Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Bedtime Story (30/11/2016)

I don't know what made me decide to write about a month-long trip to Australia... Maybe I need a holiday?!

If you'd like to listen to this story as a podcast, just click here.

"Not Until December!"

Koby couldn't wait for December to arrive.
It felt like he'd been waiting all his little life!
You see, on December 1st, Koby was going away.
He was off to Australia, on a month-long holiday!

But Koby was so excited, he almost couldn't wait.
Ever since he found out, he'd been asking Mum the date.
And how his heart sank, lower than he thought it could get,
When each day Mum replied: "It's not December yet!"

Koby spent his time, learning all about Australia,
So that when he finally got there, he'd be a genius, not a failure.
And soon he felt he knew enough, it surely must be time?
But Dad just rolled his eyes and said: "It's only November 9th!"

Each morning, Koby packed his clothes into a little case.
And with a beaming smile, down the stairs, he would race.
And every day, with all the patience that they could engender,
His mum and dad would tut and tell him: "Not until December!"

It was taking way too long; Koby was sick of waiting.
He wanted to meet a kangaroo!  This delay was SO frustrating!
Each day he dressed in shorts and t-shirt, only to be told:
"Get changed; it's hotter in Australia, but here, it's WAY too cold!"

And they were right, the weather was cold, the rain kept falling down.
How Koby longed to explore Australia, not his boring old home town.
He had his sunglasses, sun cream and hat, all ready to be worn,
There in the land Down Under, where it was bright and warm.

Koby had learned all about the places that he'd see on holiday,
Like Ayers Rock, Sydney Opera House and maybe even Byron Bay.
And every day he'd regale his parents with all the facts he could remember,
But his face would fall when they'd have to tell him: "Not until December!"

He'd never been on a plane before, so each day Koby would watch them,
As they flew straight through the clouds, as though they were bubbles and the plane could pop them.
He couldn't wait to see what it was like to be so high,
In a chair, eating dinner, watching TV in the sky.

But the wait seemed to be taking forever; being patient was quite tough.
And one morning, Koby woke up thinking: "I have had enough.
I don't believe we're going on holiday, it's never going to come."
And Koby spent the whole day, being really rather glum.

Neither of his parents could bring Koby from his gloom.
And when it came to bedtime, he trudged sadly to his room.
But then came the moment that Koby would always remember,
As his Dad kissed him goodnight and whispered: "Tomorrow is December."

So, Koby lay in bed, much too excited to sleep!
He was off on holiday the very next day, after waiting for weeks and weeks!
He'd see kangaroos and koalas, Tasmanian Devils and more.
And as he fell asleep, Koby finally knew: Some things are worth waiting for.


Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Bedtime Story (23/11/2016)

Most people know that I am the BUDGET QUEEN.  If I'm buying something, I often like to find the best bargain I can get.  So, this story is all about making your pocket money stretch as far as you can - and about realising that money isn't anywhere near as important as spending quality time with people you love.  

As always, this story is also available as a podcast.

Evie And The £1 Shopping Spree!

"That is the sparkliest pencil case I have ever seen!"  Evie shrieked, gazing at Charlotte's latest purchase.  "It looks like it's silver, but when the light catches it, I can see pink, green, blue, purple, gold..."  Her words trailed off as she admired it.

"I bought it with my pocket money," Charlotte cooed.  "And these scented glitter pens, too."

Evie sighed.  "It would take me ages to save enough," she replied.  "I only get a pound a week."

"A pound?!"  Charlotte gasped.  "You can barely buy anything with a pound!"  She wrinkled her nose and shook her head.  "I get five pounds a week and sometimes, I save it for a whole month and then go on a shopping spree!"

Evie's cheeks flushed red.  She and her mum didn't have a lot of money.  Her mum gave her a pound most weeks, but sometimes she couldn't even manage that, what with the baby needing nappies and Evie's dad not being around, anymore.  She swallowed, hard.  "I buy myself a chocolate bar and I share it with Mum, whilst we're watching telly in the evening,"  she explained.  "It's our weekly treat.  We call it Chocolate Friday."

