Friday, 29 November 2013

The Three Little Bears

With or without Goldilocks these three little soft toy bears in pretty shades of pastel green,pink and blue would make a great Christmas gift.Available on Etsy

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Valeria A Short Horror Story Part Two

...I tried to speak to Valeria at first possibly on more than one occasion but the only time that I recall I approached her in my friendliest most convivial manner and was simply brushed past and ignored. Clemency was incensed. MS Halisted could never even find Valeria`s name when calling out  the register and after several weeks had still not added it.

Both Valeria`s set of friends and Clem`s and mine where soon edgy with each other. Uneasy and unsure how to end this thing that hadn`t really started yet.

If we had been hoping for a distraction we were in luck. Our whole year was filed one wet and wild morning up to the primary school hall we usually only visited at dinnertime. The assembly was held by the not often sighted head teacher Mrs. Goldgren. Always struggling to tone down her naturally imperious style she reminded us at great length in her most authoritative public speaking tone as we all sat crossed legged on the heavily varnished hall floor, trying not to feel the wet in our clothes that we which already knew. Stay away from the upper level railings.

 You stayed away from the upper level railings because they overlooked the sheer drop down to the school below, everyone said they were not safe and because the view through them whilst oddly thrilling could be equally terrifying and got you screamed at by teachers and friends alike.

At even greater length Mrs. Goldgren went on about the space behind the lower school, the mere mention of which sent more than a few shivers up spines. It was a dim,grey,airless,colourless space with an unusual emptiness. Nothing grew there not even the weeds despite the absence of many feet  to trample on them. You didn’t go there because it creeped you out of your skin and the view upwards was as unnerving as the view from above. The impossibly high wall loomed over you oppressively, the railings at the top barely visible.

With a powerfully commanding tone confident of unquestioning certainty Mrs. Goldgren then informed us that there were no rabbits living in the high wall. None Whatsover.It would be an entirely unsuitable and inhospitable environment for such a species, domesticated or wild. There was not now nor had there ever been...

I stared blankly at Clem and she stared back in equal disbelief.

Apparently there was a "Mass Delusion" of rabbits going on that we knew nothing of. If people had been too embarrassed to talk about it openly then how was it a mass delusion we wondered. As we walked to the stairs on the way back a boy in front of us who had been staring at his feet began to stamp down each footstep getting heavier and heavier and louder

"What are you doing!?"

Yelped the boy next to him giving him a shove to stop it

"Do my feet look real!?"

Shouted back the stomping boy

"The rabbits looked as real as my feet"

Which had everybody in a mood of utter puzzlement looking down to study their own feet.

People had been keeping quiet about rabbits for fear of being accused of "imagination”. The silence broken about rabbits meant of course great excitement about rabbits. Everybody who wanted to see them went en masse to the back of the school where primary children had been seeing them from above too. The teachers then spent for ever herding everyone away.

Clemency and myself were glad everything was not about Valeria for a while, but  it was  then Valeria let us see or developed  the habit of appearing to feel  superior to her friends. She told them they were imaging rabbits. It was "the power of suggestion" she said smugly. She laughed at them and our dislike deepened. Nevertheless her friends defended her

"You can`t pick on people cos` there foreign!"

They would throw at us

"When did we?"

We would throw back. Valeria never said anything herself. Never said she was foreign. We would be glad if she had. It would explain those strange times when Valeria who had become quite comfortable at her table would sometimes when we had forgotten ourselves forget herself too .She liked to talk. The more comfortable she became with the sound of her own voice and the odder and stranger that voice became.

Words she knew how to pronounce ordinarily became wrong, although still seeming to sound right to her. Mrs. Halisted seemed most taken with Valeria in these moments. It was always obvious she favoured her. She would study her totally absorbed.

We all wondered what they were not telling us about Valeria, was it for our own benefit and how? Was it a condition? Often Valeria`s only real struggle seemed to be within herself. Sometimes she wanted to scare us, her black looks lingered too long, then at other times her better side won out. “But she should`t be able to scare us so much..."Argued Clem

VALERIA available to purchase for Kindle here

Part One is HERE

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Valeria -A Short Horror Story,Part One...

It was on odd out of place building, not entirely fit for purpose with it's scary staircase, dark interiors and playground that could turn to sheet ice in winter. It struck me as a strange Victorian building even then. Looking back it was clearly a toy box styled school built by someone who only really knew how to build in Victorian gothic.Built out of red and black brick our school was a spanner shaped building with a long middle that was mostly assembly hall with  two square buildings at either end full of classrooms.
My best friend Clemency Stourbridge and myself always entered at the left building with the word "Girls" carved in stone over the entrance. The right side had the word "Boys". It embarrassed everyone into giggles as we lined up outside the doors that someone had ever thought we might be so forgetful.
The high walled grounds they built our odd school in were odd too. Placed on two levels with a similar styled primary school on the upper level, this school held the smallest children and the kitchens. The high narrow stone staircase that was the only way to the upper level felt like a high wire act, often reducing small children to tears. The black painted safety railing was no comfort at all, it was alarming just to get near it as you could see straight through, over the edge to the sheer drop beneath.
In front of our school was a large tarmac playground but it sloped so steeply it was hard to run about on and any ball you ever let go of would soon escape through the wrought iron gates and be rolling away down the road. Yet on the front of the school building itself were faded white circles, the kind used for ball games.
My friendship with Clemency was based on her easy laughter and my agreeing to go everywhere with her.Clem had a fear and loathing of the school bathroom, which I found it hard to disagree with although I chose to ignore it myself. There was nothing to like about the bathroom. It was the complete opposite of the bright clean modern bathrooms we had at home. A dark, grey damp concrete box with all the Victorian built green painted wooden cubicle doors looking so out of place now as to be shed like. It was hard to believe it had ever been tiled . Teachers insisted it had been but no one could get tiles to stick anymore.
 The schools high tall windows made sense at least. By the time you were almost tall enough to see out you were big enough to be leaving. No one ever got caught daydreaming although a consequence of the high windows was the unnecessary darkness. No matter how bright it was outside it was always overcast inside. The long dark green painted hallways were the worst.It always smelt freshly painted and yet the colour never changed. The flickering lights ought to have added a creepy air but the bad electrics were the one thing no one noticed after a while.

