My Favourite Childhood Books

Thursday, 23 August 2018

If you are a regular reader on this blog, firstly, thank-you, and secondly, you'll know that I love reading - and I thought it's time to share with you some of my most favourite childhood books!
A series of books surrounded by fairylights and ivy including The House at Pooh Corner by A.A Milne, The Belfry Witches by Kate Saunders, the Horrible History books by Terry Deary, Harry Potter by J.K Rowling and The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A Milne
   Most of my family knows how much I was obsessed with Winnie the Pooh when I was younger - although saying that I still do have a stuffed Winnie-The-Pooh and Eeyore at the end of my bed... don't judge me. I remember reading this book over and over again - and it had such beautiful illustrations on the inside - complete with a wonderful map of the 100 Acre Wood! I think I got this book from my Nan, as it might have been in the family for some time - you can certainly tell it's been a well-loved book. One of the things I hate to admit about me as a child is that I used to rip out all of the pages between the front cover of the book till the book actually started - which is sadly what I did with this book, so I have no idea when it was published or who by!

The House at Pooh Corner tells the tale of the beloved Winnie The Pooh trying to find a house for Eeyore. Most of the chapters can be read stand-alone - you may even remember some from the film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh!

The House at Pooh Corner by A.A Milne surrounded by ivy.

The Belfry Witches by Kate Saunders

This is probably one of the books I remember reading the most when I was young. It seems that I have a mild fascination with witchcraft and all things magic! I remember this being such a funny book, and I would love to read it again now that I'm older - a bit like re-watching a childs film and getting all of the adult jokes in it.

The Belfry Witches tell the tale of two mischevious witches called Old Noshie and Skirty Marm - they san a rude song about the queen on witches and have been banished from their island. They took refuge in a belfry in a small town called Tranters End and get up to all sorts of mischief!

This really is such a great book for young readers - I certainly enjoyed it when I was younger.

The Belfry Witches by Kate Suanders surrounded by fairlights and pinecones

Horrible Histories by Terry Deary

I absolutely LOVED these books when I was growing up! I couldn't get enough of history when I was younger (I still am fascinated by ancient history and folklore!) and what's even better was that these books were in schools as well! 

I opted for more 'ancient history' of the Horrible History books - much like Romans, Egypt and Greek books. These books were so funny and really made learning about history fun for those who weren't really that interested (says the girl who had about 27 books on ancient Egypt). They were also accompanied by awesome illustrations that really made the comedy and facts come alive - you can see why the books were so successful, with over 60 books in the series and a TV show!

the Horrible Histories books surrounded by fairylights

Harry Potter by J.K Rowling

Do I really need to explain myself with this one? Y'all know how much I rant and rave about my love of Harry Potter, don't you... I honestly can't put into words how much this book series means to me. It has influenced me so much that I really think the series is a major part of who I am and I don't think I would be the same person if I had not read these books.

The first five books were my brothers, and he gave me them as he never really was big into reading. The Philosophers Stone was a Christmas present to him from my Nan and Grandad in the year 2000 - and this is really nice for me to keep as my Grandad is sadly no longer with us. 

Unfortunately, as with my habits with the Winnie the Pooh book, I tore out all of the front pages till the book actually started - and have also written on some of the pages!! I cannot believe that I used to do that! I am happy to say that the Philosophers Stone is the only book in the Harry Potter series that I did that to - thank GOD.

The reason I included Prisoner of Azkaban is that it's my favourite, book and film, and it was the first HP film I went to see at the cinema, and I went with my Nan!

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K Rowling surrounded by fairylights and ivy

The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith

Remember a time when cereals used to get really cool toys in them? Yeah, well I got this little cracker of a book for free in a box on either Honey Nut Cheerios or regular Cheerios - what a time to have been alive, eh?

This is the charming story of a young girl who's dog is invisible to everyone except her and an old lady who lives down the end of the road. I really don't remember what else happens in the book, but like with all of the books on this list - I would love to re-read every one of them now that I am older!

