Wednesday 29 August 2018

Bedtime Story (29/8/2018)

This week's bedtime story was inspired by what my lovely friend Lesley and I refer to as THE IMP.  I won't explain further, because the story itself should do that for me...

If you'd like to listen to this story as a podcast, simply click here!

Have You Met THE IMP?!

Have you ever turned on your computer,
Just to find that something's wrong?
Has the car engine ever spluttered and coughed
Whilst your family are driving along?
Has your favourite TV show 
Mysteriously failed to record?
Does your stereo ever start playing
Songs of its own accord?!

If you've ever suffered a technological blip,
Then you've been visited by THE IMP!

THE IMP sneaks into electrical things
And nibbles on important wires.
He undoes cables and removes screws,
Using his teeth instead of pliers!
He deletes important computer files
And stops your things from working.
And beware - THE IMP is sneaky;
You never know where he'll be lurking!

Before you take your computer to the tip,
Check inside, for a hiding IMP!

And don't think THE IMP only likes electricals!
He's not just interested in technology.
No, sometimes THE IMP gets personal 
And decides to meddle with you and me!
Have you ever entered a room,
Then wondered: "why am I here?!"
It's that pesky IMP, making you forget,
With his whispering in your ear.

Don't ever worry you're losing your grip,
You've probably just come across THE IMP!

But although he's sometimes quite annoying,
THE IMP is never really scary.
He's just a little troublemaker
- the opposite of a fairy!
He makes things go wrong, 
From your telly to your head,
Then he ups and disappears,
Whilst you're tucked up in your bed.

Yes, whilst you're getting a decent night's kip,
It's "moving on" time, for your restless IMP.

So, next time a toy suddenly stops working,
Or something goes wrong with the family car,
Tut and smirk and roll your eyes:
THE IMP is somewhere, not too far!
And if you wake up feeling extra groggy,
Or start walking with a limp,
You might have had a visit 
From that cheeky little IMP!

But he won't stay long, before he's on his way.
He'll be back to wreak more havoc on another day!


Wednesday 22 August 2018

Bedtime Story(22/8/2018)

I've always been fascinated by space.  This story was borne out of the many daydreams I've had whilst looking up at the stars!

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

"What's REALLY Up In Space?!"

"A telescope is an amazing thing,"
Jemima's grandad told her.
"You can look and see outer space.
Perhaps you'll fly there when you're older?!"

"What's up in space?"  Jemima asked.
"I know there are planets and stars.
But surely we've not seen everything
Beyond this galaxy of ours?"

Grandad passed Jemima the telescope,
So that she could take a peek.
The view was so spectacular,
Jemima could hardly speak.

But still, she couldn't see everything,
Of that, she was quite sure.
So, was she destined to wonder
What was up there, forevermore?

"What's REALLY up in space?"
She asked, looking up into the black.
"Is there an alien having a bath,
Using a meteorite to scrub his back?"

"Is there a planet made of glitter,
Where real unicorns live?
Or a planet that's just one big beach,
With shells and sand to sieve?"

"Is there a parallel universe,
Where everything's opposite to Earth?
We'd walk along the ceilings,"
Jemima added, with mirth.

"Could there be a space station,
Run by little green men?
Who switch the sun off at bedtime,
Then in the morning, switch it on again?"

Jemima stepped away from the telescope,
Her head still full of dreams.
"Space is so mysterious.
How strange and vast it seems!"

But Jemima was getting tired now,
So she yawned and rubbed her eyes.
It was getting ever so late,
So it wasn't a surprise.

She climbed into bed at last
And looked up at the stars.
"Oh, twinkling stars and planets,
What's it REALLY like where you are?!"

And with that, Jemima fell asleep,
A broad smile on her face.
She dreamt of aliens and spaceships
And the magic of outer space.


Wednesday 15 August 2018

Bedtime Story (15/8/2018)

We're less than a month away from my birthday and I haven't really got a clue what I want from anyone - I guess I'm at that age where the only things I don't have and still want are the things money either can't buy, or which are much too expensive to ask anyone for, haha!  So, enjoy this story about learning what's really important.

You can also listen to this story as a podcast here.

