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‘It’s as if you want to destroy their childhood’ … Philip Pullman. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

‘It’s as if you want to destroy their childhood’ … Philip Pullman. Photograph: Linda Nylind for the Guardian

“The function of a book or a poem or a story is to delight, to enchant, to beguile.” Philip Pullman

via Philip Pullman attacks ‘monstrous’ English education policy | Books | The Guardian

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axelschefflerAxel Scheffler said that Brexit makes him “sad and angry every day” as he picked up the Illustrator of the Year prize at The British Book Awards last night (14th May).

When receiving the award, Scheffler, who is German, said that while he was “grateful” to receive the prize, he did so with “a heavy heart and maybe even a slightly bitter feeling – it feels like a consolation prize, or even a farewell gift.”

Read more: Scheffler blasts Brexit in British Book Awards speech | The Bookseller


Originally published 19/11/2015

To say I was influenced by the atmosphere of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White — must read it again — would be bending the truth, although I’ve included that sentence in the description boxes at galleries. However, only when I had finished creating it did the book come immediately to mind.

I have used a detail from a photograph by…

via First Night Design | Church at Twilight #Art | First Night Design


Embroidered book cover for Henshaw’s Horae Successivae (1632), white satin with a floral design edged in gold cord, featured in Cyril Davenport’s English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) — Source.

Embroidered book cover for Henshaw’s Horae Successivae (1632), white satin with a floral design edged in gold cord, featured in Cyril Davenport’s English Embroidered Book-bindings (1899) — Source.

Fashionable in the 16th and 17th century, the art of embroidering unique covers for books saw a comeback in late 19th-century England, from the middle-class drawing room to the Arts and Crafts movement. Jessica Roberson explores the…

via Pens and Needles: Reviving Book-Embroidery in Victorian England – The Public Domain Review


Please put your hands together to welcome Lucy Brazier to First Night Design. She is here to describe the third in her trilogy of amusing and mystery-ridden novels that give new meaning to college life from a female Deputy Head Porter’s point of view.

After avoiding the murderous intentions of The Vicious Circle in First Lady Of The Keys and risking life and limb to find a priceless missing painting in The Vanishing Lord, our heroine Deputy Head Porter finds herself once again at the centre of strange and macabre goings-on in the notorious Old College.

One of the oldest and most illustrious educational establishments in the country, Old College boats a bloody and turbulent 400-year-old history and the arrival of its first female Deputy Head Porter has done little to calm matters. if anything, it’s made them worse. We join Deputy Head Porter at the beginning of a new academic year where the induction of a new Bursar – the enigmatic Professor Dexter Sinistrov – causes ructions. With his first act of office being to cut the tea and biscuit budget for the Porters’ Lodge, he makes himself instantly unpopular with the bowler-hatted staff within. But it is more his penchant for poisoning people that really concerns Deputy Head Porter.

Meanwhile, Head Porter appears to be leading a secret double life and The Dean is convinced that Russian spies are after his job. When two dead bodies turn up at the bottom of the College gardens, Deputy Head Porter is determined that there will not be another College cover-up, even if that does mean begrudgingly working alongside unwelcome outsiders DCI Thompson and DS Kirby. Add to that a wayward College drinking society and an ageing Lothario of a professor and Deputy Head Porter really does have her hands full.

The Blurb:

Sometimes the opposite of right isn’t wrong. It’s left.

Tragedy strikes once more at Old College… The Porters’ Lodge is down to its last tea bag and no one has seen a biscuit for over a week. Almost as troubling are the two dead bodies at the bottom of the College gardens and a woman has gone missing. The Dean is convinced that occult machinations are to blame, Deputy Head Porter suspects something closer to home.

The formidable DCI Thompson refuses to be sidelined and a rather unpleasant Professor gets his comeuppance.

As the body count rises, Head Porter tries to live a secret double life and The Dean believes his job is under threat from the Russian Secret Service.

Deputy Head Porter finds herself with her hands full keeping Old College running smoothly as well as defending herself against the sinister intentions of the new Bursar.

Spies, poisoning, murder – and none of this would be any problem at all if only someone would get the biscuits out and put the kettle on…

This is the third instalment of the world-renowned PorterGirl series set in the ancient and esoteric Old College. Author Lucy Brazier opens the lid on a world which has sinister overtones in this cozy, BritLit mystery.

Available to pre-order now, general release 27th April 2018.

Amazon UK:

https://amzn.to/2uTULKU

Amazon USA:

https://amzn.to/2uPGIGr


Follow Lucy Brazier:

www.portergirl.com

www.whoshottonyblair.com

Facebook     @PorterGirl100

Finnegans Wake – a guide by an idiot

Never A Cross Word – A Poirot Parody for Captain Hastings fans everywhere 


Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


To celebrate what would have been Maya Angelou’s 90th birthday, here is the great lady herself with ‘I Rise’. She is never less than inspiring. I’ve posted this video before but it never fails to touch my soul.

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Mother’s Day in the UK is this Sunday, while tomorrow is International Women’s Day. This is a post I wrote in 2014 which some of you have seen before.

