Saturday, 31 August 2013

All about Alice.

Dear Em,

A few days ago I was just leaving Dimbola, as we were closing up for the day. It had been a lovely hot summers day, and the Isle is full of families catching the last few days before the new school term, and holiday-makers catching the best of the summer sun-shine. I'm generally not as 'curious' as Grumpa, as you know, and a chap asked about the time we were open the next day for the Alice exhibition. Off I went and picked up my things to go home. When I left, the man was outside photographing the poster for the exhibition. I don't know why I went up to him, Em, and found myself being rather nosy. I just did.

The man's story touched me deeply. His little girl, Alice, had a birth defect, and aged one year she left them on this earth. Still full of their grief, they are happily expecting a son very soon, and have come away for a few days holiday. They were drawn to the exhibition about their little namesake.

I said my goodbyes, but walked off rather full of all that I had heard. I decided to try to see them again the next day. Which I did, and found myself asking them, if they would like me to make their Alice- our 'Alice' in our story about heaven on earth. They did, and here she is...

Apparently, they had been to a Spiritualist Church before they came away, and were asking for something. The man had gone for a walk and ended up at Dimbola. We all rather liked this metaphor. So here is little Alice, and she is our Angel. She is a very strong and good force, and she looks on benevolently.

Which dear Em, is all she needs to do. She is just there, somewhere and for good...

How lovely to meet her.

So now, Em- we have Mrs Cameraman's home, The Purga Tree, the Muddy Waters, A Harpy and two Slithey Toves, Alice, and GiGi and the Cat.

Phew, it's getting busy around here...

Whatever next Emily! ?

Until next time,

Your ever-loving Grand-Mother, GiGi xxx

Monday, 26 August 2013

A Harpy and two Slithey Toaves

Dearest Emily,

Back on my trusty bike today from the Bookroom, I got a call from Grumpa to meet up for a barbeque on the beach with Uncle Joe, James Middleton and Ryan. Set off, along the old railway-line as per usual- and deviated at the last leg, so to speak- in order to cut the corner to the Bay, and meet up in good time.

Took a left up a foot-path to Freshwater Bay. All got a bit hilly, and heard two girls approaching, so considerately veered off to the left, and promptly landed upside-down 75 degrees head-pointing down a  (rather steep) valley covered with brambles and nettles. Bike holding me up with one hand, other hand grasping nettles, that are keeping me from falling into more nettles and brambles, and then more nettles and brambles until I hit the bottom.


Lovely girls as shocked as me- offered their arms to pull me/ the bike up. Problem was, the bike is keeping me from falling into the nettle/bramble valley- along with my left leg that's caught under it- and my right hand that's clinging onto some brambles and nettles. So- we extrapolated the bag in my left-hand with milk carton spilling, which then had to choose to grab some more nettle/bramble securage deliberately. We achieve. Next-up, bike removal-done. Then careful movement of left leg under body for leverage- and wildly positioned right leg into some position of sanity for righting GiGi to vertical rather than less than horizontal 'fallage'.

Done, composure regained (just.) A big thanks to the lovely girls, who like me, were all a mixture of as to whether to laugh or cry! All's well that ends well.

As I write, Em, I have a rather strange nettle buzzing in all of my extremities, my tummy and my elbow, and a few grazes!

Silly Grandma.

Back to the story...

So, we had been introduced to the setting for your soon-to-be-born sister's book. We had established GiGi (the cleaner) and the cat. We had discovered the 'Purga Tree', and I had told you that some creatures inhabited it. So, here they are...

Number One- 'Harpy Lapette'.

Harpy is a Carrion Bird and WILL break the skin to eat her prey.

Harpy Lapette generally lives in the Purga Tree, but does visit Mrs Cameraman's house from time to time. More or her role at the Purga Tree later, but for now let us see who she makes her entrance with...

The Slimanuiss Toad:-

A Slithey Toave, from the Slithey Toave Gang

Slimanuiss Toad inhabits the muddy waters, but he spends a lot of time at the Purga Tree, and with Harpy Lapette, visits Mrs Cameraman's house for grubs.

