Riverside Lodge

Riverside Lodge

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Pumpkins for 3,99 €

The Hogwarts are at an indoor market hall selling Hester's pumpkins. 

As they wait for the first customers to arrive, Henry uses a green pumpkin as a broom. "Look, Dada!" he exclaims, "A flyin' punkin!" 
"That's very creative, my little bacon roll!" Mr Hogwart says.

Hattie, who is sitting on the table top is staring at a pumpkin that's a little different than the others. It has eyes and a laaarge mouth and pointy teeth. Hattie is wondering whether the pumpkin might bite her... 

Hope is the first to see a bunch of customers arrive. It's the Mouskewitz's and they are new in town!

Hester jumps off her chair to greet them. "A pleasure to meet you! My name is Hester! How are you settling in?" 
She finds out that mother Mouskewitz is called Olga, the father Danilo and the children are Inna and Andrej.

Hamish is happy to greet the newcomers also. "Welcome to Riverside, Mr Mouskewitz!" he says. 
"Please call me Danilo!" Mr Mouskewitz offers. 

The children smile at each other curiously.

When Olga Mouskewitz says she would like to buy a pumpkin, Hester starts a lengthy monologue about the pros and cons of each variety.
"This one makes the creamiest soups and pies," she explains, "and that one is best if you would like to make toffee or marmalade." 

Finally Olga chooses one of the dark orange variety. The family is very pleased with their purchase and they all smile and wave goodbye to the Hogwarts - except Andrej who is too busy pinching his sister's tail.

"Such a lovely family," Hester says to Ham as they smile and wave goodbye. "I agree, my dear. Oh, look who's coming now!" says Hamish.

It's Fudge, Riverside's very own Biwubear! He is carrying a dark brown basket over one paw and a packet of toffees in the other. Pickles, his pet dragon, is sitting on his arm.

"So good to see you, Fudge, my dear!!" gushes Hester, but before anyone can say anything else, Pickles jumps from Fudge's arm onto the market table and the magic pumpkin starts barking at him in an aggressive manner. Pickles growls and yaps defensively.

Fortunately, Hamish intervenes. At first he feels like scolding the pumpkin, but then he has an idea...
Meanwhile, Fudge is getting important information from Hester. I am sure he needs a pumpkin for baking pie, or maybe he wants to restock his jar of pumpkin toffee.

Since the magic pumpkin did such a good job of protecting their produce, Hamish has decided to put him in charge of guarding his wallet. 

Fudge has selected a pumpkin and has agreed to a cup of sweet tea. Henry and Hope watch as Pickles sniffs the outside of the pumpkin, imagining all the toffees or pies it will make...

After Fudge has payed with his packet of toffees  and left (he has an entire stack of them at home), the Hogwarts start to restock the table top with pumpkins that were lying underneath. 

The next visitor is Sidney Sylverson who is shopping alone today, because his wife and two daughters are in bed with the flu!

"I need two large pumpkins, please, so I can make a nourishing soup for my ladies, as well as pumpkin casserole for myself" says Sidney. 

"There you go," says Hester after putting the green variety in his basket for the casserole and one of the round orange ones for soup. 
Sidney says thank you to the Hogwarts and goes home right away to start cooking.

The next customers are the Woodchucks. Hester greets Chelsea with a kiss on the cheek and says hi to Charles and the children. Little Chutney is looking adorable as always, in his pink shirt and tie.

The Woodchucks are very quick with their purchase, as they already knew what they were looking for. "Bye bye!" says Chelsea to little Hattie and Hope.

Who is this...?? 
Remember that Fudge took in two forest creatures last winter? One of them was a pumpkin head called Wendelbert Wolperting.

"Heeellooo, effry one!" he says, grinning like a Cheshire cat.

"Just looking - allrrready got ze pumpkin!" he says as he walks by and everyone laughs and waves at him.

The last customers today are Lance Schaefer with his wheelbarrow and son Danny on his bobbycar. 

They have a very big family, so they buy the rest of the pumpkins (except for the one with eyes and a mouth).

"I think we better take you back home with us!" says Hester to the pumpkin. "You'll fit in with us just fine!"


P.S.: Wendelbert Wolperting and the magic pumpkin were made by Irina

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Old Tree Hill

"Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths, 1917"

Have you ever heard of the mysterious case of the Cottingley Fairies?

A long long time ago, in 1917 to be precise, in a village in West Yorkshire, two cousins (nine-year-old Frances Griffiths and sixteen-year-old Elsie Wright) claimed to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the Wrights' garden.

