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!

Andy and Sharon Hopwood

Welcome Distractions

15 January

After a busy morning rushing around making sure my teenage boy was presentable for school and all of our animals had been fed and watered, I arrived at my office feeling over wrought and a tad stressed. I had a long list of work that needed to be done. Emails that needed to be sent, letters to be opened, students to teach, my daily minimum of 1000 words to write on my latest story, phone calls to make, an agent to find…how could I fit it all in? It was only 8.45am and I was already feeling overwhelmed.

That was until I met Luke. He was sat down on the pavement outside my office. I?d never met Luke before but he looked cute so I sat down beside him.

?What are you doing?? I asked the toddler.

?Stone,? Luke replied, pointing at a small pebble that was the focus of his attention. Luke?s mother smiled politely at me and mumbled an apology about not being able to get her son off the ground.

?Wow, that?s a great stone,? I told Luke.

Luke prodded it with his chubby fingers. ?Yup.?

?Shall we find some more?? I asked him.

Luke didn?t just smile; he beamed. ?Yup.?

And that was it. Ten minutes of easy conversation and trivial stone collecting. After saying a rather reluctant goodbye to my new friend I entered my offices with an excitement about what the day had to offer.

Gone were the mundane worries and the mental obstructions about not having enough time to fit everything in. Instead I felt light and happy and ready to have some more fun! (Hence the photo of me mucking about rather than sending those emails…)

My little adventure put me in mind of the poem by W.H Davies. OK so I know the poem isn?t about collecting stones off the dirty pavement in the drizzling rain ? but you know what I mean eh?

Thanks Luke…same time next week?



What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

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