Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Bedtime Story (13/1/2016)

As we're into a new year of bedtime stories, I figured it was about time to make a few changes to the format.  So, I'm delighted to announce that as of right now (YES, NOW!), each week, the bedtime story will also be available as a podcast, in which the story is read by yours truly.  I can't promise that as I get more confident, I won't break out into various silly accents...  The audio version of this week's story can be downloaded here. 

And whilst you're busy clicking links, you can buy my children's book, Seven Days With The Cherry Tree Gang (seven short stories that your little ones will love) right here!

Okay, promo done...  Onto the story pre-amble.  

Where I live, it seems that January is always colder than December.  With that in mind, I decided it was the perfect time for a story about Winter weather.  Typical Brit, eh?!  This story is also inspired by my childhood years in Germany, where we had lots of snow in the Winter and my sister and I would wrap up warm and go out on a proper, old-fashioned, wooden sledge.  Happy days!

And yes, the gif above did inspire the lead character's name...

Joe Wraps Up

"Come on, Joe," Joe's brother called.  "We're nearly ready to go sledging!"

Joe looked out of the window at the snow, falling thick and fast.  He shivered.  "I'll be there in a minute," he called back.  He rushed to his bedroom and opened up his wardrobe.  He was already wearing a t-shirt with a jumper over the top, but he decided that wasn't enough.  He pulled out a second jumper and flung it over his head.  Then, Joe ran downstairs and grabbed his coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  "Sorry Reece," he told his brother.  "I just don't want to get cold."

Together, the boys stepped out of the house and onto the icy path.  Their sister, Katie, was already out in the garden with their dad, building a snowman.  Joe paused.  He wrapped his arms around himself.  "I'll be back in a minute," he said, suddenly scurrying back into the house.

Once inside, Joe hurried into the kitchen, where his mum was baking cheese biscuits, to be enjoyed with mugs of warm cocoa once they got back from their sledging adventure.  The smell was so delicious and the room was so cosy that Joe almost wanted to stay.  Instead, he threw off his coat, scarf, gloves and hat, wriggled out of his two jumpers and opened the door to the tumble dryer.

"What on Earth are you doing?"  His mum laughed.

"Wrapping up warm," Joe explained.  He pulled a shirt out of the tumble dryer and quickly put it on, his cold fingers fumbling with the buttons.  Then, he put on his two jumpers, his coat, scarf, gloves and hat and ran back outside to join the others.

Outside, the snow was falling even harder.  Joe's teeth started to chatter.  

"Want a go on the sledge?"  Katie asked, her cheeks rosy from the cold.

"Um..."  Joe jiggled on the spot.  "In a minute!"  And off he ran, back into the house.

Off came the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  Off came the jumpers and the shirt.

Joe darted upstairs, back into his room.  There, he opened up his drawer and pulled out two vests and another t-shirt.  He tugged them over his head and then hurried back downstairs.

On went the shirt and the two jumpers.  On went the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.

Outside, there seemed to be more snow than ever.  Katie was lying on the ground, making snow angels, whilst their dad pushed Reece on the sledge.  When Reece saw Joe, he called him over.  "Ready for your turn, yet?!"

Joe's skin prickled with cold.  "Give me five more minutes," he shouted and he raced back inside.

Off came the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  Off came the jumpers and the shirt.

Joe headed back to his room and found the polo shirt he wore for PE at school.  He put it on, over his two vests and two t-shirts.  Then, he rushed back downstairs again.

On went the shirt and the two jumpers.  On went the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.

When Joe went back outside, he was sure it was darker than he remembered.  The snow was still falling and his dad, Reece and Katie were having a snowball fight.  Reece tossed a snowball Joe's way and Joe ducked.  "Hang on," he called.  "I'm not ready, yet..."  And with that, he darted back into the house,

Off came the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  

Joe, in his two vests, two t-shirts, polo shirt, shirt and two jumpers, felt a little warm as he rushed into the kitchen again, but he knew how cold it was outside.  He opened up the tumble dryer once more and pulled out a sweatshirt.

"Joe!"  His mum frowned.  "You've got so many layers on... You'll overheat!"  

But Joe tugged the sweatshirt over his head.  Then on went the coat, scarf, gloves and hat, and back into the cold Joe ran.

Katie was having another turn on the sledge.  It looked like fun.  But the snow fell on Joe's nose and he shivered.  Before anyone could stop him, he'd rushed back into the house.

Off came the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  

Hanging at the bottom of the stairs, was Joe's fleece.  He quickly put it on.  He was struggling to move now, wearing two vests, two t-shirts, a polo shirt, a shirt, two jumpers, a sweatshirt and a fleece.  But still, on went the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.

To Joe's dismay, he could barely do the zip up on his coat, anymore.  He made his way very slowly out of the front door and into the snow.

"Your turn on the sledge!"  His dad called.

Joe's arms were outstretched; he couldn't hold them by his sides, because he was wearing too many clothes.  He struggled to sit on the sledge, with so many layers bunching up as he lowered himself down.

"Joe," his dad chuckled.  "You can barely move!"

Joe's cheeks reddened.  "I just don't want to be cold in the snow..."

His dad smiled.  "Once you're having fun, you won't even notice the cold," he told him.

And so, Joe trotted back into the house.

Off came the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  Off came the fleece, the sweatshirt, the jumpers, the shirt, the polo shirt, the t-shirts and the vests.  Then, Joe put back on the one t-shirt and one jumper he'd started out in.  He put back on the coat, scarf, gloves and hat.  Then, he tiptoed out of the door.

The snow was falling and it was cold when it landed on his face.  His teeth chattered and he shivered.  But Joe headed over to the sledge and this time, he was able to sit down properly.

"Hold on tight," his dad laughed, giving him a gentle push.


Joe went whizzing down the road, laughing every inch of the way.  Then, when he'd pulled the sledge back to the start again, he rushed to the garden to help build another snowman.  And, when that was finished, Joe had a snowball fight with his brother and sister.  He was having so much fun, he didn't have time to be cold.

Finally, as the sun began to set and the sky darkened, they all trooped back into the house, for mugs of cocoa and cheese biscuits, hot from the oven.

"Did you have fun?"  Joe's mum asked.

"Yes," Joe smiled.  "But I'm ever so tired, now.  I think I might put on my pyjamas, after I've finished my cocoa."

"Good idea," his mum replied.  "But just the one pair, eh, Joe?"

Joe giggled.  "I promise."



  1. That was delightful! I can relate to Joe; being cold is horrible and I tend to wrap up like an Arctic explorer. But his father is right that once you start having fun (and move around getting your blood pumping), it's not nearly as noticeable. Very sweet story!

    1. Thank you! I'm very much like Joe; I'm always wrapped up and wondering whether I have enough layers on! And yet I'm sitting here, kind of wishing for snow, haha! ;)


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