Monthly Archives: October 2021

Abigay’s Farm

This book by Odette Elliott, who has long been a reader of Bookwitch, is relatively short, but it has everything. By this I mean it’s a nice story, in that old-fashioned sense, while also giving us a mixed race family, illness and potential disability, discussing problems facing farmers today, and how to deal with bullying. That might be all, but is definitely enough to be going on with.

Twins Abigay and Gabriel get on – I was going to say, surprisingly well – but they are twins, so this will explain their interaction with each other. Used to doing everything together, enjoying life on their grandparents’ farm, Abigay is shipped off on her own, because Gabriel is in hospital.

The farm is lovely, but there is something different about it too. The grandparents look worried and the local bully seems extra sure of himself. Abigay finally works out what it is, and she also works out how things might be solved. Back in London there are new problems for Gabriel, meaning more worrying on all fronts.

But as I said, this is a nice story, and things will work out. Eventually.

I would like to have a farm like this to visit. I suppose having grandparents would be taking wishes too far, but a favourite spot in the countryside would be lovely.


a Boy his Bear and a Bully

Be brave.

That’s not easy, I know.

In a Boy his Bear and a Bully, Katie Flannigan writes about Scott who takes his teddy to school with him. He’s not alone, as Rosie brings her unicorn to school too. But Duncan, he’s the mean one, bullying Scott every day.

And then Buttons – that’s the teddy – disappears.

I think we all know what happened. But how to sort it? Well, it’s Dress Up Day, and wearing his dinosaur suit, Scott finally knows what he has to do. It still takes courage.

I hope readers of this book will be able to be braver than I would be.

Illustrations by P J Reece.

Kevin’s cat

The laptops kept coming. That was the third one in just over a week. Clearly life in the corporate world is different from what we’ve known until now. Although, I’d have expected the equipment to be new. Or at least clean.

So there we were, with laptop number three. Number two had just been processed, so Daughter held off on its successor for a couple of days. She felt a bit ill. So did I. Or rather, it was that gunky hayfevery feel again, autumn notwithstanding.

On the third day she sat down to clean number three. At least one cat hair was found, plus much general dirt. The penny dropped. What if this ill we were feeling was a reaction to stealth cat invasion?

I suggested she ask the IT guy if the previous user of laptop number three had a cat. Immediate response saying he was called Kevin and yes he does have a cat and how did she know?

Good question, that.

At our end I forbade her hugging me while she was still wearing the catty top, before we both stripped off, had showers and wiped off the furniture. You touch a lot before you know that Kevin’s cat is in the house. Wipes not being enough, the Resident IT Consultant suggested she get some air in, for blowing those cat hairs away, just like McGee does in NCIS.

Next time we’ll know to request, no, demand, clean tech. New would be preferable, but at least CLEAN! Did Kevin’s mother teach him nothing?

Yeah, well

I can see clearly now…

I’m not sure I knew quite what ailed me. Or what I wanted.

But I lasted something like two days before my two typing fingers were itching again. Watched an online Society of Authors Afternoon Tea interview with Jacqueline Wilson, where Dawn Finch asked lots of pertinent questions and got many interesting, neither stale nor old, answers from Jacqueline. I couldn’t quite adapt to the ‘watch only, take no notes and do not write about it afterwards’ regime.

If I can do this at my own pace, with no gifted books or events tickets breathing down my neck, I might well be able to share my opinions with you regularly.

‘Oh, goody,’ I hear you say.

Yeah, well, that’s life.

I’ll work something out. I have far too many opinions wanting to get out there, for me to hold them in. What if I burst?