Our third character is a really 'Fun-Guy', his name is Ethan Saftertie Pseudolar...

Ethan also inhabits the muddy waters.

Here they are all together Em, do you like them? They aren't my 'colouring-in's', they are free-hand and I'm looking forwards to our new little likely story, how abut you?

Lots of love from your ever-loving, nettle-stung Grand-mother, GiGi xxx

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Purga Tree

Dearest Emily,

As promised here is my colouring-in of 'The Purga Tree';-


Well yes, ok I admit it does look rather like the one at the bottom of the lane. Well spotted! Local legend has it that Queen Victoria had tons of these planted in honour of her wedding. There are quite a few hereabouts, and I rather like them, almost as much as Cedar's and Weeping Willows. They have very bright green foliage and lovely twisty bark.

In the new book GiGi and the Cat, this tree will be rather special.

It has long shadows, and a magic property...

As we will find out in the story, it is set in heaven on earth- but! Heaven on earth is a state of mind Emily, and all too often some of the characters find themselves in the Purga Tree, where they must stay, in the company of the Harpy's who constantly scratch and chatter, and try to itch their way in- and pluck out eyes to stop those who see. There is a way out, which we will find out together.

More later, but in the mean-time, here are our characters and where they live- so far... 

Until next time Emily,

Your ever-loving Grandmother, GiGi xxx

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

GiGi and the Cat

Dearest Emily,

After you went home on Saturday, I started lots of 'colouring-in's' as Grumpa calls my time-wasting exercise! I'm all inspired for your new sibling's arrival into the World as we know it around Halloween.
Perfect for a Witchy-book- so that's what I shall write for her.

You got a ruined children's classic, and she shall have a Witchy-book.

A White Witchy-book of course. And, one that borrow's a trick from the Master. Now I know Dodgson's ruse, I'm going to run with it!

So, we begin with a Witch....
 So, here's GiGi. She's a cleaner. The Witch-bit is only that she is an enabler. Magic sometimes happens, but GiGi doesn't do it.
All good Witches worth their salt Emily have a black cat as their 'familiar', and GiGi is no exception to that rule.
The cat isn't hers- it just goes with the territory.
Here, is Storm;
 Storm is a Cat with Attitude.

GiGi works for Mrs Cameraman in a big old house at the Freshwater Bay. What drew Mrs Cameraman here in the first place, is as true today as it has always been.

Here is her house.

Mrs Cameraman used to live here all the time, Em. It is a place of heaven. These days she feels rather ghostly about things, and lets people come and go, as she always did. 
She has a little problem that needs some attention at her house, and with all her friends to help her, she thinks some magic is required.
GiGi and the Cat, are doing some cleaning. This story is about their adventures.

Next post- 'The Purga Tree.'

Hope you like the idea Em, I rather think it'll be you that reads it to your new baby.

Before I go, here's my favourite picture of you and me playing your 'Wind blow-you' game. We had such fun!

Your ever-loving Grand-mother, GiGi xxx

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Alice against all the Odds...

Dearest Emily,

It's high summer here at the Bay, and we are all looking forwards to seeing you this weekend. There's lots to catch up on, and I want to tell you all about the plot for a new book I'm a-hatching for your new baby's arrival!

In the mean-time, we had a lovely day launching your book and the Freshwater Circle Through the Looking Glass exhibition down Dimbola-way. There was Tea and Cake, and lots of friends came down for the weekend. The White Rabbit joined us for tea, and Alice won the Chess game against all the Odds- see...

Photograph by Mr Julian Winslow in our garden featuring GiGi, The White Rabbit, Keri Highland, Henry Conway, Bob Cotton, Christine Marzano, Brian Hinton, The Artful Dodger Tad, Charlotte Weston and Alice J Cooper!

See you on Saturday for Tea-Time!

Your ever-loving Grandmother, GiGi,