Things To Do 2: with Children

Suggestion 1: Treasure Hunts Treasure doesn't have to be diamonds and pearls. I first started treasure hunts with my brood when we were on holiday with my sister, staying in a borrowed family cottage with five small children, three terriers and no money. Not all of the children could read yet, so I devised picture … Continue reading Things To Do 2: with Children

Pond People 24

Do Something! Flo came to find Molly. ‘I’m worried about Grandad. He’s a funny colour and his breathing’s sort of… gurgly. Amber’s gasping and Walt won’t leave her.’ She pushed back wisps of hair from her troubled eyes. ‘Eddy’s trying to be tough, but he isn’t looking good either. I don’t know how long he’ll … Continue reading Pond People 24

Pond People 23

Happy New Year. More weeks passed. The mirlings recovered from the family’s holiday. The shelters they’d made for themselves behind the plants became more home-like. The children brought their friends to see the tank, and the mirlings learned humans weren’t all the same colour after all, although the range was limited. They brightened their unexciting … Continue reading Pond People 23

Things to do while hibernating

My favourite jigsaw. This was a jigsaw of Mr Mole proposing to Thumbelina, bought when my children were small and our Staffy, Rumble, was a pup (no, not the current Staffy. Rumble died in the 1990s). The jigsaw was a bu challenge to put together because the pieces looked different depending on where the light … Continue reading Things to do while hibernating

Pond People 22

Scents of Home. When the family came home there was little movement in the tank. The fish hung listlessly in the water or rested on the gravel. Flash had stopped looking out for humans and crawled into cover as the children bounded into the kitchen. Andre paused by the tank. ‘What’s that smell?’ ‘Yeuch!’ ‘It’s … Continue reading Pond People 22

Pond People 21

Holiday. Time passed. The school holiday arrived and the children were around all day. Every day. Flash learned to understand human-speak as well as the pond mirlings did. Andre caught sight of Sylva one morning as she swam back into the weed and decided the fish must have spawned. Not realising how unlikely that was … Continue reading Pond People 21

So. . . Connecting clauses

When reading sample edits in a writing magazine, I've recently come across examples where a comma before the conjunction so has been pronounced incorrect. Since so is one of the FANBOYS conjunctions (which, we are advised, require commas before their use) and since I'm getting a bit rusty myself since I last looked into commas, … Continue reading So. . . Connecting clauses

Pond People 20

Dreams. Flash hadn’t told anyone about his nightmares. When he first joined the pond, he would dream every night that he was back in the pet shop. Over time, the dreams came less often and, although his confidence was dented by his encounter with the cat, the nightmare hadn’t returned. He could tell himself he … Continue reading Pond People 20

Pond People 19

Home Improvements. Each day, flakes were scattered on the water’s surface and the children’s father would watch the fish feed. One afternoon he brought home a carrier bag which he placed on the table. It bore a picture of a strange fish which had a smile that Molly thought wasn’t at all fish-like. ‘You’ve been … Continue reading Pond People 19