Follow by Email

Saturday, 26 November 2011

The Kelpie's Song

The first pantomime I've ever written, The Kelpie's Song, is over - and I think it was a great success! I certainly enjoyed every minute of the preparation (except, perhaps, the Amputation of the Kelpie's Nose ...) and I thought the Calder Drama Group did really well!

The sets were lovely - and I especially liked the bedroom scene, where 'Mum' reads Loch Legend - Betty McKellar's re-telling of the Kelpie legend - to Grace (right) and Jenny (left).

The real 'pantomime' part was set in the Lochwinnoch Charity Shop (we do have a very good charity shop here in the village!) where a mysterious 'necklace' turns up. The 'necklace', it soon transpires, has magical properties - and in this scene 'Mum' has her eye on it - but 'Mandy McManus', proprietor of the charity shop, is determined she won't have it!

There were four schoolchildren in the pantomime, and they were great. Here's Amy, the youngest, who played Angel Fish and did a lovely dance to usher the mortals into the Kelpie's underwater kingdom underneath the River Calder.

In the end, thanks to the 'necklace' (which turns out to be the gem-encrusted magic bridle without which, I'm assured, you can't release a Kelpie!) and various other magical devices, King Kelpie is not only freed, but returned to his original status of King Unicorn!

And, in true pantomime tradition, EVERYONE finds their own true love and lives happily ever after!

Sunday, 20 November 2011


On Thursday 17th I went down to London to do some research for my adult novel, The Faraway, and to meet Catherine Pellegrino, who I'm delighted to say is to become my new agent; and as I came out of the tube at St Paul's this was one of my first sights.

The whole anti-capitalist protest camp was so fascinating I found it difficult to drag myself away, and consequently when I did finally arrive at St Bartholomew's Hospital (one of the main settings in The Faraway) the museum, which I'd planned to visit, had closed. It was a bit disappointing, but I walked around in the last of the evening sun, taking photographs, and a very helpful hospital gateman was able to answer some of my questions -so it was still a very worthwhile visit.

It was lovely to be back in Smithfield again, and especially around the church of St Bartholomew the Great, which I've written about in the past (my first children's novel, Columbine, was set in Bartholomew Fair) and have a great affection for. This part of London, being just outside the Wall and therefore surviving the Great Fire, feels very much unchanged and I'm looking forward to writing about it again soon.

Here's the entrance to the churchyard - made famous by its appearance in Four Weddings and a Funeral!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

King Kelpie's Mask

At last, King Kelpie's mask is finished! Well ... almost ... It still needs a mane, but it's just about there and I think it looks very regal. Here it is, with the Fish Sprites masks alongside:

The horn is still drying on top of the radiator and hopefully, by the Magic of Velcro, King Kelpie will transfer seamlessly into King Unicorn later today.
Hooves crossed!!!!!