Hay on Wye reflections

Last week we stayed near Hay on Wye for a family holiday, seven adults and two dogs and I had a lovely time catching up with reading and basically chilling out.   I went to Hay three times during the week and was taken by all the lovely displays and this window caught my eye and I love all of the reflections which are in it.   It has now become my background on my computer and it just makes me smile.Monkland Hay on Wye Weeds Horseheath 2017 (60 of 100)

This person reading made me want to make a similar piece for the school library.untitled (21 of 168)One of the highlights of the trip was finding a new author to read and having not read any Shirley Jackson I found two books by her and loved reading them.   Especially liked ‘We Have Always Lived in a Castle’ and was really taken with this fantastic book cover for ‘The Haunting of Hill House’,  so lovely reading a Gothic story and sitting in the warm sunshine.Monkland Hay on Wye Weeds Horseheath 2017 (33 of 100)Monkland Hay on Wye Weeds Horseheath 2017 (31 of 100)I had to mention the sweet shop and chocolate limes I saw and then bought,  the thrill of having them in a small paper bag,  the utter joy when I unwrapped one and popped it in my mouth.   It actually made me do lots of little claps and brought back memories of me eating them a long time ago when I went to the cinema to watch ‘An American Werewolf in London’,   it was really odd that a taste sensation brought back this memory.     My husband thinks I am a little mad after this strange episode and smiles whenever I mention them now.

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My son spotted this duck cane and asked me to take the picture.   I particularly like it has raindrops all over it, ducks do seem to love water!

It was a great week and I am now reflecting on it and thinking…

 

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Reading Out Loud at the Big Weekend

I was very luck to be a part of the Big Weekend in Cambridge, I volunteered to read stories to children in the Big Read Tent    I love reading out loud to children and it was a joy and a  real pleasure to do this.  I went along armed with some of my favourite illustrated books and did my half an hour on the stage (chair) doing something I love.

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The tent we were in was lovely and colourful and also a welcome relief for the parents and children from the very warm, sunny weather outside.  So with my ‘captive audience I read a variety of books and all fabulously illustrated my set list as follows

‘Ernest’ and ‘Augustus and his Smile’ by Catherine Rayner,

 ‘Puffin Peter’ by Petr Horacek,

‘Something Else’ by Kathryn Cave and Illustrated by Chris Riddell

‘Tidy’ by Emily Gravett

‘Crunch’ by Carolina Rabei

I had a wonderful  time and loved looking at the faces of my audience where some of them just had wonder in their expressions.

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Little Cat came along as my mentor and manager, making sure I stayed on track.

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Reading out loud to children is so important they hear stories being read and get to share with others,  it is also seeing that books are valued and stories mean something.    I was involved with Empathy Day earlier in June and it is was about raising awareness that   empathy can be understood through books and  by ensuring that children understand this and be aware of the thoughts and feelings of others  we can hopefully make our world a better place.

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I have to thank my son James for the photos as he came along with me,  I also embarrassed him a little as I introduced him to the audience and told them he had come to listen to his Mum reading out loud.

Also thank you to the wonderful Rae Snape for organising the Big Read Tent and the flamingo’s which now haunt me.

But that is another story!

 

 

Little Cat and the Linton Children’s Bookfest 2016

Linton Children’s Book Festival Saturday

Well what a day and it is only day one, I was lucky to be a part of the Book Festival in Linton, Cambridgeshire and I was exhausted at the end but my did I see some inspirational people.  Little Cat loved hobnobbing with the great and the good, the place was full of children and their families and the place was buzzing.  It is wonderful seeing people engaging with books and the written word and enjoying themselves.    I have only mentioned a few of the things I got to see but there was so much more.

I saw John McCambridge,  he drew some amazing dragons and all the children and adults involved were hooked, he was such a good speaker and I left just wanting to go and draw.

Listened to SF Said talking about his books Varjak Paw and  Phoenix,   he was a great speaker and made me smile as he told us about the amount of drafts it takes to make a great book.   I do believe Little Cat thinks he is the ‘bees knees’ as Varjak Paw is his hero.

I shed a tear when listening to the wonderful Martin Impey as he explained why and how he made the wonderful collection of books about World War I. ‘Where the Poppies Grow’ ‘The Christmas Truce’ and ‘Flo of the Somme’.    Such beautiful illustrations with the words of Hilary Robinson.  If you ever get a chance to see him do,  it is a real treat!

