She was as cold as a sledge left out in the snow all night, as cold as an empty church first thing on a January morning, as cold as the first touch of the sea on her feet and ankles. When she got home though, she at last warmed up.
02 Hard to find
She had looked everywhere for her glasses but sometimes they were as hard to find as a yacht in the desert, as hard to find as stairs in a bungalow, as hard to find as a fire without smoke. Yet when she found them the world was crystal clear again.
Time went slow, as slow as traffic on a motorway suddenly reduced from three lanes to one. As slow as a candle melting, as slow as the time left in an exam when you’ve already finished. Time went slow and he was killing it. Really though, time was killing him.
For a moment he felt like a fraud as she inspected the €50 note. He felt like that person who is always likeable and then you discover they’ve been screwing you over with fake money. He imagined being that person until with a big smile she handed back the change.
Laura realised the girls bag was still on the cafe chair. She shuffled off her seat and took it just as the girl came back in. ‘Oh! you left this.’ said Laura smiling. I was going to hand it in. ‘What a relief!’ said the girl. Thank you so much!
Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White
I don’t like spiders, but when you get to know something better you can often be surprised – as is Wilbur the pig when he discovers a most unexpected friend in Charlotte. There follows a story of friendship that is spun so well you will become entangled in its silky radiance.
The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle by Arthur Conan Doyle (A Short Story)
I didn’t know what a carbuncle was before I read this seasonal tale by Conan Doyle, but he writes a gem of a story around one as we follow Holmes – whose business is to know what others don’t – on a civilised goose chase across the streets of London in December.
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning
By Laurie Lee
Laurie recounts leaving home in 1934 and cutting a poetic journey through the heart of Spain where he finds a landscape pure as the sea, ancient, wind-ravaged and bare. Civil war is imminent and the sun fills the sky. You’ll want to go walking and sleep in ditches after reading.
Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
This splendid story follows a group of children on an innocent, imaginative and exciting adventure on a lake in the north of England. For the adult reader the book ignites those endless summer days of childhood and the world of make believe. You’d be a duffer not to read it.
He was happier than a clam to be in the sea. However, as he made a paranoid glance back to his belongings, he saw that he was being robbed. He ran to the shore in a state of fury and panic before he realised that it wasn’t actually his bag.
I had never been so angry in my life. I had been woken up suddenly and then the lights had been turned on and all these people were just staring at me smiling as if it was funny before one of them came over and separated me from my mother.
The enemy were getting closer, yesterday they had attacked Paris, when would they attack London? Sweat formed on my forehead as I panicked about how to defend my country against them when my mum came into my room and told me to stop playing computer games and go to bed.
The grinning cat escaped the grip of its owner and drifted up over the trees, up above the streets and houses and up towards the cloudy sky. The cat didn’t panic, it just floated, spinning gently and defying gravity until it bumped against one of the church spires and popped.
There were three red roses in the vase. All three were similar except one of them had a badly bent stalk. The two other roses found this very funny and made a joke of it. The rose with the bent stalk didn’t react, it simply smiled and rose above them.
It was the day the moon fell. It had smashed into a thousand pieces. My brother and I exchanged fearful looks and then turned our heads to see the remains scattered wide across the floor. We were both going to be in huge trouble after breaking Grandad’s favourite scale model.