Thursday, 28 June 2012

A pair of magic ear-rings...Margaret Tarrant

A pair of magic ear-rings were growing on a tree,
and someone picked the ear-rings,
as all the world could see,
a pair of cherry ear-rings, as magic as could be!


The Raspberry Fairies have a game they often like to play.
They count the seeds in a raspberry, in the "tinker tailor," way,
singing "moonbeam, starlight, sunshine, rain, dewdrop, snowflake, pebble in the lane?"
There's one little fairy, quiet and shy, she doesn't like the game,
she counts the seeds in the raspberries, and they always come the same.
Never "moonbeam," "starlight," "sunshine," "rain," she gets always "pebble in the lane!"


A fairy grew a-weary of the colour of her wings,
though they were pink and silver - sweet and dainty little things.
"I want a diff'rent colour, I would like a purply-blue,"
She said, and looked around about to see what she could do.
She picked some Whortleberries; and she thought a little while;
Then squeezed their juice out gently - and she gave a little smile.
"I'll dye my wings and make them come the colour that I wish,"
She said, and stirred the juice around inside a little dish.
She dipped her wings, and dyed them, in the Whortleberry stain,
and dried them in the moonlight; then flew back home again,
and all her seven sisters clapped their hands in great delight,
and went and dyed their wings as well, that very self-same night!


Look! The magic's working! hiding in the grass, can't you see a fairy? Did you see her pass?
All among the bushes Blackberries are ripe. Look! Another fairy, playing on a pipe!
Here's a little Goblin lying fast asleep; Blackberries he's gathered - left them in a heap.
See the tiny fairies stealing from his pile? Won't there be some trouble in a little while!

Pictures and poems from The wild fruit fairies by Marion St. John Webb, illustrated by Margaret Tarrant. Published by The Modern Art Society, London 1st edition, 1925. 

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Beckington village day

This year's village day turned out to be a ‘Right Royal’ Jubilee celebration. The weather was a bit damp and dreary, but a drop of rain was not about to spoil anyone’s enjoyment. The event opened with a Royal Parade led by the University of Bedfordshire Drum Corps. This was followed by various performances by the schoolchildren and Beckington’s own mini last night of the Proms with the Bath Community Big Band leading the audience in rousing renditions of Rule Britannia, Land of Hope and Glory and The National Anthem. These are a few of my photographs from a day full of ...

...special moments

The programme promised the arrival of a mystery VIP with escort,

but I'm not sure this was the escort anyone expected!

A day to remember

I have no idea!

“But I’ve only got a pound, and I really want a go on the coconut shy”

Land of Hope and Glory

Multitasking! 

Bedfordshire Drum Corps - or the Pied Pipers of Beckington!

If you would like to see pictures from last year's village day click here or to see lots more from this year visit Terry Fisher Photography

Thanks again Beckington, we had a wonderful day.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Little Grey Rabbit and friends

Alison Uttley’s Little Grey rabbit books are as popular and sought-after today as they’ve ever been. Even though they have been reprinted many times the value of the first and early editions continues to rise. I've been busy listing several of these little books today and thought you might like to see details and illustrations from some of them.

Grey Rabbit's May Day; one night, just before May Day, Hare steals into the village and dances around the Maypole. When he tells little Grey Rabbit and Squirrel about it, they decide to hold their own  celebration. Soon, all the woodland animals are preparing for the wonderful day, making garlands and crowns of spring flowers. But Wise Owl tells them that they need to have the most special flower of all, the Crown Imperial, for the sceptre. Who is brave enough to go to the village to find one?


Little Grey Rabbit's birthday is on Midsummer Day, and Squirrel and Hare are planning a wonderful surprise for her. They are busy baking a cake and getting ready for the big day, but Little Grey Rabbit is feeling very left out...

