Sunday, 31 August 2008

Sunday's Child...

I awoke this morning abruptly... having had a delicious 8 hours sleep.. aided by a small white pill that I finally surrendered to. I have not slept well for many nights..days.. weeks partly due to a grotty viral chest infection (many thanks for all your get well messages) and probably due to all the excitement of the last couple of weeks... I was in desperate need of restorative sleep to bring some equilibrium back to my waking day.
With this wealth of sleep last night.. I dreamed of many things and as dreams are an eclectic picture show of all the clutter in mind.. they delivered some interesting images..
I dreamed that I was like Alice in Alice in Wonderland .. wandering through an enchanted world. As I rarely remember my dreams on waking .. I did however manage to hang on to the last few seconds as I woke to the reality of a cup of tea clattering into the room on the end of beloved's arm..
The images that I have captured in my mind were of brightly coloured lollipops and biscuits made in the shape of rabbits with pink stripy icing and bow ties.. a Christmas stocking full of jewel like boiled sweets and sugar canes, rainbow coloured popcorn and pretty pastel sugared almonds..
I wish I could have slept just a little longer so as to taste one of these surreal confections..

A game I often played as a child was to imagine stepping in to another world.. a miniature landscape... in short.. a dolls-house.
The charming little book 'The Tale of the Two Bad Mice' by Beatrix potter was certainly at the centre of this endless fantasy of mine..
I longed to shrink inside this miniature house and wander around the rooms, trying out the furniture and becoming part of this enchanted world as Tom Thumb & Hunca Munca the two delinquent mice did.. but I would refrain from vandalism on finding that the plaster dolls-house food was not very palatable..
Encapsulating little worlds within worlds was my inspiration behind my Cowboys & Custard nostalgia box frames.. and a life long fascination in the minutiae of life...I was so enraptured with the story of the two mice moving in to the dolls-house that I decided to write my own when I was 10 years old and miraculously I have managed to keep this book and discovered it buried deep in a drawer in my bulging bureau the other day.
It brought back a flood of memories ... from scribbling down the the drawing the characters Jane and Peggy... I am not sure they were meant to have had perma tans.. or impossibly long legs.. just a little wishful thinking on my part methinks!I was reminded of my love for dolls-houses in particular when reading Liz's brand new blog..The Washer Woman.. where she has shared one of her much treasured homes for little people..

It is said that everyone has a book in them and I would like to think that one day I could write another but I wrote unselfconsciously in those youthful years and without constraints... I followed my fantasy and whims and wrote for myself.. which is so much easier than satisfying an audience..
If you could write a book what would it be about and what would be your inspiration behind it..?

I will pick out my favourite book from the comments and award with a small Cowboys & Custard looking glass.... one that Alice might have tucked away in her pocket maybe..!
Just leave your literary offerings and I will choose my favourite on Sunday 7 th September 5.00 p.m ...Bonne Chance mes amis!

My next instalment will tell of my meeting with a lovely lass..and her amazing new business venture!

Tune in to Cowboys & Custard in the next few days!


Gill at Lucy Locket said...

Oh what a lovely post,I loved that book too, another favourite was Five Dolls in a house by Helen Clare, and I used to fantatise that I lived with Vanessa, Jane, Amanda, Jacqueline and Lupin in the house! Lupin was my favourite because I felt sorry for her, and Monkey scared me a bit!
If I could write a book it would be about family life with old-fashioned values and lifestyle,influenced heavily by Enid Blyton.A bit like my own childhood I guess and one I've tried to give to my own children.
I read today that Jules Oliver has just written a children's book in much the same vein, take a look, what a nice lady she is.

Your book is wonderful, and your handwriting was so neat for a 10 year old. I'm sure there's another book in you, maybe you should give in to your imagination. BTW I dreamt last night that I got up to go to the boot sale, looked out of the window and saw deep snow in the middle of summer. When I actually got up this morning to go to the boot sale, I looked out of the window and saw really heavy mist....spooky!
Gill x

Garden Girl said...

I actually think there should be some kind of law where everyone HAS to write a book in their lifetime. Would be rather interesting. Although mine probably wouldn't! Despite that I have two chapters of an as yet unfinished novel sat upstairs. One day it will be finished, despite my nervous laughter and wittering whenever someone asks me what it's about. I never really have an answer ready that doesn't sound ridiculous in my head....just about...'stuff', really!
Glad you're starting to feel better. Have an irritating cough that is starting to annoy everyone around me!

Elizabeth said...

I'd love to be able to write a really good thriller. I'm addicted to Ruth Rendell / Barbara Vine thrillers and would love to be able to write a page-turner well as she does.

Glad to hear you managed a good night's sleep. If I don't take a small white pill of some sort each night then I get no sleep at all. It's a pain but I've learnt to live with it.

Kitschen Pink said...

What a lovely post - and amazing that you still have your book! I think we all made our people have permatans. They never quite developed a felt tip pen which could do satisfactory skin colour and coloured pencils were just SO yesterday! Love it! t.x

LiLi M. said...