Charlotte laughed out loud.  "Chocolate Friday?!  What good is that?  A bar of chocolate only lasts a few minutes, especially if you only get to eat half.  You can't get anything special with a pound."

Evie thought about that for the rest of the day.  When the bell rang for the end of school, she trudged out of the classroom, to see her mum waiting, with baby Jake in his buggy.  Mum immediately frowned.  "What's wrong, sweetheart?  You look ever so sad.  Have you had a bad day?"

Evie felt bad about telling her mum what was wrong.  She didn't want her to be upset.  "It's nothing," she sighed.

Her mum bent down and pressed a shiny £1 coin into Evie's hand.  "It's Chocolate Friday," she reminded Evie.  "Are you ready to go and buy a tasty treat?"

Evie clutched the pound in her hand.  "No," she said, a little more crossly than she meant to.  "You can't get anything for a pound.  At least, nothing special."

Evie's mum looked sad.  "Who told you that?"

Evie gazed over her shoulder, to make sure none of her friends could hear.  "Charlotte says she gets five pounds a week and sometimes, she saves it for a whole month and goes on a shopping spree.  She laughed at me for only having a pound a week."

Evie's mum thought for a moment.  After a while she let out a long sigh.  "Right," she said.  "We won't get any chocolate, tonight.  And then tomorrow, we'll go on a shopping spree of our own.  I'll show you that you can get something special for a pound."

Evie wasn't sure, but she nodded her head, anyway.  It was strange not having their weekly treat in front of the television that night, but Evie went to bed feeling excited about the next day, all the same.

The following morning, after everyone had eaten breakfast, Evie's mum told her to put on her coat.  Evie rushed to get it; she was excited for the shopping spree to begin, although she still wasn't sure how she was going to end up with something exciting, like a sparkly pencil case, with just a pound to spend.

Evie and her mum and brother headed for the newsagents, first.  "Okay Evie," Mum said.  "If you've got your pound, then we'll practise your counting, together.  See if you can count twenty penny sweets to take with us on our day out."

Evie did what she was told, filling a little paper bag with chewy cherries, fizzy cola bottles and jelly beans, until she had twenty.

After they left the shop, Evie asked: "What are we going to do, now?"

"Anything you like," Mum replied.  "Why don't we go to the park for a bit?"

"Yes, please!"  

At the park, Evie played peek-a-boo with Jake, then she ate some of her sweets and went off to play on the swings and the slide for a while.  Soon, she spotted some older kids, flying a really cool-looking remote control plane.  Mum noticed and said: "Did you want to fly a plane, Evie?"

"Can I?!"  Evie asked.

"I think we could make some paper aeroplanes, ourselves," Mum replied.  "But we need to buy some paper.  Are you ready to carry on shopping?"

They headed to the town's big supermarket.  In the stationery aisle, Mum picked up a notepad.  "Here you go," she said.  "It's from the basics range.  Only 49p!"

Evie frowned.  "Isn't that a bit small for making aeroplanes?"

"We could pretend they're really tiny ones, made especially for fairies and elves," Mum grinned in reply.

Evie paid for the notepad and together, they all headed back to the park.  Mum taught Evie how to fold the little sheets of paper into aeroplanes and they had lots of fun, throwing them and watching them glide on the breeze, rising high into the sky, then falling softly to the ground.  They flew their planes for ages, laughing and chasing one another, until the air started to turn chilly and Evie started to shiver.  

"Do you know how much money you have left?"  Mum asked.

Evie took some coins out of her pocket and counted them, carefully.  "31p."

"Let's get a new toy on the way home, then," Mum said.

"A toy?!"  Evie exclaimed.  "You can't buy a toy for 31p!"

Mum smiled.  "I know a place where you might be able to," she said.  "Follow me."