On of the things I don't quite understand is why they don't put little free books in cereals anymore! 

The Invisible Dog by Dick King-Smith surrounded by fairlights and ivy

So, there you have it, a few of my favourite and most memorable childhood books! I would love to know what books you remember reading as a child - let me know in the comments below!

K xx 

Jasper The Familliar | A Short ASMR Story

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

   She’ll love this, Jasper thought. He trotted along the pavement with the two-day-dead mouse in his jaws, his long black tail swooping behind him. It was a surprisingly warm Autumn afternoon, and all of the leaves were the hues of a dying fire – a glorious mix of dark green, burnt orange, blood red and earthy brown.
   Two children, who were riding their bikes, stopped and gasped at Jasper; who at that time completely forgot that he was carrying a dead mouse in his mouth.
   “Naughty cat” he heard them say. He held his head high and gave them a flick of his tail and continued his journey home. He’d done no wrong. The mouse was dead when he had found it, and it was his job to bring it back to his owner, Morena. He gracefully jumped over the garden fence and entered his home through the cat-flap in the back door.
   Inside swarmed with all sorts of strange plants crawling up the walls and hanging from the ceiling – the air humid and earthy. Jasper inhaled – home.
   His home was cosy – books stashed every here and there, candle wax dripped down the fireplace, and assorted teacups were used as makeshift plant pots. The coffee table in the middle of the living room was worn and well used with ring-shaped stains adorning the inner sides and corners, chips and dents framing the outside edge; reminders of many heartfelt and thoughtful conversations.
   Handfuls of dried herbs and flowers hung around the dying light of the fireplace and on the edges of the bookcases that lined the wall on the far side of the room. Angelica, Borage, Juniper and Primrose were just a few of the dried items Jasper recognised.
   Jasper pounced upon the dining table, carefully placing the dead mouse on the surface amongst the cuttings of past flowers, twigs and twine. He could hear Morena pottering around in the kitchen; the clinking of cutlery, the closing of drawers and the boiling of a kettle. She walked through with some scissors and beamed a heartfelt smile when she saw Jasper, her salt and pepper hair loose and curly.
   “Hello, my love” she cooed at him as she gave him a scratch between the ears. She carefully picked up the dead mouse he had bought in. “Where did you find him?” she asked.
   “He was just on the side of the road,” Jasper replied, “I think it was just natural causes”. 
   Morena pulled a sad face. She hated that her work required the use of animal parts – but she vowed to never hurt a living animal while doing so, so relying on natural causes to take the animals she needs is what she has always done. And it was easy work for Jasper – all the other familiars had to hunt. “I’ll see to him in the morning. Thank-you, Jasper”.
   Morena took the mouse into the kitchen and began to wash her hands. Jasper took to his regular seat – a spot on the sofa that was perfectly nestled in between the pillows and blankets that adorned it.
   “Who is the tea for?” Jasper purred.
   “Sophie, the young girl who lives down the road”. Morena, again, came out of the kitchen, this time with a tray of cups, a kettle and some biscuits. “She’s got a big presentation at her school tomorrow, and her mother thought I might be able to help”.
   Jasper flicked his tail and enjoyed the soft warmth of the dying fire, eyeing up a moth that had just flown in through the window. Morena was rushing around, collecting all of the necessary herbs and flowers she needed for the tea she was going to make for Sophie.
   “Remember,” said Morena, “not a word from you. You’ll probably scare the poor girl to death! And her mother too!”.
   “I won’t; I won’t!” Jasper smirked, remembering the last time he spoke to an unsuspecting visitor – their face! 
   “You better not. That poor woman had to have therapy for a year because she thought she was going crazy because she thought cats could talk to her!”.
   Jasper chuckled to himself and cosied further between the pillows on the sofa.
