Daily Life, Poem, Work, Writer's Blog


Imagine my surprise to come home today and find a poem I wrote for my four-month-old granddaughter, in print in a beautiful photobook.


When Harper was first born, I wrote her a poem which I was so honoured to see displayed in a frame not only in her nursery but in one of her other Nanny’s kitchen last week.

Having spent two whole days with them last weekend, I felt I had enough content to write another one and the finished result was a ten verse, forty line poem, which I was reasonably pleased with.

I posted it on my blog and shared it on Facebook, little knowing that my daughter-in-law to be (let’s call her my daughter-in-law), enjoyed it enough to have it printed along with some relevant photos and made into a book.


The front page, which I cannot resist sharing with you all, read as follows:

“Dear grandad Clive and nanny Julie. I loved the poem you wrote me that much I asked mummy to put it in a book for me.

Please will you bring this with you when you come visit me and read it to me and Winnie xx”


I opened it and couldn’t read it straight away as my eyes were filled with tears. Such a thoughtful gift to come home to. Katie (to give my daughter-in-law a name) had chosen pictures to illustrate each verse of the poem which added to the personalisation perfectly.


The whole situation was made even better when, as an actual ‘step-nanny’ I was immediately made to feel one of the grandparents when Harper arrived. There was no ‘step-nanny and step-grandad’ for anyone not blood related, only three sets of grandparents.

The image above shows my ‘stepson’ Kurt and his fiancee, Katie, with baby Harper. They live just under a two hour drive away and, so far, we have been able to visit them on a monthly basis. When we are not around, and almost every day, Katie sends us photos, videos and text updates, keeping us involved in Harper’s milestones. For example, yesterday brought us a video of Harper sucking happily on her first rusk. Beautiful.

If you want to re-read the poem, you can do so here:

Harper at almost four months


Thank you, Katie (and, of course, Kurt and Harper). Xxx

Daily Life, Writer's Blog

Christmas Eve Book Giving Tradition

As an avid reader, as most of the readers of this blog are likely to be, I was excited to discover a beautiful Icelandic tradition whereby families exchange books as gifts on Christmas Eve. The idea is that you spend the night reading although, in reality, many people are preparing food and gifts in readiness for their guests or those they are visiting on Christmas Day.


The tradition is called Jolobokaflod in Iceland, which translates to ‘Christmas Book Flood’, at which, many of the books sold between September and December are headed. In Iceland, they don’t tend to give e-books, instead opting for the gift of paper copies, physical books being a gift of such importance.


This tradition is new to me, although I have always been happy to give and receive books at Christmas. The idea of giving books on Christmas Eve and then spending at least part of the evening snuggled up in my pyjamas with a warm drink, reading the gifted book, is definitely one I am going to bring to my own family Christmas.


My family do not know of this plan yet, and most of them don’t read my blog or short stories unless I send them to them directly via email, so they will, I hope, be pleased to have the additional gift of a physical book this Christmas Eve. We are all going to my daughter and her husband’s new home for Christmas so this is the first time I will be assisting with the preparations rather than accepting help myself.


I did ensure my husband was aware of this experimental family tradition, as he will need to buy a book for me to avoid any unease. And why not? I love a book as much as, if not more than, the next reader.