Evie's mum took her to a shop that Evie hadn't been in, before.  "They sell lots of things in this shop," Mum explained.  "And they're all second-hand.  That means they used to belong to someone else.  But now, they can be re-sold, and the best thing is, the money you pay for the things you buy here, goes to help people in need."

Evie's eyes widened as she glanced around the shop.  There were clothes hanging on a rack, lots of books and DVDs on shelves and, over in the corner, some toys!

Evie went over and looked at the toys.  Many of them cost more than she had left in her pocket, but then, Evie spotted a jigsaw puzzle, with a picture of two very cute puppies in a plant pot on the box.  "Aw, look how cute these puppies are!"  Evie grinned.  "I like puzzles.  And hey, the ticket on the box says 30p!"

Evie paid for the puzzle and walked home with her mum and Jake.  When they got inside, everyone was feeling a bit cold from the Wintery weather, so Mum made mugs of hot chocolate for herself and Evie, and a nice bottle of warm milk for Jake.  Then, she and Evie spent some time putting Evie's puzzle together, chatting about their day as the picture began to take form.  "Thank you," Evie said, as she slotted the pieces into place.  "I really like this new puzzle.  And today has been really special."

Evie's Mum gave her a big hug.  "I know it wasn't much of a spending spree, really, but..."

"It's not important," Evie said, smiling. "Charlotte was wrong.  A pound can buy you something really special."  She pulled out the backpack she'd been wearing on their trip into town.  Inside, there were several dented paper aeroplanes, and the rest of the penny sweets she'd bought earlier.  But it wasn't the things she'd bought with her pound that were really special.  It was the fun they'd had in the park, throwing the planes around and laughing together, and the time spent all sat around the table at home, doing Evie's new jigsaw.  Evie had realised that she might not have a new, sparkly pencil case, but she had something worth a whole lot more.

"So... Do you want to save next week's pocket money for another spending spree?"  Mum asked.

Evie shook her head and smiled.  "No thanks," she said.  "I think we'll snuggle up on the sofa and have Chocolate Friday, like we usually do."

Evie got up to go and play, before turning, suddenly.  "Hey, Mum?"  She dug into her pocket.  "I still have a penny left."  She held it up.  "Why don't we save it in my piggy bank, along with the change from the chocolate next week?  And in a couple of weeks, then we can have another £1 spending spree?"

Evie's mum grinned.  "Great idea," she said.

And that's exactly what Evie did.


Saturday, 19 November 2016

We Need To Talk About Donald...

He's a baby.  You know, just in case this image was too subtle.

I feel like 2016 is trolling us.  First, it took Bowie, plus a whole heap of other awesome celebrities (seriously, next year's "in memorium" section at the BAFTAs is going to be about an hour long...).  Then, a Brexit campaign fought using a combination of racist rhetoric, scare-mongering and outright lies (hey, Mr Farage?  How about that £350million for the NHS, now that we're leaving the EU?!) actually won - albeit with a minority so small that, had the result gone the other way, you can bet your backside that Farage and co would be screaming from the rooftops about how unfair it was.  And now, we have an orange, weird haired, misogynistic bigot on his way to the White House.  If it wasn't for the fact that he's dead, I'd be convinced that Jeremy Beadle was about to pop out and tell us that this is all just some hilarious prank that the whole world somehow fell for.

Beadle's About.  He has to be about, right?!

The thing is, if I really force myself to imagine being in the shoes of a Leave voter, I can attempt to work out one or two supposedly sensible reasons for wanting Brexit, beyond mere racism and intolerance.  I don't agree with any of the reasons given for voting Leave, but I can just about understand where people are coming from, even if I will never share their views.  Trying to understand why other people think and feel the way they do is a pretty natural thing for most of us to want to do, because it can help foster better relations on both sides.  

But even if I try really, really hard to abandon all common sense for a while and get into the mindset of someone so fed up with the status quo that they feel that something radical must be done, even if that something means that a total wreck of a human being with all the moral integrity of a genital wart is put in a position of enormous power, I can't understand anyone voting Donald Trump into office.

