Category Archives: picture story books

Days 16 and 17 – Leaving Arizona, Arriving Atlanta

Wednesday 19th September 2018

This morning we drove to Phoenix, dropped off the car – we have driven 1,506 miles, through mountains and deserts, through small towns and farmland and have flown to Atlanta, Georgia to spend the next four days with my lovely Brother and Sister-in-law.  It will be good to stop moving for a few days!

Thursday 20th September

My Dear SIL planned a treat for us for today – a trip to Atlanta’s beautiful Botanical Gardens and an evening performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Gardens and what a treat that turned out to be! The garden was a story book delight! All the characters are made out of plants and are exquisite.

The Story Book

The front cover

The Dragon (with a Sleeping Princess)

The Phoenix

Rip Van Winkle

Earth Goddess


We didn’t manage to see everything on this visit as we had to have dinner and make our way to the Theatre space which was on the 63ft wide pond! It was still very hot – it had been a very humid 29C earlier and so, along with the ticket, each member of the audience was given a fan, a lovely gesture.

The stage before the play began

I’m a Theatre Fan!

The play was an absolute delight, sparkling from start to finish with just six actors taking all the parts and clearly loving every minute as we did.

Atlanta skyline at night after the show


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Suffragette Songs, A View and A Marmalade Cat

We were practising Ethel Smythe’s Suffragette anthem, “March of the Women” this morning and Claire had moved on from our part to the sopranos so I went on to the balcony to take photos of our beautiful view. (See below.) Just under the balcony were pots of purple flowers in small green planters, serendipitously the colours of the Suffragettes, purple, white and green.

Purple, white and green

The view, as always, was stunning.

View down The Penryn River

This afternoon, the lovely Mr S and I went to the garden centre to try to find some Runner Bean plants. This beautiful Marmalade Cat was lounging on the counter reminding me of Orlando, the Marmalade Cat, a delightful story book from my childhood and written by Kathleen Hale,  Anyone else remember Orlando?

A Marmalade cat at the garden centre


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Family Outing, Book Buying and Remembering

1.   Walking into Granollers this morning with our beautiful new Grandbaby between us holding our hands must be one of my special joys this year.I felt so proud and just a bit tearful with happiness!

2.  The bookshop was a delight as we started N’s little library of simple books in Catalan to help her as she starts learning Catalan. Her mother tongue  is Wolof but she has been learning in French at school in Senegal and is beginning to speak English at home. She already understands a lot of what we say. It will be very sad to leave her tomorrow, so soon. If only the Visa had been granted as expected a month ago we would have had this whole week with her. As it is, our one day has been a beautiful day.   One of the books is ‘The Three Little Pigs’ or in Catalan, ‘Els Tres Porquets’.  Funnily enough, I have been finding that my French has been useful in communicating here.

3.  We have placed three tributes to children killed in Gaza as part of the I Remember the Children campaign, here in Granollers. Photos to follow as per all of the last week as WordPress on iPad does not allow me to post photos.


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Making, Playing and Kindness

1   We had some lovely making sessions today, first some arty plates and later some star flapjacks, lots of singing, especially Skinnymarinka and lots of stories including ‘The Dogs’ Bottoms’ and ‘My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes.’  Recipe for best-ever flapjacks to be found here.

Star flapjacks

Star flapjacks

Crafty plates

Crafty plates

2   The soft-play, Bombadinga’s was great fun, charging around in safety.

Sliding at speed

Sliding at speed

3   On our walk this afternoon we saw these mugs on a wall. There have been workmen in our street all day and one of our kind neighbours gave them coffee.

Coffee for the water workmen

Coffee for the water workmen


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First Books, Red Ivy and Pheasant

1. Baby B enjoys her black and white books designed to attract and calm very young babies. Art for Baby has illustrations by artists including Damien Hirst, Bridget Riley and Baby B’s favourite, Takashi Murakami.


2. Walking around the woodland around the house today was a delight, so many beautiful things. When I get back home from looking after my lovely daughter and her beautiful baby, I’ll post a gallery of woodland magic. I’ve never seen red ivy before.


3. Pheasants in all their glorious colours come for their breakfast and supper each day.




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White Daffodils, Clematis and Boston Ducklings

1   My Suffragette garden is full of white daffodils and tulips. The purple tulips are almost ready to bloom. I so hope they will flower before the white tulips have faded.

White daffodils and tulips

White daffodils and tulips

2   The new Clematis, ‘Early Sensation’, has a few flowers which are very pretty.

White Clematis

White Clematis

3    The baby ducklings in today’s post by Marilyn remind me of a beautiful little book my parents  bought when they were in Boston many years ago (and Boston is in all our  minds this week with such sadness.)  “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey is about a policeman who stops the traffic so that the mother duck can take her ducklings across the road to the pond in the park, a beautiful story about a beautiful city to whose citizens we send condolences.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey


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Skeleton Leaf, Quotation and A Childhood Book

1   On my walk back from town this morning, I had my head down against the cold and saw this fragile leaf flattened on the pavement.

Skeleton leaf

Skeleton leaf

2   I found this quotation today and loved it.

“There is space on everyone’s book shelves for books one has outgrown but cannot give away. They hold one’s youth between their leaves, like flowers pressed on a half-forgotten summer’s day.”   Marion Garretty b. 1917

Marilyn asked in her blog some time ago about favourite childhood books and I said ‘Horton the Elephant’ but, sadly,  I don’t still have him on my shelves.

3   What I do have is a book that, as a little girl,  frequently moved me to tears but I loved it and asked to have it on again and again. It is A Talking Book of ‘The Happy Prince’  by Oscar Wilde and it so beautifully illustrated.

The Happy Prince - cover

The Happy Prince – cover

The Happy Prince at the start, crying to see the poor in his city

The Happy Prince at the start, crying to see the poor in his city

The little match girl to whom the swallow has taken a sapphire - the second of the Prince's eyes

The little match girl to whom the swallow has taken a sapphire – the second of the Prince’s eyes

The Happy Prince at the end, blind and drab having given away all his gold and being kissed goodbye by the swallow before he dies

The Happy Prince at the end, blind and drab, having given away all his gold and being kissed goodbye by the swallow before he dies.

There are no words just enormous pictures and a record tucked inside the back cover to be played at 78rpm! It comes with the instructions –  “This is a Talking Book. Start the record. The voice will tell you when to ‘turn the page’ or ‘turn’. When you have listened to Part 1, play the other side.”

The record

The record

Just writing about it, I can hear the words (which I haven’t heard for years) and can feel my eyes prickling!


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