Once upon a time there was a children's author who spent her days thinking up stories while defending her home against splodgers, baking banana cakes and juggling tortoise. Read what I've been up to in my scrapbook - it's all in a day's work!

The Travelling Toonsies

29 October

So, we?re off on our holidays!

It?s a 12 hour flight but we pass the time by watching in-flight movies, reading and dozing. There?s a mix up with the meal ? there usually is as we are all vegetarian. Flight attendant moans that I?ll have to have her meal as there aren?t any vegetarian options left for me. I said ?thank you very much? and enjoyed every mouthful!

We got off the plane and it was like opening an oven door. The heat hit us hard and we peeled off layers of clothes getting ready for the bumpy ride to our hotel. On the way through the airport I bought two children?s books entitled ?The Great Wise Man at the Paddy Field? and ?Gamarala and the Devils? which are reworks of Sinhalese folk tales. I love traditional tales of all cultures ? what a find!

The traffic in Sri Lanka is hectic to say the least! Drivers think that if they beep their horn, then they can do just about anything ? just so long as they have beeped first! Over take a large bus on a corner ? beep your horn. Over take a family of eight on a moped ? beep your horn. Overtake a water buffalo pulling a large load of furniture ? beep your horn. Simple. I close my eyes until we get to our destination.

Cocktails await us at the hotel and there are hugs and kisses all around as we say hello to our Sri Lankan friends. I sink into the deep sofas in the reception area and smile. Relaxed already ? the travelling toonsies are ready for an adventure!

So, what did we get up? What did we see? Well, the very next morning we arrived at the restaurant for breakfast ? only to find that 100 monks had also turned up for breakfast! All wearing bright orange robes and huge smiles.

travelling toonsiesThey had come to the hotel for a conference. There were monks everywhere! After breakfast we had our photo taken with one of the monks and then went off to have a day of fun.

Later that day, whilst relaxing by the pool side, I read the folk book I had bought at the airport ? and an idea popped into my head based on the monks and the traditional folk tale. That idea became my story The Monk That Came to Breakfast which I am very fond of.

Later that week we set off on a Safari trip. We go to Udawalawu National Park and see lots of wild animals in their natural habitat. What an amazing adventure! We saw lots of animals, including jackals, peacocks, pelicans, crested hawk eagles, snakes and fruit bats. My favourites were the elephants and… the crocodile! I scribbled down the names of all of the animals we saw as we trundled along in our safari jeep.

I knew that I wanted to write a story about the wonderful wildlife in Sri Lanka ? and once I got back home – I did!

My Safari AdventureMy Safari Adventure is all about that wonderful Safari trip ? what we saw and what we did ? everything is true apart from the bit were Jack is actually sitting on the crocodiles head! I might have made that bit up – but that?s another story!

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