Regardless of how frustrated you are with the way things are going in your county, it is never okay to decide that only the worst kind of human can fix it.  There is literally no excuse in this day and age (not that there ever truly was) for blatant racism, outright misogyny, homophobia or mocking of the disabled.  And yet these were all facets of Donald Trump's campaign, either from him directly, or as a result of his choice of running-mate, Mike Pence (the kind of charming guy who believes in electro-shock therapy to "cure" gay people).

He looks mad.  He probably has blood coming out of his... wherever.  Or something.

Now, we find ourselves watching in dismay, as Trump picks yet more racists for his cabinet team. In the past couple of days, Neo-Nazi webzine Daily Stormer, referred to Trump's cabinet as being "like Christmas" for those with racist beliefs.  Trump himself was gleefully cheered on by members of the KKK.  This is not a case of the liberals whinging that a crazy guy wants to build a bloody great wall to keep all the Mexican "rapists" out.  This is now actually happening: a man with openly bigoted views is assembling a cabinet of racists.  

His pick for Attorney General is Jeff Sessions, a man who was rejected as a Federal Judge in the 1980s, because of several racist comments he'd made.

His pick for National Security Adviser is Michael Flynn, a man who was unable to say, when pressed, that he outright disagreed with Trump's openness to reinstating extreme interrogation practises, such as waterboarding, nor would he outright deny that he agreed with Trump's threat to kill the entire families of suspected terrorists.

Mike Pompeo is Trump's choice for the chief of the CIA.  This is a man who voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act, is a hardline anti-abortion campaigner and a lifelong member of the NRA.  He too, has also come under fire for racist comments.  Anyone else seeing a theme developing...?!

And of course, Steve Bannon, who has been handed the role of Trump's Chief Strategist, is the man Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists are cheering about, seemingly loudest of all.

Here's the thing:  It doesn't take much to realise that when the KKK and other such openly racist groups are applauding your new President and his cabinet, you don't cheer with them, unless you are also openly racist.  You've got to have been bashed over the head with the stupid stick if you can't see that connection.

The trouble is, even if not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, there is a noisy group who very much are.  And those people believed that their grotesque, backwards views had been given legitimacy by his victory (much like the Leave voters here in the UK who did vote out of racist views).  Those same people are watching Trump fill his cabinet with fellow racists and are now, as the Neo-Nazi webzine mentioned earlier put it, feeling like it's Christmas.  If you are a Trump supporter and you're reading this and you are not racist in any way, I've just got to ask: can you not see this connection??!!  Can you really not see how Trump and his fellow cabinet members are giving racists a perceived golden ticket to air their views wherever they like, and to believe that they are now the majority?!  Is this the change you wanted?!

The trouble is, take away all the racism, homophobia and misogyny and what are you left with?  A spoilt, attention-seeking little brat whose moral compass has gone seriously awry.

Seriously, when we're talking about Donald Trump, when you cut away the "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN" rhetoric, you'll find a guy who lies and lies and lies.  He's a man-child, so emotionally stunted that he cannot accept a single word of criticism, however legitimate.  He will find any excuse to paint himself and those around him as victims, in order to whip up more hate.  This is a man whose victory speech was clearly penned by someone else, in order to have him on record saying that he will heal the divisions across the nation.  Yet, just days later, Trump was back on Twitter, insulting publications that failed to back him, by wrongly insinuating that they are failing.

When Mike Pence attended a performance of Hamilton on Broadway, the cast made an eloquent, heartfelt plea at the end of the performance, for Pence and the rest of the government to act on behalf of all citizens, regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender.  There was no mud-slinging, no swearing or harsh words.  It was an honest admission that many are afraid of what lies ahead.  It was a request for every American citizen to be considered equal.  There is video footage and a transcript readily available.  And yet Trump's response was to take to Twitter and lie, saying that Pence was "harrassed" and that an apology was due.  This, from the man who insinuated that he would support Hillary Clinton being shot, if she won the election.  This, from the man who claimed that he could sexually assault women and get away with it.  This, from the man who, at one electoral rally, openly mocked a disabled member of his audience.