And last but not least I met the wonderful AF Harrold.  Poet, writer and performer and what a charming person he is.   Loving the poetry book I got him to sign ‘Things you find in a poet’s beard’.

The event is all free and it is a great community event being held at Linton Village College, this is where I am the librarian.   The volunteers and organisers  who mainly come from the village are the unsung heroes and without them this wonderful event would not happen,  so all they do is very much appreciated.   It is wonderful seeing people engaging with books and the written word.

Well  off to see more today!   I hope you all have a lovely Sunday, I know I shall 🙂

 

 

Solva Woollen Mill

We are having a few days away in Wales and yesterday took the opportunity to visit the Solva Woollen Mill where I have wanted to visit for some time.  It is a working mill and has lots wonderful things to see, but my reason for visiting is I have a great love of the work of Jackie Morris who is and writer and illustrator and she sells some of her work here.     On September 24th the launch of two of her books ‘Something about a Bear’ and ‘Cat Walk’ will be at the Solva Woollen Mill, unfortunately I cannot get time off to go as I work in a school.    So I ordered the two books in the Mill and was also very fortunate to be able to have a sneak preview of the books.   They are amazing, beautiful and inspirational!

My friend ‘Little Cat’ came along for the ride and had a grand time, he met ‘sheep’ and ‘Anna’ (the owner) and had a super time looking at books and doing some shopping.     He is very hopeful that as we have been entered into the prize draw he may win the wonderful painting of ‘Mary’

If you are ever near this part of the world the Solva Woollen Mill is a wonderful place to visit

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Poster advertising the upcoming launch of ‘Something about a Bear’ at the Solva Woollen Mill.

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‘Little Cat’ with his new friend ‘sheep’ looking at the purrfect cat book.

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‘Little Cat’ checking out the painting of ‘Mary’.

Lavenham Art Festival

I have just come back from the Lavenham Art Festival and really enjoyed being out and seeing some lovely things.  I especially got a thrill in the Wildlife Art Gallery where I saw the amazing work of Andrew Haslen.   Little Cat asked the owner of the gallery  if he could have his photo taken with some of the art and here it is.  Little Cat is a little fuzzy, but it was more important to get the art in focus reflections and all.

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I purchased a book from the gallery  called “The Winter Hare” which is by Andrew Haslen and have only just put it down to do this blog post.   It is a wonderful book and hares and fabulous artwork abound throughout. 

 

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I saw some other artists working in the market place.,  the women above were spinning wool and had quite a gathering around them.

I also saw another artist making a life size sculpture of a horse, below are the two photographs which I took of this.

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Feather Inspiration and various places

I found a beautiful crow feather on the back field. It has inspired me to make some gift tags with ink and watercolour, I am actually very pleased with them and later today I hope to be experimenting and adding some fabric. It’s all a bit scary I am actually doing something creative!

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Last weekend we went to Columbia Road Flower Market in East London. I wanted some plants to put in pots by our back door, the rose, chocolate cosmos and delphiniums seem to be ideal and I love the colours .

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On the wall where we parked was this amazing piece of art, a great big giant rat.

It made me smile and on looking around I saw this much smaller piece of wall art, at which point I started me giggling.

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Later on in the week I travelled to Cheshire to see my Mum and sisters and spent a pleasant morning at Snugburys, where delicious ice cream was consumed and we visited the Da-Lick. A wonderful tribute to Dr WHO, a giant dalek made of straw. I have taken lots of pictures and will be using them during our Dr WHO day which is happening at the school where I work in October.

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Da Lick aka Dalek

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Also there I met up with some lovely pigs!

 

Jackdaws

I went to see my Mum up in Cheshire a few days ago, she still lives in the same house that I grew up in and there are lots of fond memories.   On this visit I saw that the jackdaws were back,  their noisy raucous calls and then their comical walking on the roof and chimney pots.  My previous camera never got  close to them but on this occasion a much better result.

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On getting back home I did this ink drawing of him/her.   I was reasonably pleased with the result, but alas  my husband is in shock!  I managed to do some art.

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My mums garden is wonderful and during the summer you can always find some passionflowers, they are so wonderfully delicate looking and the colours.

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New this year were the foxgloves I wanted to bring them home.

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While I was there my Mum showed me a cardigan she had just finished.  The knitting yarn was lovely and she then told me she had bought it about 45 years ago and had never used it. So of course I had to take a picture of this old ball of yarn.

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As always Barney was a delight to be with,  he is so adorable posing with one of his gnome friends.