In The Chair 68

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Welcome, Anna Legat.

11102784_844407928976852_7866671121152746412_nHow would you describe your writing style in only three words?

Anna: Pacey, acerbic and character-driven.

If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Anna: It would have to be Count Karenin! And I don’t mean the stiff, elderly character from Anna Karenina but the one from my DI Marsh mystery, Swimming with Sharks. His real name is Mikhail Lakso – Misha. He is handsome and even more exotic than the Maldivian location of the book. He has a deep Russian soul where many of his dangerous secrets are buried. It’s uncanny how some women are attracted to those dark, broody types. I am one of those women and on occasions (especially those innocuous fictional occasions from which I can walk away unscathed) I like to throw myself at the mercy of a dangerous man. Misha may…

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The Forty Minute Flood

Fighting the elements today! As we were playing Crossing the River in the hall, a real-life Niagra Waterfall poured in from blocked drains outside. I grabbed a broom and braved the waves. Mrs H soon joined in with a mop in hand. Two mums rolled up their sleeves and waded in. Head rolled in with sandbags (Headteacher that is!). Mrs W evacuated children to a higher – dry land.

We would have all perished in that flood of the century had it not been for Mrs G who offered to make us a lovely cup of tea. From then on there was no stopping up. School saved!

 

Jeff Gardiner – you are what you read

Anna Legat Author

I’m very excited to welcome to my blog Jeff Gardiner – an author, editor and a teacher – talking about the books that ignited his imagination, sharpened his pencil and set him on a journey into writing.

730I’ve always been an avid reader – reading with a torch under the bedcovers, making me tired the next day at school. The two biggest influences on me as a youngster were quite different: Enid Blyton and Superman comics.

The first books that really changed me were both series by Enid Blyton – The Magic Faraway Tree, The Adventures of the Wishing Chair. Wonderful feats of imagination that allowed the heroes to travel just about anywhere and have the most incredible adventures. Meanwhile my uncle passed on his DC comics about the Man of Steel and I particularly relished the comics about the Legion of Superheroes (of which Superman was an occasional…

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Caving in

P1060123We went to Ambleside and ended up in a cave – it was much closer and my little feet wouldn’t carry my heavy bottom any further. Rydel Cave isn’t any odd hole in the ground – it’s huge and vibrating with echo made by water plopping from the ceiling. One thing on my mind: would it cave in when I was there; that’s what caves do, they cave in; that’s why they’re called caves. So I was slightly apprehensive and very respectful of the old cave.

On our way to the cave we came upon a couple of very rude hissing swans. They were either hissing or telling us outright to “Pissss off!”. I couldn’t quite make out which.

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Washed up in Grasmere

We’re taking a break from unpacking our new house, so we packed our suitcases (for a change) and travelled to Grasmere. We should’ve taken a boat rather than a car – the bouts of rain and unbridled wind created perfect sailing conditions on the road. To add to the atmosphere, lorries and vans beyond Birmingham stopped using indicators when changing lanes, so it was like a bloody Mexican wave on the motorway. I’m still seasick!

Anyway, we are here.

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New home, but I’m still standing

House moved! From the outside – picture perfect. Just take a look at it. Okay, not all of it belongs to us, but we belong to all of it.

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The views are to die for, too. Daughter’s bedroom overlooks charming little paddocks housing two frisky ponies (believe me – they are frisky and shameless!), two sheep (both staring into space with a spark of deep thought in their sheepish eyes) and other creatures large and small.

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Our bedroom overlooks a tree in our small garden where blue tits, robins and one extremely fat pigeon compete for seeds. Law of the jungle out there, but the blue tits rule supreme, maybe because the obese pigeon finds it hard to take off so has to content with the crumbs that fall from the bird feeder above.

P1060100The house has plenty of character – I would even go as far as saying that it isn’t only character it has – it’s ATTITUDE. Yes, the house has a serious attitude problem. To start with, it has a small population of woodlice who climb in through the vines outside and into our bathroom, wherefrom they spread like wild fire until they are captured. Once captured they instantly fall on their back, belly up, and play dead (or perhaps they are really dead). They get hoovered. Probably there is a whole woodlice colony inside our hoover.

We’ve also experienced out first flood, courtesy of Daughter who left the weird tap in her bathroom dripping until it conquered the sink, water overcoming it, spilling to the floor and travelling to the landing. From there it was re-directed to the kitchen below and trickled down the wall merrily. Awaken by the watery humming, which gave my bladder an illusion of being full, I discovered the Great Flood and raised alarm. So that’s just for starters.

There is hope however. If I remember correctly, after the Great Flood came peace and prosperity for Man. Okay, I can’t remember that far back but I read it somewhere.

Metamorphosis

Haley and I

Yesterday, Daughter morphed into a Teenager. A day to remember! It was a very loud and rowdy affair, but then what would you expect from eight unruly teenage girls let loose on town? They trampolined in the close proximity of a bunch of pimply teenage boys, oozed hormones, flicked their long hair, posed and strutted, stuffed their faces with pepperoni pizzas and hallucinogenic sweets and finally collapsed in a heap in the early hours of the morning.

It wasn’t long ago when Daughter was just a small pink person with a milk bottle permanently attached to her lips, enthusing about a tiny snowman in a flowerpot.

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Little Daughter

It wasn’t long ago when she stood pensive in her school uniform, holding a princess lunch-box, ready (or maybe not) for her first day at school.

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Daughter goes to school

And now she is a teenager, full of attitude, and so very beautiful. And the story goes on…

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Butterfly Daughter

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