The ACTUAL President of the ACTUAL United States.  I can't.

People - many of whom are Trump supporters - are insisting that we need to give this guy a chance.  We have to see what he actually does in office, before we judge him.  


This is a man whose entire campaign was built on hating his opponent, making Islamophobic and racist remarks, belittling women and mocking the disabled.  We judge people on what they put out into the world and what Trump put out in his entire Presidential campaign was enough to make many people genuinely fearful of what his time in office would mean for them and for the wider world.  He is now the President-Elect and he is still lying and spitting out his dummy on his Twitter account.  He is hiring a cabinet made up of men who've made headlines for their racist views.  He is doing nothing to calm the fears of those who are most at risk from him being given power.  He's said very little against the racial attacks carried out in his name.  He has not made any effort to unify his divided nation.

I may be just one, very small blogger in the UK.  But I am very serious when I say, we need to talk about Donald.  Because there is a real risk that something dreadful could happen - not only to America, but the world - if we stay silent.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Bedtime Story (16/11/2016)

Being an exceptionally clumsy human being, I thought I'd write a story for all my fellow butter-fingered folk!  To listen to this story as a podcast, just click here!

Clumsy Cameron

Cameron was very clumsy,
His sister Carly was not.
And though he pretended not to care,
It bothered Cameron a lot.

At breakfast, Cameron spilt his milk,
Whilst Carly's stayed in her cup.
When the pair got up to go and play,
Cameron would slip and trip up.

He was forever breaking things,
Though he really didn't mean it.
And once, he fell into a puddle,
Because he simply hadn't seen it.

Carly's school uniform looked pristine,
She was usually clean and tidy.
But Cameron came home from school a mess,
From Monday through to Friday.

Cameron always had cuts and scrapes,
From his accident-prone running about.
He seemed to trip over his own feet,
Every time he went out!

Of course, Carly had the odd bump, too,
But never as often as Cameron.
Yes, when it came to being clumsy,
He really was the champion.

But one day, Cameron had had enough.
He was worried and it made him feel sad.
If he was forever spilling or breaking things,
Did that mean he was bad?

At breakfast that morning, Cameron sighed.
He poured no milk into his cup at all.
And after eating some toast very carefully,
He tiptoed out to the hall.

There, Cameron sat, cross-legged on the carpet,
Staring straight up at the ceiling.
He wanted to go and play with his sister,
But he couldn't shake this sad feeling.

Cameron sat on the floor for hours that day,
Refusing to move from the spot.
When his parents asked if he was okay,
Cameron nodded...But he was not.

He didn't play with his toys at all,
He was too scared to move.
"If I don't do anything, I can't be clumsy."
Cameron had a point to prove.

He barely touched his lunch that day,
And his dinner was just the same.
He was too scared that he might spill something.
So, he silently sat there in shame.

Eventually, the day came to an end,
And the stars came out in the sky.
But as he climbed into his bed,
Cameron started to cry.

"What's wrong?" His mum asked, as she said goodnight.
"If something's the matter, just say!"
Cameron stuck out his lip. "I'm clumsy," he said.
"And I just wanted to stay clean for one day."

"I wanted not to fall over, 
Or break things or spill stuff," he said.
"I wanted to be good, just like Carly.
Why can't she be clumsy, instead?!"

Mum laughed, as she cuddled Cameron close.
"We all have faults," she insisted.
"We couldn't love you any more,
Even if your clumsiness never existed!"

She looked at Cameron and gave him a smile.
"You're perfect, just as you are.
No matter how much you break, or spill, or fall down,
You'll always be our little star."

"Really?!"  Cameron grinned.  "You don't mind?!" 
His Mum gave him a big hug.
"Nobody is perfect, but you are to us,"
Mum answered, tucking him in nice and snug.