   Morena was chopping the last of the herbs when a little knock sounded from the front door. Jasper bolted up, and along with Morena, they greeted their guests.
   Helen was a tall woman, with soft curly hair, a freckled face and glasses, the kind of woman who looked like she had sprung out from a well-loved book. Kindness surrounded her like an aura. Sophie, on the other hand, was a small girl – much smaller than all of the other girls in her class. She wore her hair in plaits and, just like her mother, freckles dotted her face every here and there. She gave a warm yet timid smile but beamed even more when she saw that Jasper had come to greet her too. Sophie’s mother beamed that same warm smile as she was greeted at the door, her hair a little tousled from the slight Autumn breeze.
   As Sophie and her mother sat down at the table, Jasper made a point of introducing himself by jumping up onto the table and nuzzling for scratches, purring loudly.
   “I see you’ve met Jasper…” Morena chuckled, “he loves the attention”. Morena started pouring hot water into the teacups. “What’ll it be for you my dear? The usual?” she asked Helen.
   “Ooh, yes please,” said Helen, wiping away the condensation from her glasses. Morena wandered into the kitchen and returned with three glass jars filled with different teas. One of the jars read ‘Content’, the next ‘Confidence’, and the last one ‘Breakfast’. She placed the jars upon the table and began serving the tea.
   “So, Sophie,” said Morena as she added a sugar cube to her tea, “what’s your presentation at school about?”.  Sophie had already begun tucking into the biscuits – an assortment of custard creams, chocolate digestives and bourbons.
   “It’s part of a project we’re doing at school about the environment. Everyone has to do a presentation about ways we can help save the planet.”
   “Oh, that sounds very interesting!” beamed Morena.
   “She knows all of the facts,” said Helen, “it’s just speaking in front of people that you’re not so keen on, isn’t it sweetheart?”. Helen leaned towards Morena. “I thought you might be able to help?”.
   “Of course I can help, dear.” Morena pushed the jar with the label ‘Confidence’ towards Sophie. “Put one spoonful of this in your tea in the morning and it’ll keep the nerves off all day”.
   “Thank-you so much Morena, it means a lot” thanked Helen.
   “There’s no need to thank me, dear. Oh…” Morena remembered. She pushed the other jar labelled ‘Content’ towards Helen. “This one is for you! I’ve made it a little bit stronger than the last batch”.
   Helen let out a heart-warming smile. “Thank-you so much”. It was barely audible, but filled with gratitude and hope. She clung to the jar and held it tight, took a deep breath and continued her warm smile. Sophie had made her way through the biscuits.
   “Thank-you so much for the tea,” said Helen. She gestured towards the cups of tea on the table, “and the tea…”.
   Morena led Helen and Sophie to the door and saw them off on their way home, watching them as they trailed off down the road, the night sky dark and the wind still slight.
   “You know, you really should start charging people for this tea that you make them,” said Jasper as he swirled around Morena’s ankles. She threw him a playful grin and walked back inside, prepping for the next batch of tea for another person in need.
   Morena hummed as she dallied about in the kitchen once again, taking dried flowers and herbs from every here and there.
   Jasper’s fur stood on edge – his tail stiffened.
   A slow knock came from the front door.
   “I knew they probably forgot something…” Morena giggled as she walked back through the hallway and reached for the door handle.
   “Morena…” said Jasper.
   Morena opened the front door, but it wasn’t Helen, or Sophie.
   A figure dressed in a ripped and worn dark material was standing outside her house. The stench was unbearable, like rotting flesh. Morena felt her stomach drop. Dark liquid seeped from his mouth as he unleashed the widest of grins.
   “Hello, Morena…”
   Morena stood there, frozen in the doorway of her house. She could feel a chilling breeze creeping around her, crawling across her body.
   “Who are you?” she questioned, her voice deep and hushed, her stance ready and strong.
   The dark liquid dribbled down the figures chin, dripping onto the floor. He snapped his head to one side. “I am Death, and I need to ask you for your help…”

© Kayleigh Cooper, 2018

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