2017 Weekly photo challenge (week 25) fiction

All three of the Little Postcards have loved a bedtime story, just as I remember enjoying my Mum and Dad reading to me as a child. My Dad’s impressions of Len the Lighthouse keeper’s wife,  shouting for him to “Lower the rope!” to get his food deliveries in this Play School story book are as vivid to me 40 years on! 

I can remember giggling so much as the howling wind and crashing waves prevented his order of supplies from getting through so he got lemonade instead of marmalade and so on. In the days of online supermarket deliveries this must seem alien to children nowadays… (For reference, the story was Marmalade for Breakfast by Judy Whitfield).

How appropriate that I should remember this the day after Father’s Day…

Illustration by David Eaton of ‘Marmalade for Breakfast’ by Judy Whitfield

The bookshelf in the top photo is in Littlest Postcard’s bedroom and still features a few baby books which have been passed down from both of his brothers. They are no longer read but when I tidied the shelf recently and had a sort out I couldn’t bring myself to part with them. 

Twinkly Night by Helen Stephens was a favourite of all three when they were very small because of the glittery foil on the pages and was acquired for free from a Government book scheme Books for Babies when we still lived in England. 

I also secretly love the Thomas the Tank Engine stories I read endlessly to my eldest. I liked the idea of this little island of Sodor… (perhaps I should get out more). His two younger brothers had less interest in the adventures of the little blue train and his friends but similarly I was loathe to part with the books. Perhaps one of their children will like them one day?

This photo (above) featured in Sunday Sevens over Christmas time and was a rather clever way to display books in the foyer to the building which houses the public library here in Gibraltar. People were invited to guess how many books were used to build the alternative Christmas tree and win a prize.

I’m linking with Nana Cathy & Wild Daffodil for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.

More Stories from Play School was published by Piccolo & BBC in 1976 it was edited by Sheila Elkin & illustrated by David Eaton

The place where I grew up

There’s nothing quite like coming home to the place where you spent your childhood. I’m very lucky that I spent all my formative years in one house, the same house where my parents still live today, on the outskirts of Manchester. Every year I come back here with my children to my parents’ home to catch up with old friends and most importantly family. Here I can enjoy being not just a wife and mother, but a daughter again. 

This year, we have left Daddy at work in Gibraltar and escaped the heat for three whole weeks of fun with the ‘Grandparents’. We’ve had a few lovely English summer days interspersed with just a couple of showers since we arrived. Mum and Dad’s back garden is looking glorious!

Oh, how I love British gardens! They are so lush and green compared to what we have in Gibraltar – I really miss this when I’m away. 

I can vouch for the home grown strawberries and lettuce – they have gone down very well at dinner time!

One of the highlights of our holiday so far for both myself and the boys has  been a trip to one of our local parks to ride on the miniature railway. 

The miniature trains are built and maintained by local enthusiasts and are just beautiful. The Urmston & District Model Engineering Society have been on the go since 1948 and the following year got permission from the council to build a miniature railway track at Abbotsfield Park in Urmston. 

The original, small track was extended in the late 1970s and early 1980s to form the large loop which pretty much runs around the perimeter of the park today. It’s one of the largest tracks of it’s kind in the country, and for the princely sum of 30p, one of the volunteers will take you for a spin!

I remember riding around the park many times as a child with my parents and it’s so nice to be able to do the same with my children. Back then, the thrill of flying around the park holding tight round my Dad’s waist was the highlight of it all, but as an adult I can’t fail to be impressed with the workmanship which has gone into creating the engines. They are so small, yet perfectly formed. The drivers stoke the tiny engines with little chunks of coal using shovels the size of dessert spoons!

Close to the park is a real hidden gem. It’s up a lane, off the main thoroughfare. Isn’t this little row of terraced cottages just gorgeous?!

Well, I’ll leave it here for now. I’ll be back with more of our holiday adventures soon.
For more information on the miniature railway, here’s their website: Urmston Miniature Railway