Cameron beamed, finally happy again,
As his Mum kissed him right on the head.
He leaned over to give her a big kiss back...

...And promptly fell out of bed.


Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Bedtime Story (9/11/2016)

I was coming up with some rather bizarre questions for myself earlier and I thought: I think there's a story in this!  So, here it is...

And here is the link to listen to the story as a podcast!

"Can You Teach A Dog Piano?"

Sam was always asking questions,
Each one crazier than the last.
And just when his parents thought he was done,
He'd think of something else to ask.

"Can you teach a dog piano?
Can a baby unicorn swim?
"Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?"
He'd ask his parents, with a grin.

And he rarely stopped long enough
For Mum or Dad to reply.
He'd just ask another question,
Whilst his parents heaved a sigh.

"Why do they call it 'rush hour'
When the cars are hardly moving?
Is a boy ladybird called a 'manbird?'
I find it very confusing..."

So, Sam's Dad bought him a book to read:
"A Hundred Amazing Facts:
All Your Questions Answered!"
And he sat down to relax.

He was certain that Sam's curiosity
Would be satisfied by the gift.
But all it did was inspire more questions!
Dad sighed and gave a sniff.

"Why does nothing rhyme with 'orange?'
Would don't brown cows give you chocolate milk?"
Sam continued on and on
With questions of that ilk.

So, Mum took him to a museum,
To learn lots of new information.
But all the trip did was inspire more questions.
There was no limit to Sam's creation.

"If my jumpers sometimes shrink in the wash,
Why don't sheep shrink in the rain?"
He asked his parents, whilst they watched TV.
They were too tired to complain.

Then Dad suddenly had an idea.
"Sam, I have a question for you,"
he told his son the very next morning.
"Can you solve it?  I haven't a clue!"

Sam frowned.  "I'll try my best.
What's the question?"  He asked.
He was used to being the quizmaster,
Not the one who completed the tasks!

Dad furrowed his brow for a second,
And coughed to clear his throat.
"If you put it in the river,
Would a kitchen sink float?"

Before Sam could answer, Mum chimed in:
"If a bee stings another bee, does it come out in hives?"
Sam stared from one parent to another,
His face filled with a look of surprise.

"I don't know," Sam said, truthfully.
"But wouldn't you love to find out?
Aren't there so many things in the world
That fill your mind with doubt?

Isn't the Earth that we live on
A strange and brilliant place?
Don't you just want to know everything
About the world and the universe and space?!"

"But nobody can know everything,"
Dad told his son.  "Some things are a mystery."
Sam shrugged.  "Everything was a mystery once,"
he said.  "If you think about our history."

And suddenly, Sam's parents finally understood
Their son's questioning all of the time.
He simply wanted to know more
About this world of yours and mine.

So, Sam's parents bought him lots more books
And gave him extra lessons after school.
Because Sam was a boy who loved to learn.
He thought learning was pretty cool.

And although some of his questions 
Were still rather whacky and wild,
Sam's Mum and Dad were rather proud
Of their extremely quizzical child.

And as they tucked him into bed
And gave him one last kiss goodnight,
Sam yawned and smiled and sleepily asked:
"Are stars heavy or are they light?"


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Bedtime Story (2/11/2016)

I have a soft spot for Winter and I thought I'd write a story to explain why! For the podcast version of this story, please click here.

Reasons To Love Winter

The calender page read "November,"
The clocks had been turned back.
And as Callum sat and watched cartoons,
The sky was almost black.

"I hate Winter," Callum moaned.
"It's the worst time of the year!
It's cold, it's dark, it's rainy.
I wish Summer was still here."

Callum's sister, Macey, shook her head.
"Winter's the best season," came her reply.
"It's better than Spring, Summer and Autumn.
And I can tell you why."

She gently took her brother's hand
And through the window they gazed,
Up at the stars already shining,
Casting a golden haze.

"Yes, Winter's dark," Macey said.
"But it's light when you're inside.
And it feels all snug and cosy."
"Does not," Callum replied.