Their story captured the attention not only of famous personalities such as theosophist Edward Gardner and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the inventor of Sherlock Holmes, but of British society as a whole. Everybody wanted to know whether the photos were real.

Even nowadays, many years after the case has been debunked (the fairies in the photographs had allegedly been "inspired" by illustrations taken from "Princess Mary's Gift Book"), certain questions remain unanswered and some people still ask: Were there really fairies along Cottingley Beck?

I wonder whether we will ever know the truth...

On a sunny spring afternoon, in a town in Sylvania called Riverside, two girls (Jemima Periwinkle and Tamara Babblebrook) are walking home from an Easter basket hunt. James and Julie Periwinkle, Jemima's parents, have gone on a romantic date, which is why they have engaged the oldest daughter of the Babblebrooks, Tamara, to take little Jemima to the Easter basket hunt and then back home.

At the hunt, Jemima found a basket filled with a large bar of Easter chocolate and two different kinds of sugary sweets. She is very pleased. Her yellow rubber duck Quackie is also pleased, after all, she was allowed to come along today and she is already mentally unpacking the crinkley wrapping of one of the goodies.

Suddenly Jemima hears a sound. It is a strange sound, as it seems neither of Sylvanian nor of animal origin. There is a rustle and a whisper and then a tiny bodiless voice, just loud enough for Jemima to hear, chants:
"Bonbons are tasty,
Bonbons are nice,
Creamy and fruity
Are bonbons - my vice!"

Jemima sees the squirrel that was sitting next to the tree scuttle off in a hurry. I guess the girls were getting a little too close.

Jemima shakes her head awkwardly. Did she just imagine that strange voice? Quackie seems to have heard something unusual too, though...

"Tammy! I heard some-ting weird... Don't know what... an animal, maybe?" says Jemima to her older friend.

"Hmm, I didn't hear a thing, my darling. Just the rustle of the leaves," says Tamara happily.


Before they can continue walking, Jemima hears something else. First there's a soft whistle and a ripple of laughter like wind chimes and then someone recites:

"Candies are yummy,
Candies are sweet,
Sug'ry and juicy
Are candies to eat!"

"What was dat?" asks Jemima wide-eyed. "I tink a ghost is talking, Tammy!"

"I didn't hear a thing, my dumpling! Just a bird cawing in the trees," says Tamara dreamily, while gently pulling Jemima by the hand and further down the hill.

Quackie has decided to play it safe and scrambles up Tamara's dress to sit inside the Easter basket. Maybe the tree on Old Tree Hill is haunted??

Down and down they go. But what is that, behind them? A little round, turquoise ball...

It is one of Jemima's candies. It must have fallen out of the basket when Quackie jumped inside. Neither of the girls notice.

A little pink creature standing on a tree branch watches them leave while down below the red squirrel is the first to inspect the wrapped sweet. It decides that it does not like the smell of sugary things.

All the better for "Little Pinkie" who is slowly making her way towards the tiny round treasure, singing:

"Nothing better
North or south,
Than tasty sweeties
In my mouth!

I challenge you
This moment right,
To cook a more
Supreme delight!"

Then she pauses, picks up the candy and takes it with her up into the tree. 

"Nutters, you never know when you might need an especially sweet sweetie, my sweet!" she announces to the squirrel. And with that she sticks the candy onto the mass of fluffy cotton-like hair adorning her head.

Squirrel crunches in affirmation before her friend resumes singing:

"Round sweeties are the sweetest thing,
They make me smile and laugh and sing.
I'll keep this drop for times much harder
Inside my cotton candy larder!"

Not long after the Sylvanians have left the sight of the old tree, the rest of the fairy family come out of their hiding places. Because that is what they are - tree fairies. The baby is put to sleep on the large branch underneath a blanket of moss. Grandma stomps to and fro, fussing about noisy Sylvanians traipsing up and down the hill far too often a day and Grandpa pokes around in the soil with his walking stick, hoping to find another piece of candy.

"Useless Sylvanians..." he grumbles. "Could've left the entire basket here, hmph! But Sylvanians never think of us tree keepers, do they? Hmph. Loud and pesky folk, hmph..."

The little pink fairy giggles. She knows her grandparents act much more ill-tempered than they really are...

I'm not nearly as acquainted with the fairy realm as Elsie Wright or Frances Griffiths were, but I was lucky enough to get a picture of all of the fairies of Old Tree Hill together, underneath their ancient tree. "Little Pinkie" is actually called Candy - a very fitting name, if you ask me. From left to right you can see Grandma Baldine, baby brother Jelly and Grandpa Wrinkles.

