Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Sunday, September 16, 2007

That be cat!

We had a lovely visit from Stevie's half sister, her partner and two little boys, under two. The weather allowed it to be a picnic in the garden. Freddie was running around and speaking in phrases if not in tongues. "That be cat!" he said accurately, if in Mummerset, whenever he spotted one. But he learned Lila's name and bent down to talk to her under the table, saying "Ullo, Lila!" in a very convincing Northern accent. He also got that Lonza was both "Chocolate cat" and "mummy cat" - how confusing!

He was very nice to his brother, sayimg "Hello, baby George" and "I love baby George" most charmingly. They are wonderful grandchildren-substitutes.

My writer friend brought lots of jamjars, so we coped with the blackberries and a surfeit of greengages which a colleague of Stevie's produced. Also got a lot of work done on her novel. I must do this again - it's great having another writer here because you can just talk in shorthand.

I went to the YLG conference in Hertfordshire to give a talk about Princess Grace. This was great fun, because, unusually, the technology worked and I could use my PowerPoint. I spent the night with old friends in St Alban's. Their two cats were very suspicious of the smell of my luggage - obviously it had been inspected by my lot.

I am still reading La Storia, about halfway through - it's a long book - but had to stop to read review books for Armadillo - Wonderful Life (picture book), the new edition of Pippi Longstocking, the amazing Mythology from Templar and The Tar Man - the sequel to Gideon the Cutpurse. I saw, I am ashamed to say Ten Years Younger on TV (this is the second time!). Must not make a habit of it.

Driving back from Hertfordshire I heard cello sonatas by Schumann and Beethoven. And a radio programme on the centenary of the birth of Louis MacNeice - possibly my favourite poet, certainly one of them.


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