"Of course it does," Macey laughed.
"It's gloomy out there, not here.
Inside, we can sit and watch the sky,
As the sun sinks and disappears.

It makes me feel all sleepy,
And bedtime feels so snug.
When there's no light left to play in,
You don't mind that goodnight hug!"

"But what about the morning?"
Callum's nose stuck in the air.
"It's dark when we get up again.
Now that just isn't fair!"

Macey chuckled to herself.
"You don't have to feel blue.
When it's dark outside, but light inside,
It's like a warm glow around you.

You get to watch the sunrise!
Now that really is a treat.
Seeing the whole world come to life,
Hearing the first birds tweet."

Callum frowned and shook his head.
"But Winter is so cold!"
He didn't see how that was good,
But he expected to be told...

Sure enough, Macey smiled
And tugged the jumper she wore.
"That's why we wrap up in jumpers,
Scarves and hats, to keep us warm!

There's something nice about the cold,
When your breath comes out in mist
And your cheeks glow pink in the chilly air."
Macey sighed and looked quite blissed.

"Besides, the cold weather outside
Just makes it even nicer to come back in
And sit beside the fireplace
With hot cocoa!"  Macey grinned.

"And sometimes cold weather can bring snow,"
Macey told her brother.
"That means building snowmen 
And throwing snowballs at each other!"

Callum pulled a grumpy face.
"But what about the rain?!
That just makes you wet and chilly!
It's not fun," he complained.

"But splashing about in puddles
Is lots of fun to do.
And being inside when it's rainy out
Is quite comforting, too.

You get that cosy feeling, 
When you're inside from the storm.
And the lights are on and the radiator's hot.
You feel all safe and warm."

Callum didn't look convinced,
But Macey wasn't done, yet.
"And the best thing about Winter
Is Christmastime!"  She said.

"Getting all excited 
When Christmas stuff appears in shops.
Then finally decorating the house and the tree.
Pulling out all the stops!

You get that happy feeling,
Wondering what presents you'll get.
Singing Christmas songs
And eating turkey dinner," she said.

"Christmas is weeks away yet,"
Callum insisted, with a frown.
"And Winter goes on for ages afterwards."
He sighed and stared at the ground.

"There's so much to love about Winter,"
Macey insisted.  "It gets better!
You get to wear your Winter wardrobe;
Christmas jumpers and thick sweaters!

You get to eat Winter food;
Jam roly poly and custard, thick stews.
Then you curl up on the sofa
Under a blanket for a snooze.

And you can see Winter on our windows,
In the ice crystals on the glass.
They make such pretty patterns,
It's almost a shame that they don't last.

You see the world around you changing;
Berries and bushes thick with ice.
And you know the animals are sleeping,
Dreaming of something nice.

Because Winter doesn't last forever,
Even if it feels as though it does.
Eventually, the days get longer.
More sunshine; more play time for us!

And the flowers all wake up again
And the ice all melts away.
Before you know it, Winter's ending
And Spring is on the way."

Callum sat and inhaled deeply,
Staring at his sister's face.
"I suppose by the time you're used to Winter,
Spring has come to take its place."

"Exactly," Macey told him.
"So enjoy Winter whilst you can.
Enjoy those walks in freezing air,
With chilly cheeks and hands.

Enjoy the crunching of the leaves
That have frozen on the ground.
Enjoy that strange, Wintry smell
And the twinkling lights all around.

Because Winter is only just starting right now,
But in a few months, it'll be time to go.
So, let's enjoy it whilst it's here,
Let's even hope for snow!"

Callum gave his sister a hug.
"I guess Winter's no bad thing.
I think I'll enjoy this one more than usual.
And if I don't, there's always Spring!"

And with that, the brother and sister,
Disappeared off to play.
To shriek and laugh and have some fun,
On a cold and Wintry day.


If you're intrigued by my love of the colder seasons, I explain more in this funny video, over on my YouTube channel.  Click play for all your Autumnal/Wintery needs!