Little Grey rabbit's birthday and Grey Rabbit's May Day are now sold,  but we do have other Grey rabbit books for sale here





Little Grey Rabbit's Party Grey Rabbit and her friends wanted to give a party like the one they saw through the window of the farmhouse, but they didn't know how to go about it. Then Wise Owl found a book called "how to give a party," with hide the thimble and forfeits and iced cake. Now they could have a party to remember... Little Grey Rabbit and the weasels down in the dell in a dark little house lived a family of weasels. One day they stole eggs from Speckledy Hen, and the next day captured Little Grey Rabbit - what happened to her, and how she was rescued from the weasels is told in this story. Little Grey Rabbit's Party and Little Grey Rabbit and the weasels are now sold, thank you for your interest.



Little Grey rabbit makes lace when Hare saw an old woman sitting at her door making pillow-lace he took lessons and then showed Grey Rabbit how to do it. A tale based on lace-making in Buckinghamshire.
Little Grey rabbit makes lace is now sold, thank you for your interest.








The Knot Squirrel Tied;  Little Grey Rabbit lives with Squirrel and Hare in a little house on the edge of a wood. Not far away lives Rat, whose days are quite miserable since Squirrel tied a big knot in his tail. Now Rat can't hunt without his tail clumping behind him and giving him away. Then something quite out of the ordinary happens - and no one is more surprised than Rat! The Speckledy Hen; one morning in spring, when the primroses and cowslips were out in the fields, and the violets were blue under the hedges, the Speckledy Hen took a walk. She was looking for a house for herself. She had decided to leave the farmyard with all its noisy company and live alone. Where she found her house, how she moved in and what she did there is all in this sweet little book.

To find out more about Alison Uttley The Alison Uttley Society website is a very good place to start.

I only discovered the Little Grey Rabbit books when my son was born. Did you know about them when you were small?

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Book of the week - Mr Noah and the second flood signed and inscribed by author

Mr Noah and the second flood by Sheila Burnford with illustrations by Michael Foreman published by Victor Gollancz, 1st edition, 1973. From the introduction; Mr and Mrs Noah, true descendants of the original Noah, live on an isolated mountain-top. They are visited once a year by their Bank Manager, who brings with him a gold bar, a year's supply of the farmer's monthly, and a cake from Mrs Bank Manager wrapped up in an old Sunday newspaper. One year, reading in the Sunday paper about the pollution of the skies, Mr. Noah realises that there is about to be a second flood. He dusts his ancient papyrus plans and begins to build an ark; but as launching day looms near, remarkably few animals have arrived to claim a place...

Signed and inscribed by the author - as follows;

Dear Peter, in a recent article in the Guardian on Mr. Noah, there is this quote "I don't write for any age! I just write what I would like to read, with a couple of people in mind. Whose opinions I value." One of those 'people' is Middle Daughter, the other is, of course, you. So once again as affectionately and gratefully as always. Sheila 24th March 1973.

I bought Mr. Noah from a book fair, but sadly, the seller was unable to tell me anything about its history.

Now sold, thank you for your interest

Have you read Mr. Noah and the second flood or anything else by Sheila Burnford?


Friday, 15 June 2012

A few of my favourite blogs

I've been thinking a lot about blogging this week. Possibly, because three of my favourite bloggers are taking a blog break, and I miss them. You know who you are Sharon, Claudine and Megan!

Anyway, I thought I would share some of my other favourite blogs, but leave out the usual suspects DarleneDonna, Eve and Jess; they all know they are high on my list of must-reads. These are some other blogs I’ve found and enjoyed over the last few months. I've interspersed a few books from stock just to add some colour. If you would like further information about the featured books, please click on the link under each illustration.

Maddie at The world from my window writes about life in a typical English village - or tales from England's rural underbelly! I guarantee you will enjoy it.
Caesar the Village Cockerel by Philippe Dumas 

Michelle at vintage cobweb has a wonderfully collection of vintage books and delights in sharing them. Her blog is an excellent resource for anyone starting their own collection. Michelle also writes about holidays and trips in ‘Mouse House’ (the family caravan). My post last week - I think mice are nice - was inspired by Michelle and Mouse House.