The dark wooden central hall with its ever-present smell of boiled cabbage had the largest windows, yet it was too  dark. Our teachers were never willing to stand on or in front of the stage which always had its large velvet green  curtains with a habit of falling down drawn shut. Assemblies were held with everyone sat backs to the stage, the teachers stood in front of the windows. They were often upstaged by dramatic looking weather clouds and stormy grey skies.
My life seemed to be moving very fast age eight. You try to take everything in but much of it does not mean anything to you yet anyway so you are used to the unfamiliar, the odd and the strange. Life itself is unfamiliar.

All the things you don`t know are coming up at you fast. Adults seem to forget that. Only other children your own age know how easily it is to drop the ball. They understand but they are no less forgiving. No one gets a pass on dropping the ball  "Do you all want to be equally stupid or equally clever? “A teacher might ask and add;
"It`s a hard world out there"
They remind you;
"You won`t have any time to catch up later on if you fall behind now"
Added to this the adult world does not always like to let you entirely trust your own thoughts; “Why does it always smell like cabbage?" we often asked and "It`s your imagination "was the reply. We could be our own worst enemies when it came to imagination. When you get too used to not knowing things the temptation is always there to fill it in, to make it up. Even the brightest types sometimes forget the horrible pratfalls this will without doubt have you falling face first into.
Imagination is what myself and Clemency most held out against when we first met new girl Valeria. Clem`s reaction to her was so strong even I worried about her imagination taking over "Sam!" She shouted in hushed tones "Sam, whose she?" I did not catch the urgency of it till I saw her myself. Valeria was odd looking. Much odder than anyone me or Clem knew.
I tried to ignore the fuss her presence had created and carried on gluing tissue paper petals to the gaudy flower in front of me. I didn’t like the look of that much either. We always seemed to be gluing things. I made a joke about it but Clemency was not listening. There seemed to be something she could not get her head around about the new girl and looking around our table I could see she was not the only one.
I thought it would soon come to light why Valeria seemed  different. Coming in during term time as she had  it was surely likely I thought, someone would come along to introduce her and explain. “Best just wait" I said, so we kept waiting .Anyway in the meantime Valeria accounted for herself well enough chatting, laughing and making friends with everyone around her table.
Everyday Clemency and myself and sometimes our entire table came up with explanations of how she was just different and difference is what you are supposed to expect from those who are different "There is something to like about everyone, even if it`s just one thing" Clemency`s mother had said and we all agreed
"We`ll find it" I said to Clem.We knew we had to. Sooner or later our class would be mixed up as it often was for some activity involving groups or pairs or both "To get you away from the people you are comfortable with to make sure you can mix and get along with everybody “My mother explained.
Valeria soon sensed our concerns and took it for  hostility. She sat at the far side of her table staring hatefully at anybody on our table who caught her eye. Clemency seemed to catch the worst of these and was often shaken.
There was no point appealing to MS Halisted, the most disinterested teacher I can ever remember. Everybody loved her of course. You could get away with so much so long as you were never too loud. Having learnt we  liked crafts it was all we really did anymore. MS Halisted sat behind her desk pretending to be busy but she was just daydreaming in action. Her mind miles away from her desk and from us...

The rest of the story is available for purchase for kindle. HERE.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Black and White Hats and Scarves

 This is one of the most most modern looking,fashionable urban style hats.It would go with any colour hair or outfit...

 This is a super warm black and white wool hat ,the brim can be worn turned up or down.Most of the hats blogged so far have been more womens style hats but this is more a mans style hat.A fisherman's or Mariners hat

 Who ever said you need the sun to have fun! This lovely bee themed hat and scarf set is crocheted in a very soft touch lightweight type of wool

 This striped snake scarf is very long and is made up of two layers of knitting.An extra warm huggable humbug of a serpent!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Greens Blues and Violet Striped Hats

 This is such a really leafy green hat it might even attract greenfly! Soft and warm in a thickly crocheted mix of two different shades of wool.

 I don`t know if my mother Molly intended to create a camouflage look when she crocheted this deep rich green shade wools together but that was certainly the outcome [no point in asking as she will never remember.] These green wools are really 'Woodland' colours.It would be a very fitting hat to birdwatch in!

This unusual hat looks pale green because it was created by closely crocheting together a pale blue and a yellow wool.It`s a very Monet hat somehow,with the pretty daisies looking like lilies sat on the edge of a sunlit garden pond

This is a really beautiful shade of blue wool.An azure cloudless blue skies blue to keep in mind better weather when it`s all gone grey.

This is not strictly a matching hat and scarf set.It is 'upcycled' -made from lots of different blue wools and colours that compliment the blues.There are some matching blued colours in both hat and scarf but not all of them as the scarf is that much bigger

A unique one of kind shabby chic style creation,using too many colours for it even to be possible to recreate it!