The world of Beatrix Potter

The tales of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle & Mr. Jeremy Fisher are probably two of my favourite (who am I kidding they’re all my favourite, ha)

🐸’s solitary life, talking to himself, his fear of being swallowed up by a giant creature of the deep when he’s innocently fishing upon a tranquil pond; and the motherly Mrs Tiggy Winkle, 🦔 her hospitality and helpfulness to do others washing in her little snug home in the hillside … but she still lets a visitor in.

I had the fortune of visiting Beatrix Potter’s home Hill Top Farm in Ambleside a few summers ago… it was cozy, with a quaint garden, cabbage/ carrot 🥕 patch and little lanes leading to the village that gave inspiration for her characters! Well what struck me was that the post box was miles away & she was very isolated (Back in the day when she wouldn’t be driving around or waiting for an hourly bus!) the map 🗺 inside this book shows an overview of all the areas around…

It was interesting to wander around the dark wooden panelled corridors of her house, see the little toy figurines in their cabinets, it all struck me as quite small and dark…. and tightly fitted, she would have to stoop down to cross the thresholds of many a doorway. But the solitude and tranquility suited her best, and that’s where I can relate!

Her ability to illustrate using watercolour her stories and antidotes of her woodland pets really are an inspiration and she never lost faith in the wonderful world she brought to life. Not only this but the stories showcase the best of the British countryside (I also started learning the theme song to the 90’s TV show on the piano- “Perfect Day” by Miriam Stockley) 🤓

In the end, she left her legacy to the National Trust after her death, including almost all the original illustrations of her books. Definitely a recommend to visit her home if you’re also a Potter fan like me! And since I owned most (but not quite all) her stories in their traditional white covered versions, this collection will definitely hold a special place in my heart! 🙂

My old and very faded portrait I’ve had since a young kid! ☝️

Drifting 5 weeks in a balloon 🎈

Hello again after having vanished for a few years (epic writer’s block there…) I received this lovely Barnes & Nobles edition as a Christmas present so I started reading! (Who could have believed I was such a “Back to the Future”/ lit nerd & not read it…the mysteries of the world

I drifted off to the sound of trickling rivers and gentle harp music only to find myself in the land between imagining if my character Dinah in my own novel ended up stepping through the pages and let herself be swept up in a one so frequent African storm, saved only by Doctor Ferguson’s ingenuity for aeronautics, Joe- ever the optimist lending a helping hand as she traversed the barren desert 🏜 of her own journey , and the intrepid hunter Kennedy cracking jokes and shooting his rifle at the inhabitants and beasts below (as he so often does to protect the balloon). No doubt they would all be in awe of her leather-bound she refused to surrender (because after all, how would she even get back to her own reality without the aid of her Jules Verne collection?) 

She could technically go months if not years page hoping from one story to the next, an entire bookshelf’s worth of novels at her disposal. 

Just like I escaped through the pages of my dreams – and imagined how wonderful it was to be surrounded by constant adventure…

Right now I’m still lost somewhere in a giant hot air balloon suspended in space, barely touching the horizon, resting above the clouds spread out like a furry white throw caught in the rays of the early sun ☀️ there’s no need to come back to reality just yet… 

Everything aside, I found myself laughing out loud at their anecdotes and wondering how amazing it would be to travel (with the right expert to guide you of course) across deserted plains & forests in a hot air balloon avoiding disease, illness, battles & quite frankly~ other people on the ground…

They met many obstacles but otherwise it was smooth sailing watching all the drama unfold below. But just being a quiet observer above, what did they truly miss?  🤔 Kennedy could vouch for that, no hunting for him, but sometimes it’s important to be in the thick of things to really experience all life has to offer…

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In The Beginning

It sticks out of the bookshelf like a shark’s tooth;
gold leaf with shades of chrome, black.
Too loud, too at ease in its own skin.

Lined up like an army, battered and
dog eared volumes traverse the shelves.
I’d fought wars through those pages,
I had ridden through midnight trains,
soared over cities, learnt life’s bitter lessons.
A snow shaker of timeless dimensions
sealed with glue and trapped in paper walls.

Bending with the weight of secrets.

“I have chosen for you.” he says.
“The book that will change your life.”
He points to the hardbound cover creeping
its way out of the shelf,
inching its way closer-
willing me to pluck it down like a ripe apple.

It looks confident.

The book falls with a resounding thud
into my eager hands.
It is heavy, its skeletal structure
digging into the grooves of my palm,
making a home for itself
like an affection seeking cat.

I glance at its neighbours,
wispy and insubstantial like the smoke of dreams.
With the sound of their hushed murmurings
I turn the first leaf,
as the first four words fall from my lips….

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Copyright © 2015 by Kate W J White (All Rights Reserved)