Teddy Bear Coalman by Phoebe and Selby Worthington (very scarce) now sold, thank you for your interest


A visit to Alex at The children’s war is always time well spent. I had no idea there were so many fascinating books for young people concerning World War Two. This is from the introduction - This blog is called The Children’s War because I have always been interested in the impact World War II had on young people. But they were not merely passive victims; but, despite fear, many of them participated in assisting the war effort in a wide variety of ways. So many writers have used, and continue to use, World War II in their work and it is interesting to see how they depict the lives of children and teenagers in their stories – in both fiction and non-fiction.
Mrs. Bunny's refugee by A. J. Macgregor is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Always Crave cute is the perfect blog for anyone with a love of vintage bits and bobs. Diane writes about food, crafting, vintage stuff (of course), collecting, gardening, pets, wildlife, music, life and anything else that strikes her fancy.
The Kittie-Poosies by Ivy Wallace is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Grow Old with Grace is a wonderful mix of just about everything! Grace relates her experiences and memories, offers advice for surviving the aging process and even throws in the odd book review.  
Edwardian Entertainments by John S Goodall is now sold, thank you for your interest

A very fairy garden is one of the most beautiful blogs around. If you like wonderful photographs, fairies and legends, you will love this blog. With thanks to Sharon from Sharon’s Sunlit memories for sharing this gorgeous blog.
Fairy Shopping by Sally Gardner

I could go on and on, but I think I should stop now and save the rest for another post. Thanks for taking the time to call in, I appreciate it. Barbara 


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Added Vale: Things found in books - Can you write?

Everything you need to know about becoming a successful writer in one handy booklet!

The writer's news for literary aspirants. Four page booklet c1960s? Lots of interesting and inspiring ideas including;

Can you write? If you have literary aptitude - often revealed by a gift for letter writing - you can be trained to write and sell articles and short stories in your spare time - wherever you live!

Let an Editor Train you; Details of the opportunities for the spare time writer are given in the prospectus, which you can obtain free by posting the coupon on page four.

Short story writing; A glance at any bookstall will give you an indication of the wide scope for the short story writer. Editors are always on the look-out for promising new writers. There is a short cut to successful story writing - the Regent Institue way. In a fascinating postal course - which includes special contributions by famous writers - you are shown how to get plots (The Regent Plot Finder taps dozens of sources of material), how to construct them, how to write dialogue, how to prepare MSS and how to sell them.

The number of publications that have accepted short stories from students of the Regent Institute now exceeds 1,500. This notable record is conclusive proof that the Institute's course provide successful training for every type of writer. Make writing your hobby NOW.

Found in; How to write and illustrate children’s books and get them published


How sad to think of some aspiring writer trying for so long without success - or maybe he/she is now a famous author and no longer needs the course or the book!

How to write and illustrate children's Books - with added extra! Is now sold, thank you for your interest.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Flower Faires of the trees

The Song of the blackthorn fairy by Cicely Mary Barker

The wind is cold, the Spring seems long a-waking;
The woods are brown and bare; 
Yet this is March; soon April will be making 
all things most sweet and fair.
See, even now, in hedge and thicket tangled,
one brave and cheering sight;
The leafless branches of the Blackthorn, 
spangled with starry blossoms white.

Blackthorn 



The almond blossom fairy by Cicely Mary Barker

Joy! the winter's nearly gone!
Soon will spring come dancing on;
And, before her, here dance I,
Pink like sunrise in the sky.
Other lovely things will follow;
Soon will cuckoo come, and swallow;
Birds will sing and buds will burst,
But the Almond is the first!

Almond blossom 

I wasn't going to do another Flower Fairy post for a while, but then I noticed a Blackthorn tree (or is it a shrub?) in flower and couldn't resist sharing it with you. The almond blossom photograph is from Pinterest

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Salisbury and Templecombe Celebrate

A few pictures from the Diamond Jubilee weekend;

Celebrations in Hudson's Field with Salisbury cathedral in the background
Cupcakes and bunting
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
No, it's the Red Devils Parachute Display Team
Painting pictures in the sky!
Smiling faces
(OK not everyone!)
Fun and games

Smiles and ice cream at the Templecombe Medieval Pageant
Who you looking at?
Pretty as a picture
The wonderfully funny Fiery Jack
and the audience enjoying the show.

I hope you enjoyed this ‘snapshot of our weekend'.  I took these pictures but if you would like to see how a professional photographer does it visit Terry’s page at  Terry Fisher Photography
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