Bertie's Birthday List

With just a few weeks to go until his birthday, everyone kept asking Bertie what he wanted as a present.  The trouble was, Bertie's mind had rather run away with him.  Bertie had always been interested in magic and a seed had been planted in his mind...

"I'd like a magic set," he announced, when his father first asked what to get for Bertie's birthday.  "So I can learn some tricks to perform at school."

That request was simple enough.  But it had soon led Bertie on to other things.  "I need a pet rabbit," he explained to his mother.  "So I can pull it out of my magician's hat.  But a rabbit needs looking after properly, so I'll have to have a hutch and food and a run and all of that stuff, too."

By the time his older brother Billy asked what he'd like, Bertie's mind had gone even further: "I want a digital camera, so I can film myself doing my magic tricks and upload the videos online.  I'll be famous!"  Bertie paused for a moment, staring at his older sister, Bryony.  "I'll need something to edit the videos on, too, so...  I'd like a laptop computer, as well!"

That weekend, Nan and Grandad came to stay.  By that point, Bertie's list had grown even further:

"I want a magic set, a rabbit, a hutch, a rabbit run and rabbit food, a digital camera, a laptop, a pair of light-up trainers so I look extra cool in my magic videos, a microphone, a cape and a top hat, a really nice set of pens so I can practise signing my autograph for all my fans, a games console to play on when I'm not busy doing magic shows, some books about magic and tickets to see a real magician on stage."

Nan frowned and took a long, sharp intake of breath.  "That's...  A lot," she said.  "We can certainly get you some books about magic and perhaps even a ticket to see a magic show, but...  I don't think we can stretch to much more than that."

Bertie's face fell.  He'd got his heart set on being the best magician ever and he really needed all that stuff, to help him get there!  He decided the only way to persuade everyone was to show them how good a magician he already was.  

Bertie grabbed a deck of cards from inside a drawer in the lounge and began to do some simple tricks that he'd learned from watching magic videos on the computer his older brother used for doing homework.  And as he performed his tricks, a very strange thing happened.

Nan widened her eyes, clapped her hands to her mouth and gasped when Bertie correctly guessed which card she'd picked.  Billy and Bryony looked really impressed and they clapped louder than everyone else.  Dad and Grandad both began showing Bertie tricks that they had learned when they were younger.  And Mum looked really, really proud.

Seeing everyone so happy and knowing he'd done something to make them smile, gave Bertie a special feeling, inside.  It was almost like opening the best birthday present he'd ever had.  "You're really impressed with my tricks?"  He asked, with a huge grin he couldn't disguise.

"Absolutely!"  Mum replied.  "You did so well.  You're going to be a brilliant magician."  She paused, suddenly.  "The thing is..."

"It doesn't matter," Bertie interrupted.  "I don't need all that stuff.  Not really, anyway.  If you all believe in me...  That's all I care about."

Dad beamed at him.  "We'll still get you a magic set," he promised.

"And we'll get you some books, so you can learn even more tricks," Nan told him.  "And I'm sure we can all chip in towards taking you to see a show, too."

"We'll put our pocket money towards it," Billy promised, as Bryony nodded her head.

Bertie was thrilled.  None of all that expensive stuff mattered, anymore.  His family were proud of him, they wanted to help him chase his dreams and they'd made him believe it was possible.

Now that was a magical feeling.


Wednesday 8 August 2018

Bedtime Story (8/8/2018)

When I was a kid, the summer holidays were always a huge treat - all that time off from school!  Now, as an adult, I work term time and still get that same feeling of excitement about the summer holidays.  This story is all about that sensation of being able to do anything!

This week's story is also available as a podcast.


Two weeks of the summer holidays had already passed by, almost without Leila noticing.  The sun had shone, she'd ridden her bike and enjoyed lazy mornings in her pyjamas, but something didn't feel quite right.

"This is our summer holiday," she told her older sister, Clare.  "We should be doing stuff."

Clare frowned.  "What kind of stuff?"

Leila shrugged.  "Anything," she insisted.  "I feel like we're just doing the kind of things we could do at the weekend, or after school.  We should be doing really fun stuff, instead.  The kind of things we couldn't do, if we didn't have all this time off!"

Clare put down the book she'd been reading in the garden and squinted up at her sister.  "Give me some ideas."

