update on the Flippin’ Fairies post that I wrote a few days ago. I was woken up by the sound of pouring rain at 4:30am on Sunday morning. I dashed into the garden to rescue the fairy picture, and found that it was already soggy. Not wanting to leave it outside to disintegrate, I brought it indoors to dry, and began to concoct a story as to how I knew it was there. I went back to bed, but unfortunately couldn’t get back to sleep so I spent the whole day tired and grumpy.

When Munchkin woke up, I explained to her that I had seen the security light come on last night, and noticed that the fairies had left her a piece of paper. Not wanting it to be ruined, I had run outside to get it when I realised it was raining. She asked me if they left it when it was raining, and we agreed that obviously they didn’t, since fairies can’t fly in the rain.

She really liked the picture, and didn’t seem bothered that it was a bit wet. She asked if Blackberry could draw pictures of all the fairies. Thankfully, I managed to persuade her that Blackberry wouldn’t have time and it wouldn’t be fair on all the other children if she had to spend her time drawing pictures for Munchkin. She did go on to say that she’d like a picture of Blackberry. I’m sure Blackberry will oblige soon, but not right now. She’s a bit busy at the moment.

Munchkin also insisted on taking her picture to school. Her teacher asked if she would like to show it in assembly. She did. I’m wondering how many children are now thinking they’re lucky to have rare fairy photographs when most fairies don’t have cameras, and how many parents are cursing me (as I cursed the parents who provided fairy photos) for introducing the concept of Blackberry, the Fairy Artist!

Meanwhile, Munchkin’s cousin lost her first tooth at the weekend and received a very formal letter from the tooth fairy, instructing her to look after her teeth, and explaining the value of different quality milk teeth. All I can say is #flippinfairies!

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Fairy picture after it had been in the rain. It’s even more dog-earred since it’s been to school.

 

Flippin’ Fairies

A few weeks ago, Munchkin started making fairy houses in the garden. When I say, ‘fairy houses’, I mean piles of stones and shells. She asked me to help her write notes to the fairies; each one would have a question on it. The fairies would visit the garden overnight and answer her questions. It was all going really well until she asked me to write a note asking the fairies for a picture of them and their pets.

I didn’t have a problem with writing to fairies. When I was a little girl, I had a fairy ‘penfriend’ called Daisy Bell, who would answer my letters in the night and leave them by my pillow à la tooth fairy. When I asked her for a fairy stamp – this was during the brief period I was a stamp collector – she replied that fairies use a franking system so she couldn’t give me a postage stamp. I would have liked to give a similar answer to Munchkin’s question, but she kept insisting she wanted a photo. The problem has been created by other parents! She claims that one of her friends has a photo of the fairy who visits her garden.

I’m hoping to get round this problem by saying that most fairies don’t have cameras. I don’t mind drawing a fairy picture, but a photo is a bit of a tall order. Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths might have achieved this in the early twentieth century, but I don’t have the patience!

This is the note that the fairies have written to her. We somehow concluded that Tinkerbell of Disney fame and her pet ‘Cheese’ were visiting, along with a fairy called Sorrell, and ‘Harry’, her pet woodlouse.

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I drew Sorrell, Harry, Tink and Cheese after Munchkin had gone to bed. I hope she won’t be too disappointed that it isn’t a photo. I quite enjoyed drawing them, though I could have done with some better quality coloured pencils. If there are any artist types reading this, I’d be interested in your thoughts on whether coloured pencils are a suitable medium for grown-ups. I quite like the idea of water soluble pencils, since I like the effect of water colour but find drawing much easier than painting.

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I’m writing this overnight, so I’ll post an update to let you know Munchkin’s reaction. Her dad likes the picture, so I hope she will too.

 

A Gap in the Market

I had intended for this post to come later on in the scheme of things, but it was World Ovarian Cancer Day earlier this week, so now seems an appropriate time. I lost my mother-in-law to this horrible disease last year. When we realised that her days were numbered, I tried to find a book to read to Munchkin to help her prepare for what was coming, unfortunately the type of book I was looking for didn’t seem to exist.

I had many recommendations for children’s stories that deal directly and sensitively with death. The problem was, they all upset her so much that she couldn’t sleep. The only alternative suggested was The Paper Dolls, by Julia Donaldson. I was told that this dealt with permanent loss and memories living on. The problem was, it was so subtle. Munchkin just thought it was another nice story by The Gruffalo lady, whilst I was on the verge of tears because it reminded me of my own mother!

Munchkin did actually deal with the loss of her Nanny really well, but no thanks to any books we read. I felt there was a gap in the market for a story aimed at young children, which unequivocally deals with permanent loss, without mentioning death. I have already started writing the story, but it’s not finished yet.

Told through the eyes of a little girl called Lily, it’s the story of an alien whose space ship crashed on Earth many years ago. He has been accepted in the local community and is a popular grandfather figure with the children. He has the opportunity to finally return to his own planet – this will be a permanent move since he’s very old. Lily has to come to terms with him leaving but she accepts that they will always be thinking of each other, and if she’s feeling especially lonely, she only has to look at his special star in the night sky.

I promise that the other story I’ve written, and most of my other writing, is on a less serious subject. I just felt now was the right time to blog about this particular tale.

Photo credit: Foter.com


I’m looking to include this post in a Posts From The Heart linky, so am adding their badge. #PostsFromTheHeart

Mummy Times Two

Introductions

It’s nice to be blogging again. I used to blog purely about parenting, but I got bored and stopped. I carried on writing – mainly poetry at first, but then I started writing children’s stories. I spend a lot of time reading to my five year old daughter, and felt I’d like to write something for her. I have written short stories before, one even won a competition, but they’ve always been aimed at adults. I guess this is because “Munchkin” is my first child and I hadn’t had much exposure to children’s likes and dislikes before she came along.

Munchkin is five, and in her first year of school. She has a favourite toy dog called “Alan”. He was the inspiration for my first story, about “Davey Dog”, and the name of this blog. No doubt he will feature in future posts.

I’d like to illustrate the children’s stories I’m writing. I’ve got a GCSE in art, so there must be a bit of ability in me somewhere! At some point, I’ll probably write a few posts about illustration.

I might also write some more general posts about family life, parenting and creative writing, but I think I’ll just go with the flow. I need to transfer my Tots 100 membership to this blog, but baby steps and all that!

Well, that’s me and I hope to be back with my next post fairly soon.