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Thursday 20 November 2014

Creators of Worlds

If you've been following this blog for any length of time you'll know I have a fascination for tree houses, miniatures, unusual sheds etc. The Mail today ran a piece on Lilliput Play Homes, creators of play houses that would answer any (big or small) child's dreams. The Mail points out, somewhat optimistically, that it's possible to buy a real home for less, but even so, these houses are so beautiful they're probably worth every penny.

So now all I need is a plot of land and a local planning committee with an open mind, oh, and a big bag of money.

I think I'll have the train station, the Victorian mansion, the old school house, the grocers, the market, the ...

Well, it is nearly Christmas.

Friday 14 November 2014

New Story and Free Promotion

There is another new story on the Quirky Tales website today. This is a response to a challenge I set, inspired by a recent encounter with a cold. The story is called 'Knutt the Conquerer' and is the tale of one man's battle against one of our oldest foes. I hope you enjoy it.

If you enjoy reading short stories, perhaps on your bus/ train ride to work, or during your lunch hour, you might like to download the QT Anthologies from Amazon. All three, Stories from the Web, Unseen Stories and Stories of Serendipity will be on free promotion on Sunday 16th November, the perfect time to add them to your Kindle library.

Happy reading.

Monday 10 November 2014

Good Behind the Headlines

It's funny how those who protest against 'government oppression' and 'inequality' usually succeed only in hurting those least able to withstand the assault. Such was the case in Belgium on the 6th November when rioters protested against austerity measures being brought in by the government.

This wasn't an item I'd particularly noticed until the story of Abdeslam Gharrafi and his poor car emerged. He was forced to watch in despair as rioters overturned and set fire to his Peugeot 106, being too scared, or rather, too sensible to challenge the thugs using his property for their 'protest'.

However, his plight touched the good people of Belgium and within four hours of opening, a crowdfunding page set up to get him a new car had raised over 12,000 euros, with donations still pouring in. (The fund currently stands at over 19,000 euros.)

It seems to me there's a lot more good folk in the world than bad. They just don't make the news so often.

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Celebrating Paddington Bear

Ah, Paddington Bear, of deepest darkest Peru. To this day, whenever I see a coat with toggle fasteners I refer to it as a Paddington coat rather than a duffle. He was polite, baffled and adorable, and I loved him to bits. I even became a fan of marmalade sandwiches, his snack of choice.

And today he's achieving new prominence with a new audience, with a movie and a Paddington Trail around London. Perhaps the most telling aspect of his story is that his creator, Michael Bond, only began writing about him for his own amusement, he hadn't intended the stories to be published. So you could say he was an accidental star. Quite fitting really, given his character.

There are fifty Paddingtons around London to be tracked down. They will be auctioned at the end of the event and all money raised will be going to the NSPCC and its ChildLine service. The Visit London website has all the details, including a gallery of the Paddingtons.

I'm pretty sure I could make room for one in my garden ...