I'm sorry to hear that you haven't been feeling well. I do hope that this good nights rest will help you. I will not bother you with dutch so unknown writers and I don't have to, because Enid Blyton was hot here too! I didn't know yet that her style was 'flat character writing'. I definitely wanted to be a writer when I was about 10. One of the most fun parts would be that the bad character in my book, or probably all book series, would be named Sonja, after a girl in my class, that wouldn't hesitate to tell lies about me to her mother and her mother would inform other children. With no succes by the way. But I never felt so frustrated. Hahaha it's like lying on Freud's couch here! I don't have a particular book of Enid Blyton in mind, as a loved all Pity's, all Twins and all Group of fives.
I was just going to write the exact same thing about the permatans as Kitchen Pink. She is right. Have a good day!

Ragged Roses said...

Hello Michele this is such a delightful post, I loved it! My little girls had the same skin colour as yours too! Well, I think you know what my story would be about - two little girls who grew up loving the same things, had a life of real and imaginary adventures and met up by chance years later to find that they could both once more be little girls again!

Simone said...

Your handwriting and illustrations look so advanced for a 10 year old. Clever you! If I were to write a book it would be about a sweet shop that sold pastel coloured sugar dolls in lace rice paper dresses. All the sweets would be unique and forever changing. Some sweets would have special powers and grant wishes. The shop window would revolve and show a different selection of sweets each day! I am getting carried away now!!!

April said...

Sorry you've been ill, hope you're soon feeling better.

When I was a little girl I had a set of china Robertsons Golliwogs who were set out like a band and i wrote a story about them seeking fame and fortune. I used to love writing stories and have hazy memories of an adventure i wrote called "A Hole in the Fence", I would love to be able to re-visit this and finish it properly I am pretty sure I was influenced by the Narnia books

April xx

Katherines Dream said...

I do hope that grotty infection leaves soon.
My nights have been quite bad lately, hot, cold, hot, drives me mad!
I remember making little book too Michele, I do wish I still had them.
How lovely for you to be able to pass this little bit you onto your family.
I do love all of your little people that you use in your box frames, I can see that I could become quite addicted to them!Hurry up and get well soon dear friend.
Carol xx

Redwoodhouse said...

What a delightful post and my my I just love the thoughts of rainbow coloured popcorn and a black and white movie, maybe Rebecca or something with Cary Grant!
A book thats a tricky one, it would have to be happy, funny, a little sentimental, involve adventures in a boat on the River Severn which has wonderful swimming creatures good ones and not so good ones, an enchanted wood (called Redwood!!)have a dog that doesn't die,a little magic maybe and a unexpected twist towards the end with a really feel good finish. Something children love to read and an adult would look forward to reading to a child.

Pondside said...

I enjoyed your post very much - a lovely trip down my childhood 'literary lane'. My sisters and I read Enid Blyton's books about the fifth formers at St Clare's. We had a cast of characters that we acted out - to this day we call one another by the three names - I'm Marjory Jam - and dissolve into helpless laughter at the private jokes from our childhood.

LOUISE said...

So sorry to hear you have been feeling under the weather Michele. The dull, damp days couldn't have helped and you have been very busy of late. By the sounds you need a few days to recharge the old Duracells! I know I wouldn't ever be able to right a novel, but I could possibly manage a book for children which had lovely illustrations, drawn by someone else of course, and very few words, I would think on the subject of nature. If Madonna and Fergie can do it, I am sure I could, with their PR person pulling some strings! x

silverpebble said...

Loved your post and that little book! Also rather taken by that world in your dream - it sounds wonderful - I'd like a little trip there myself.

I'm afraid my book would be neither very romantic nor escapist. It would be a manual on how to survive colic and emerge with most of your marbles still intact! It might have pretty pictures though, of Country Living -style interiors to provide just a little eye candy for jaded mums.

the flour loft said...

this post is delightful... i love it. your sweet drawings and lovely to rediscover it. i love secret worlds and magical places... the secret garden always appealed to me.. places where time stands still connecting the past and present. ooh i am off dreaming now...
sorry to hear you have not been feeling well Michele...too much excitment maybe?!
take care, warmest wishes
ginny xx

Elizabeth said...

Fun post to read on a lazy holiday here in the States. Don't you just love a good nights sleep. The pictures of your book are so cute! They remind me of a couple that I have of mine that I did in school when I was 7 and 8 years old. The drawings are the best part!:)
If I could write a book, I would love to do one on how people met their significant other I did a post on it not too long ago and was hoping more people would tell their story. The ones that I did get were darling. Every one has a neat story on how they met their Love and I want to read a whole bunch of them!!:)

Dana Jones said...

