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!

 

 

Wicken Fen

Earlier in the week  I headed off to Wicken Fen with my sons.   It was a wonderful weather and from the moment we left the car we saw some amazing stuff.    First up was a couple of tree sparrows having a dust bath and then a muntjac deer  mooching about under a hedge.

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A newly dusted Tree Sparrow

It was really good to see the sun and walk on the board walks through the reeds, chatting and taking in the sights and sounds.

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The Wicken Fen Windmill Pump through the reeds

We saw lots of butterflies but my favourite was the ‘brimstone butterfly’  it is always one of the first I see each year and up until now I have never managed a photograph of one as they are so fast and never seem to settle anywhere.  However my son spotted one stopping and and saw that on closer inspection it looked like a leaf,  not the bright yellow but a green.

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Brimstone

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Peacock

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Speckled Wood

We saw some birds from the hides dotted around the reed beds and I particularly liked my Moorhen with the reflections in the reeds.   The Long-tailed tit is a little blurred, as is the Marsh Harrier.    But seeing this majestic bird flying above the reeds was a really spectacular and my picture does not do it justice.

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Moorhen

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Long tailed tit

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Marsh Harrier

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 🙂

 

 

Butterflies

I have an ‘out of control’ buddleia’ in my garden and it is a cafe for the local butterfly population.

 Cafe Buddleia

I spent a long time getting these pictures, lots of missed shots, as soon as I had them in the viewfinder, ready to  focus and then they were gone….

‘Elusive Butterflies’ I thought and then this  brought to mind a song I used to hear when I was a child by Bob Lind.  It then brought lots of memories of  the record player at home, and  all the records in their paper sleeves.  My Mum and the garden, it all brought tears to my eyes.  Good times and wonderful memories.

A Red Admiral

A Peacock

Looking at the photographs now, I started wondering if butterflies remember and have memories about the time they were caterpillars?

Time, a trip and Pigneys Wood

Not been on here in while.   But now I am back and thought I would share some of the images I collected on my short trip to Norfolk over the weekend.  We visited Blickling Hall which was wonderful, the whole house was quite amazing the beautiful tapestries, paintings and furniture., however I did become a little obsessed with the wonderful clocks that were around the place.  A wonderful clock tower

The clock in the kitchen

They all got me thinking about “time”.  Where does all the time go?  I have been really bad recently on getting things done, there always seems to be a reason to put things off.   I am now trying to improve my management of time and doing things as they appear.  I am not sure if it helps but it certainly is less stressful!        We also visited a wonderful little place called Pigneys Wood ,  it was so lovely.   The following are some of the photographs I took.

 

Pig and Sidney my friends thought it a fantastic place to go!

An immature male, common darter.

I managed to take this photograph while we were walking along,  it is such a beautiful dragonfly.  Hopefully if “time” allows I will be back with another blog post soon!

Toadstools and Faeries

I went out for a short walk around our church and came across this arc of toadstools, or “faerie ring”.   It was really odd as just before I went out i had read a blog post on Chest of Delights and it was about faeries.  Faerie rings are supposedly a way into our world from the world of the faeries/elves/pixies.   So maybe we have a magical creature wandering around our village?   They were amazing to look at and I had never seen them on this patch of grass before.

Also I took some pictures of other things in the vicinity.   There is a plaque on the church wall commemorating the visit of  George V  in 1912.  He surveyed the troops outside of the church, during the Army manoeuvres  of 1912.  it is in a sorry state and we are hoping to get it renovated.   These are some of the words written on it.

George V.  R.I.

Our King in mellow autumn tide

Here viewed a bloodless fray;

May duty,  love and peace abide

To bless him day by day.

It was a delightful walk and the following photos are what I encountered!     Apologies for the obsession with ladybirds continuing in this post, but they do seem to be everywhere at the moment.

Ladybird gathering

 Ladybird at lunch

Just to prove the sun was out, Daisies

The Church sundial

Another mushroom,  but  a solitary one.  I love the edging pattern, its so beautiful.