Leila chewed her lip for a moment.  "Well...  We could build a tree-house!  Or we could ask Mum to drive us to the beach and collect shells, then we could make necklaces with them.  Maybe we could bake cakes and have a tea party with our friends..."

A smile began to creep across Clare's lips.  "They are all things we'd probably be too busy to do after school, or at the weekend," she began.  But Leila wasn't finished:

"We could write a play and make props and perform it for Nan and Grandad when they visit.  Or we could make a den in the woods behind the house and invite friends round for a picnic, there.  Perhaps we could ask Mum and Dad if we can redecorate our bedroom?  We could even learn to play instruments and form a band!"

Suddenly, Clare began to realise that her sister had a good point.  They had so many weeks off school, but all they'd really done so far was play the same games they always did.

In an instant, the summer seemed to stretch out before them, full of opportunities for fun and excitement.

"We could start practising for the school's Christmas talent show," Clare exclaimed.  "We could learn a dance routine and get really, really good at it.  Or we could learn to sew and try to make a patchwork quilt, just like the ones we have on our beds at Nanna's house.  We could make a time capsule and bury it somewhere, for people to find in years from now!"

Leila nodded, clapping her hands.  "We could make a fairy garden in the back yard.  Or stay up late and go hunting for ghosts after Mum and Dad are asleep.  We could go to the library and get loads of new books to read over the summer.  We could volunteer to do jobs around the house for extra pocket money, save it up and buy ourselves something really cool to take in to school when we go back!"

Claire grinned.  "I think you might have been right, you know," she told her sister.  "We've got all this time off and... We can do anything!"  She scrambled out of her deckchair and headed towards the house.  "Come on," she called to Leila.  "I think we need to write a list."

And with that, Leila trotted after her sister, with a hundred and one ideas in her head.  Something told her that this might just be the best summer ever.


Wednesday 1 August 2018

Bedtime Story (1/8/2018)

At the time of writing, we're predicted some summer storms.  The weather is hot and heavy - you can tell we're due a downpour!  So, this story is for every British person, sweltering in the heat and feeling just a bit excited for some rain...

Having missed all of July, the podcasts are back this month!  So, you can listen to this week's story here.

The Summer Storm

"It's coming," Mum said.
"The sky is darker, overhead.
I heard the weatherman warn
We may get a summer storm.
I planned on going out,
But maybe we'll stay in, instead."

But Ted and sister Jo
Had places they'd like to go.
They didn't fancy staying in,
Waiting for storms to begin.
Eventually Mum let them out:
"You two be careful, though!"

They sat in their back garden,
As the sky continued to darken.
"Rain will feel like a cool shower,"
Jo said. "And it'll water the flowers."
Ted stared up at the black clouds,
His expression starting to harden.

It felt to hot to ever rain,
As though they'd never be cool again!
But a breeze was gently blowing now
And as Ted mopped his glistening brow,
He knew the clouds above were full
Of water they could not contain.

Sure enough, there fell a drop,
Another and another - it did not stop!
The faded grass was soon soaked through,
There was only one thing they could do:
With hands above their soaking heads,
Back into the house they hopped.

The rain seemed to last for hours,
It wasn't one of those quick showers!
And soon, a rumble of thunder came
And they saw lightning through the window pane.
Jo didn't like the storm that much,
And under her bed, she stayed to cower.

But though the wind was blowing fast
And the parched Earth had some rain at last,
The temperature didn't seem to drop!
Both Jo and Ted still felt hot.
They were hot when the storm began
And were still warm when it passed.

Then, just like that, the clouds were gone.
The rain stopped and the sun shone.
The wind died down to barely a breeze;
There was nothing to rustle the plants or trees.
Back into the garden, Jo and Ted crept,
With hats and sun cream on.

"It's not like storms in Winter, Mum,"
Ted cried out.  "Those make me glum.
Because it gets cold and we can't play,
But the sun has come back out, today!"
He told Jo: "I might go in our tree house,
if you would like to come!"

Once more, a sunny scene took form,
In the garden with Ted and Jo nice and warm.
There they played for the rest of the day,
Under a sky with not a hint of grey.
The weather had not left behind
A single trace of the summer storm.