I have actually written a mini book many years ago which I am going to bind for my nieces and nephews for Christmas this year. It is about how we celebrated Christmas when I was a child, including details of how we'd gather around the fireplace and char our marshmallows in the ashes. It also chronicles the year my grandmother bought me matching gloves and scarf for a coat which Santa brought me. It seemed to me she had an inside with Santa to know what color to buy. From my questions, my grandmother gave me a phrase I have used all my life, which is "A little birdie told me!" I plan to photograph vintage ornaments from my collection, including my pink felt stocking with white rabbit fur trim from my youth!

I hope the books become treasures my nieces and nephews will appreciate for many years, and even share with their children some day!

Now I'd better get busy to finish by Christmas!

Dana Jones said...

p.s. I feel sad that I did not know you had been ill. I hope you have a warm cup of tea with honey and some warm chicken soup too!

Emma Herian said...

Michele, so sorry you have been unwell and I have been so wrapped up in my world not to notice. It must be such an exciting time for you - I wish I could be part of it but I will be tied up here with the Open House. I really loved that book, for some reason I felt sad for the wooden doll..... but the food I did like!?
Joe and I have always had this silly story that over the years my family have added, its about Joe but he is a mouse who lived under the pier in a box, he had a tupperware box attached which was his conservatery, the garden was the beach...... it went on quite madly various silly chapters (people he met, stormy days, food left by day trippers etc....)
We have said that we should write it, Joe could do the illustarations, maybe the mouse met his lady mouse and the final chapter is that they marry!?

Get well very soon.
XX Emx

This Vintage Life... said...

What a lovely post...and very close to my own heart and my obsession with childrens books. I was always scribbling as a school I loved 'composition' as it was called then but alas, I have no reminders like you Michele. How lovely that you still have your book after all this time and in such super condition. I'm going to be very predictable and say I would write a childrens book...something in the Enid Blyton vain. I adored her stories growing up and am sure her books are what started my love of mysteries and thrillers which I still can't get enough of today. And it would be set in the past...natch!
Either that or something about goblins and pixies!
Hope you're feeling better too?
Deb x

Gena said...

I loved Enid Blyton too,I really fancied riding my bike to smugglers top with a scrummy picnic and having a huge adventure! but another favourite very dear to my heart was 'The velveteen rabbit' by Margery Williams,the tale of a stuffed rabbit who longs to become real,he is told by the skin horse that in order to become real a toy must be loved and played with by its owner,ahhh!

Country Cottage Chic said...

I always wanted to climb the magic faraway tree to all the different lands on it's branches.

How lovely that you still have your book! I wrote one aged about 10 too - they had a competition at my school to write your own book as part of our English lessons.

Mine, of course, was about a beautiful white horse called Silver who had lots of exciting adventures. Like yours, it was illustrated too.

I won a prize for mine - one of those glorious boxes of crayons with dozens of beautiful colours & a special sharpener in the back of the box - do you remember those too?

Unfortunately I don't have the book anymore, but I remember it well - especially the crayons!

Emma Herian said...

Sorry Michele
I meant to say thankyou for your card, your little postie delivered it! So sweet of you.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

I hope you're feeling much better now! Nothing's worse than being a wife & mom and not feeling rested each day!

I have the EXACT same wooden doll as you, with the blonde hair!!!! Now how did THAT happen, as we live so far apart?! =)

Lucy Bloom said...

Glad you've caught up on your sleep Michele - my problem is trying to stay awake! Yes, I reluctantly make curtains for economic reasons, believe me I wouldn't otherwise! Your little book is just charming. I never read Beatrix Potter as a child, I don't think my mum knew of her (not being British) but she bought me just about every Enid Blyton book ever prublished!
Lucy x

Sal said...

Your box frames are wonderful...I could use them all for creative writing with my children!
My idea would be to write a story to accompany each of those..or a poem (As I love to pen a poem, now and again!);-)

Lucy Bloom said...

Sadly it's not looking good weather-wise for Sunday, if I do go I'll put a discreet Lucy Bloom sign somewhere on my stall!

Curlew Country said...

What a talented lady! Such lovely pictures and fancy hanging onto it.
Your posts are a surprise every time. I've made a start lots of time on a book I wish I could finish, the story of the siege of a 12th century castle, one man's battle to get inside and another's struggle to escape.
One day, one day...
With love

Sea Angels said...

Hello Michele.....sleep....that sounds sooo good, I'm sorry your not feeling so great, thats horrid. What happened to the days of going to bed at 9.00 and sleeping till 8.00, I think we are all going to be light deprived this winter, I really do !!.
My favorite book was 'Cider with Rosie' I wanted to be part of Laurie's family, and part of that community, I never aspired to writing, I spent all my time, collecting hedgerow stuff....and squashing it into books, boxes, jam jars....ha! I would have to write about life at the edge of fields.... your's is far more interesting.
Hugs Lynn xxx

BusyLizzie said...

I'm with Gill at lucy Locket, Five dolls in a house was wonderful! I know what you mean about the monkey, but I always wanted a toy one just the same!
As I love dolls houses so much, my book would have to involve small people..... a bit like the Borrowers (another fab book).