Me, A Shortlistee?


Remember the poem I wrote to enter into the Amnesty International Youth Awards?
Well, it was shortlisted for the top ten! I felt so excited, I just couldn’t stop laughing and jumping up and down.This was a national competition and  thousands of people had entered.  I rung everyone, telling them the great news. I was thrilled. The feeling was amazing.

I had to wait a few weeks to find out if I had made it into the top three, unfortunately I didn’t, but I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t expect even to get into the top ten.

A couple of days ago I received my certificate, which is very grand, and a small prize: an Amnesty International book. It is the Human Rights Act in sketches and it is by the children’s laureate, Chris Riddel.
If you haven’t read my poem you can read it here at:


Living Under The Oak Tree

Yay, my sister has a blog at last! It’s called Living Under The Oak Tree and it’s about life and her love of animals, art, pottery and cooking. She’s only just started it and is just getting going . She would really love it if you dropped by and had a look.


Here’s the link:

Days Of The Week Challenge


I came across this idea recently and I thought it would be fun and interesting to give it a go. So here it goes, I’m going to try to describe each day of the week as a person.


Monday is a tireless Mum of 5 who’d do anything for her kids if they asked. She has a short blond bob and dresses in jeans and a T-shirt most of the time. She often wears sunglasses, even in the winter. She drives a big, flashy car and her husband has a job at a local college. She works extremely hard every day and never once complains. She grew up in India with parents who were missionaries. She sometimes longs to get away from her business and take her own family to experience that vibrant, yet simple, life.


Tuesday is a little 3-year-old girl who loves balloons and chocolate chip cookies. She has dark curls and strawberry lips. She’s just starting to put proper sentences together and people laugh at the funny things she says. She’s a fan of pink dresses and tights, and she likes afternoon tea in the sunshine. She often skips around her large garden looking for butterflies and smiling her famous smile.


Wednesday is a weary traveller, half way through his journey around the world. He has a beat up old VW, its boot adorned in stickers that tell the story of where he’s been. He sleeps on laybys every night and drives by day. He has a silver-grey beard and a peak cap. His constant companion is his little Staffordshire Terrier called Joe, who follows  him everywhere.


Thursday is a businessman in a smart suit and tie. He’s single and lives in a swish apartment in the city. He works in an office and takes his tea break at 3:00 pm sharp. He’s never late for anything and has a reputation for being an intellectual. He laughs a lot, speaks like a gentleman and gets every word grammatically correct. He likes to listen to whatever music is on the radio and likes to read about philosophy, politics and history. He did a bungee jump when he was 21 and now dreams of skydiving one day. Perhaps when he’s forty, he tells himself.


Friday is a street busker, who plays the violin. She has a long, flowing skirt and a ragged, tweed flat cap. She has cowboy boots and a leather jacket. She is saving up to get a plane to New York, from there she’ll head to Broadway, to become a famous face in musical theatre. She loves all the old shows, like Les Miserables and My Fair Lady. But her favourite is Fiddler On The Roof. She’s only 18, but she’s already very talented. As long as the pennies keep coming in, she’ll soon be on the stage in a grand theatre.


Saturday likes to be called Sat for short. He’s a wild child, rebellious and mischievous. He never means any harm, but somehow his schemes never go right. He’s 13 and still got a whole life ahead of him. People say he’s a bad egg, but he’s just a boy, and boys will be boys. He has a shock of blond hair and sparkling blue eyes. He never goes to school, instead he roams the countryside, the birds are his friends. The village people warn their children not to play with him, but they love him. To them he is a symbol of freedom, something they are quite envious of. He started volunteering at the local animal rescue centre recently. He understands the creatures, more than people I think, and they understand him. Maybe that’s what his future will be.


Sunday is a pleasant, but slightly dotty, old lady. She likes to have visitors and often invites people round for tea and cake on her best china. She adores her grandchildren and  spoils them whenever they come to stay. She wears floral printed dresses and loves to hold babies. She has a goldfish named Jolene whom she claims is 100 years old. She collects straw hats and sometimes craves sardines. Her favourite season is summer because of picnics and swimming. She’s afraid of shadows and horses, but loves gardening. When she was young she was in the WRENS (Women’s Royal Navy Service) and sometimes she acts like she still is. She likes to read to her grandchildren and their favourite book is Swallows And Amazons.


These are some rough sketches of the people I just described. I must admit, my writing is better than my drawing.

Please do have a go at this little challenge. I really enjoyed doing it. Put it on your blog if you have one. If you do decide to try it, let me know how you got on in the comments.



Four Birds


I hope you like this short story that I wrote. I’m working on my story writing and I do believe it’s slowly improving. This story is like a fable, it has a moral, and the moral is that your parents may make you work hard and learn lots, but they’re doing it because they want to prepare you for life. And they want the best for you, because they love you. Dad and Mum talk to us about this all the time. They are always teaching us things and it’s because they care.


There once was a family that lived peacefully up in the High Hills. They lived a simple life, in a simple little cottage, on a simple little farm. The children never knew anything about the outside world, but the parents did. Every evening they would sit by the crackling fire, the littlest on the Father’s knee, the other three curled up on the rug. The Father would tell stories of big cities, millions of people, great palaces, schools, brightly coloured markets, beautiful sunsets not blocked out by hills, mountains that touch the sky, majestic forests and exotic animals and oceans that stretch further than the eye can see.

The children listened in awe and one by one they decided that one day they too would see all these wonders. They spoke to their Father about this and he nodded, smiling. “My children,” he began ” I would like nothing more than for you to go out and explore the world, follow your dreams, settle down and help our world to grow.” The children’s eyes grew wide with anticipation. “But,” their Father continued, “but first you must be ready. The world is not just wonderful, it is dangerous too. You must be able to think for yourselves. At the moment you are fully reliant on your Mother and I. Before you go, you must learn and put the effort in. If you do not work hard, you will not be able to go out and adventure.”

The four children walked away, their wise Father’s words resounding in their ears ” You must be able to think for yourselves.”

That night, as the children lay asleep in their warm cosy beds, their Mother and Father sat talking. “Must we make them think for themselves?”, asked their Mother, “Can we not think for them?” ” My dear, the time has come. We cannot think for them always and forever. They must begin now otherwise they will be adults who have no idea how to live. They will always have to rely on someone else, they will never live their lives to the full. Surely that is not what you want for them?” “No,” sniffed the Mother, “I want them to spread their wings and fly.” “Good” smiled the Father “I’m just giving them a little push. That is my job as a Father, to help my children be the best they can be.”

At first the children worked extremely hard, watching and learning from their parents and trying to think for themselves at every opportunity they got. But their Father knew it wouldn’t last long. Slowly, they grew tired and less motivated. Their Father took them aside and reminded them. “Children! How many times have I told you the importance of thinking for yourselves?! You mustn’t keep relying on me and your Mother. It is my role to guide you , but I can’t do everything for you. If you want to go, you must do it for yourself.”

The children felt refreshed and inspired after their Father’s speech and they set about it once again. This time they stuck to it. They learnt more and more and they began to do things for themselves ever oftener.

Their Mother watched them with tears in her eyes, but also pride and joy. Their Father just looked on, content. He rarely had to say anything nowadays.

Eventually the time came when the children were ready to leave. Their parents stood on the hilltop, outside the little cottage, and watched them go. Four birds, flying free.

The Father put his arm around the Mother’s shoulder. “My dear,” he said “our children are off to live their lives the best they can and we have helped them the best we can. They are part of the future and, because we love them, we have made them as ready for it as they possibly could be. They will contribute to a bright and hopeful world.”