"The Fairies of Old Tree Hill"

Perhaps this is all an outrageous lie or a sort of fever dream you are having in front of your computer... Maybe there is no such thing as fairies on Old Tree Hill and Jemima was having a daydream or suffering from heatstroke. Very possibly there never were fairies at the bottom of the old tree and this photograph is just a fake, based on illustrations somebody once saw in an old book...

I wonder whether we will ever know the truth...

🌸 🌸 🌸

***The fairy family was made by me out of Fimo.***

 Have a magical week.


Sunday, 30 April 2017

Mother's Goodnight Ritual

Ralfie Hazelnut is spending a night at the Peachblossoms'. He and the cubs have spent the afternoon playing games and now it is time to get ready for bed.

As you can see, Portia's sheep are fast asleep.

Orangine Peachblossom has already placed Ralfie's cozy sleeping bag onto the floor between Paul and Portia's beds. 

The only one who doesn't seem ready for bed is Ralfie.

"Stop wiggling and hitting me with your legs, Ralfie!" orders Paul. 

"Doing parent stuff is harder than I thought..." he says to himself. Ralfie is so energetic! Paul didn't imagine it would be that hard to take the clothes off a baby squirrel.

In the meantime, Portia has taken off her dress and placed it on the chair in the corner.

She lets Ralfie hop into her bed while Paul takes off his dungarees.

"Do your mommy and daddy read you stories and show you picture books and give you hugs and kisses and warm glasses of milk and tuck you in at night at all??" Ralfie asks Portia with very little hope. He is suddenly missing his parents very much...

"Why of course they do. I mean, not exactly all of those things. But Daddy sometimes reads us stories and Mummy has a special goodnight ritual for us," Portia replies.

"Huh? Goodnight what?" asks Ralfie.

Instead of an answer, Portia walks to the dresser and takes a large cardboard box off the top shelf.

Paul lays his clothes on top of Portia's dress as tidily as possible. Then he pauses. His red scarf looks like a curled up cobra about to pounce...

"Here, look," explains Portia to Ralfie. "Before we go to sleep, Mummy tucks us in and gives us our magical key to Dreamland. The key with the pink gem is mine."

"Ooooh!" says Ralfie intrigued. "And what happens then?" 

"Then," Portia continues, we lie in our beds and imagine the door to Dreamland. It is right in front of you, you know. You just have to close your eyes. Once you see it, all you need to do is use the key to open it and then you can walk around Dreamland the entire night and do whatever you want."

"Wow!" whispers Ralfie in amazement. "Whatever I want..."

Paul has managed to free himself from the red cobra's deadly stare and give his stuffed animal a goodnight kiss. Now Portia tucks him in.

"Thanks Portia," says Paul. Then he adds, "Porsh? Where are you going to sleep tonight?
"What do you mean?" His sister replies.

Then she realizes what Paul is talking about. Ralfie has fallen asleep in Portia's bed with his fuzzy little paw around her key.

She didn't even have time to explain to him that after ten minutes Mummy comes back in, puts the magic keys back into the box and gives them a goodnight kiss...

"He looks like he's unconscious, Porsh! It must be from all that wiggling and jiggling around when I undressed him. That would wear anybody out!" says Paul.

Suddenly Mrs Peachblossom enters the room.

"Hello, my dears!" she says with a smile. "I see you have all gotten ready for bed!" she praises them.

"Mother, I'll have to sleep on the FLOOR tonight!" wails Portia. "Ralfie fell asleep in my bed!"

Orangine lifts up the pink blanket and takes the gold key out of Ralfie's hand. Then she and her daughter stand and stare for a moment at the chubby little squirrel lying on his tummy and breathing so peacefully.

"Aren't babies lovely?" says Orangines quietly. "You and your brother's legs were just as short when you were little!"

"Yeah, Mum, he's adorable, but WHERE am I going to sleep tonight??" urges Portia.

"Don't fuss, darling," says Mrs Peachblossom while gently picking Ralfie up into her arms and sliding him into his sleeping bag. 

"You don't need any magic to handle a baby squirrel once it's asleep."

"See?" she says while carefully laying the Ralfie-cocoon onto the floorboards. "Easy peasy."

Portia cuddles up in bed and watches her mother give Ralfie a tender goodnight kiss. She is happy to have such a gentle and calm mother. Hopefully she can become like her some day.

"Goodnight my dears! I love you!" says Orangine before turning off the lights.

Dear friends, have a wonderful week!

(And if you ever find a baby squirrel sleeping in your bed,
please retrieve it as gently as Orangine Peachblossom.)

🌜   🐹 🍼  🌛

Portia and Orangine's dresses were made by Jill
Penguin bedding set and carpet made by Kathy.