First Night Design

Benedicta Leigh 1922—2000Benedicta Leigh 1922—2000 [photo: David Sim] Born Benedicta Hoskyns in 1922, my mother spent a large part of her childhood on the island of Malta where her father was serving in the Rifle Brigade.

She later spent a year drawing from life at Salisbury School of Art. During World War II, she nursed with the Red Cross in Auxiliary Hospitals and Convalescent Homes throughout the country, also finding time to write, produce and play in several revues for her patients.

The war over, she trained for the stage at RADA where she received commendations from Sybil Thorndike and Laurence Irving and won the George Arliss prize as well as sharing the Dialect prize with Cyril Shaps.

Her subsequent career included repertory at Windsor, Bromley, Sheffield, Coventry and Nottingham, No Other Verdict at the Duchess Theatre in the West End (“stealing all the notices as the maid” she would tell me…

View original post 960 more words


Pixabay

Pixabay

Baa was the leader among a herd of beautiful goats.  He was brave, kind and well-loved by everyone.  He was fair and had no favorites, other than the kids who followed him everywhere, begging for stories.  “Just one story,” he would say, but he always ended up telling them two or three.

One day he told the kids to sit down because the story they…

via Baa… | Rethinking Life


poohatvanda

Long before there was Paddington Bear, Shaun the Sheep and Peppa Pig, there was Winnie the Pooh. For over 90 years, the bear with very little brain and his friends Piglet, Rabbit, Owl, Tigger, Kanga, Roo and Christopher Robin have entertained and enchanted both…

via Exhibition Review: Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic (V&A) | Enough of this Tomfoolery!


Holocaust Remembrance Day

Beauty Bellezza Beauté

ilse

Letter To My Son

(Ilse Weber – 1903-1944).

My dear boy, three years ago today
You were sent into the world alone.
I still see you, at the station in Prague,
how you cry from the compartment, and hesitate.
You lean your brown head against me
and how you beg; let me stay with you!
That we let you go, seemed hard for you —
You were just eight, and small and delicate.
And as we left for home without you,
I felt, my heart would explode
and nevertheless I am happy that you’re not here.
The stranger who is taking you in
will surely go to Heaven.
I bless her with every breath I take —
Your love for her will not be enough.
It has become so murky around us here,
Everything has been taken away from us.
House, home, not even a corner of it left,
Not…

View original post 343 more words



Alice in Wonderland: Alice and the Flamingo Postcard | Zazzle.com

To illustrate my Alice card, the following is a very satisfying interpretation, written by Gigi at Rethinking Life, of what Alice in Wonderland is really about.

Alice didn’t fall down the Rabbit Hole, she bloody well jumped.  She was tired of her pre-planned life and wasn’t looking forward to marriage and the rigid rules that went with it.  She ran after the rabbit, curious and terrified that she would lose sight of him and be forced to stay where she was.  She saw him jump and she dove in head first after him.  Because she was willing to risk everything, she drank, shrunk, grew, found a new world, went to a fabulous tea party, met a crazed hat maker, a door mouse and enjoyed herself immensely.

She got to see an amazing cat, one who could disappear but leave his smile behind, a drug-addicted caterpillar and twin boys named Tweedle who were strange, to say the least.  She got to hold a flamingo. She saw huge, brightly colored,  flora, fauna and she learned that everything she saw could not be trusted to be real.  She saw the Queen of Hearts and ate a tart.  She saw that life didn’t have to be dull and boring, it could be so much more. She didn’t have to to get married, live in a house and do as she was told.  She realized that she could be free to explore everything. Even the Jabberwocky was interesting.   The biggest thing she learned was that she had the courage to take whatever risks came her way.  She was brave and wild.  She wasn’t cut out for a ‘normal’ life, she was meant for something different…she wasn’t going to settle, she was going to fly.  And that is the true meaning of the Rabbit Hole. Source: Alice.. | Rethinking Life

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Juliet Pickering

Juliet Pickering

Are you a writer looking to get published? Literary agent Juliet Pickering has some publishing world myths to address…

There are a lot of fictions (ironically!) shared about the publishing world and how we work. It genuinely frustrates and saddens me to learn of some of the strange untruths that writers are told or read online, and I hope these points convince you that publishing is full of compassionate human beings, genuinely wanting to find the next brilliant author to work with…

Myth 1: It’s Who You Know

I STRONGLY disagree with this idea. If you…

Source: Publishing Myths


From the archive 19-11-13

Oh, what fun I have had creating this collage! It has been a while since I’ve experimented with my various pieces of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice’s Adventures Throug…

Source: Newly-minted Alice: Collage | First Night Design

Take care and keep laughing!

Sarah


Madeleine L’Engle, author of the groundbreaking children’s novel A Wrinkle in Time, was a clumsy girl, born to older parents who loved her and wanted her but weren’t sure quite what to do with her …

Source: Madeleine L’Engle: A New Perspective on Science and Girls |


Jenny was an average person.   She had friends, played baseball, loved her cat, did her homework, at least most of the time, and sat at any lunch table she liked.  She minded her own business and o…

Source: Jenny Smith…Short story about bullies | Rethinking Life

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