Editor Des

” Hello from Editor Des. Well I’ve been allowed to introduce this little blog, even though I still struggle to read, which is a bit of  problem for an assistant editor.  BUT,  I can recite the alphabet backwards, so that’s something!” Over to you Pauline…”.

Thank you Desmond. I just hope you will  soon learn to use  those 26 letters in a more meaningful manner….ha ha.

I’ve always loved reading  and libraries, even though I  (like  every other child I knew)  was terrified of Miss Andrews,   elderly  custodian of the Lady Clark Children’s Library in my  Tasmanian home town of Ulverstone.  Once I lost   Marmalade the  Cat  and Miss Andrews sent an overdue notice to my parents, It was a dreadful worry;  worse than losing my school jumper.  The book eventually  turned up under my bed, covered in fluff.  I can’t remember whether I ever  found the  jumper.

Eventually I worked in libraries myself.  Oddly enough, I spent a  year or so in  the Ulverstone library , where I was a pale shadow of Miss Andrews!   No-one appeared to be the slightest bit  frightened of me.  When I told  certain children they had to pay a fine they  would say: ‘Try and make me!’  and saunter off.   Afterwards I would discover terrible words scribbled in the pages.   But there were lovely little kids too, who made it all worthwhile and loved  The Giant Jam Sandwich  as much as I thought they should.

My favourite book when I was growing up actually belonged to my sister.  It had a  black cover with a rainbow  and was called; Coles’ Funny Picture Book . In retrospect it was very politically incorrect ….I remember there were pictures of thrashing machines for naughty boys and such like.

The Best Child’s Picture Book In The World!

Enid Blyton’s  The Magic Faraway Tree  was another favourite (aso one of  Robbie’sAnd I  adored   Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding  too  (a birthday present to Robbie).  Hmm, bit of a pattern emerging here.  But what child could fail to  love a book which included  the rhyme:

‘Eat away, chew away; munch and bolt and guzzle,

Never leave the table till you’re full up to the muzzle!’

Perhaps I didn’t have any books, being the fourth  and extremely deprived child. No wonder I had to read The Weekly Tines and grew up knowing so much about bloating  in cows and what to do if a chook’s egg bag fell out.  Only joking, I had lots of books really.

My mother read to us too…what bliss. Generations of children have enjoyed this pleasure;


Mother reading to her child

A picture of contentment.

To be honest, I  wanted to write this piece just so I could share the following  creation by the miniaturist Kiva Atkinson;

A book, some bickies and glass of milk…Bliss!

Isn’t it  magical? Two examples of Kiva’s work  appear in  my book All Along the River; Tales From the Thames. You can see more of  her   quirky creations at:  http://www.kivasminiatures.com   Happy reading everyone!

There is another story about reading on this site. Just click here.

And finally, here is a message from Miss Andrews herself, now issuing books and overdue notices in that great library in the sky;









  1. Dear Desmond. I think you did more reading than me growing up. I was more into music. See I lived in a big pub and we had a jukebox. So, apart from, Little Woman, and Jo’s Boys, which were my mum’s books, it was music. I was a bit wayward, which I’ve heard you are Des. Naughty, but nice, aye? Girls weren’t allowed to come to the pub to play. So most of my friends were boys. Guess that’s why I’m a bit of a Tom-boy. After school, they’d take my big German Shepherd, Sergeant Whisky, for a walk. Then, my daddy would give each of us a bottle of Coca Cola and a bag of crisps. And as many free plays on the jukebox as we wanted. So, where lots of little girls wrote fairy stories, I wrote rock songs. But it was, just like you Desmond, fun! xxx

  2. I love Coca Cola and chips but I’m hardly ever allowed to have them. I have to eat apples and bits of raw carrot! My favourite books mostly have pictures but I’m learning to play a musical instrument. I’ll get my picture taken with it for you and put it on Pauline’s FB page. Dr Bob says he used to like reading Biggles..and Phamtom comics.

  3. Pauline, thank you for putting the octo on your blog!! He fits in very nicely with this entry!! When I was a wee lass, I loved Charlotte’s Web and The Little Prince, just two that come to mind immediately. From there, I graduated to Nancy Drew…THEN Judy Blume, ha ha!! Those Blume books were salacious (well, to my adolescent mind). Congratulations again on your brand new novel!!! I can’t wait for the next :-D!!

    • Pauline

      My pleasure Kiva, I adore Octo with his little plate of fish biscuits! I remember all the books you mention from my library days, especially Judy Blume. I think the waiting list for Charlotte’s Web was about five years!! I loved The Little Prince.

  4. Very cute idea for a blog with co-editor!! I like it!! Loved reading about your favorite books from childhood!

    • Pauline

      Thanks Louise

      The only problem is that Des’s opinion of his editorial skills is far in advance of his actual ability and educational level. His head swells at the drop of a hat so to speak.

  5. Yes, well as I’m home schooled Louise it is fairly clear who is to blame for any gaps in my knowledge. Someone I know spends far too much time dithering about instead of attending to my lessons. And BTW (that’s ‘By the Way’ in social media speak) the only hats dropped on my head are crepe paper ones at Christmas, and my so called ‘swollen head’ is always far too small for them.

  6. Dear Editor Des. For someone who is struggling to read, your spelling is very good. Hope you’re not cheating now!

    • Madalyn, it’s not really cheating but I do get Dr Bob to help me with some of the hard words. And you know what? Even he has to borrow Pauline’s big dictionary sometimes.

  7. Nice post, Pauline. I love Kiva Atkinson’s miniatures. My favourite book as a child was Grimm’s Fairy Tales. In particular, I loved the story of the Six Swans. My favourite children’s book now is Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Book by Lauren Child. It tells the magical tale of a boy who gets into a book, which I have often wanted to do.

    • Thanks Yolande. Yes, I loved Grimms fairy tales too, even though they frightened me! But I don’t remember the one about six swans, will have to look it up. Nor have I read Who’s Afaid of the Big Bad Book’ but I’m sure I would (will!) enjoy it. I should have said that I also adored comic books, especially all the US ones such as Ritchie Rich, and the ones wih Archie, Veronia & Jughead etc. They Inspired an intense desire for all things American in me, hence my piece under Humour called; A Sticky Situation in America.

  8. Anne of Green Gables. It was bought for me to be read on a few days holiday – I read it very fast and pleaded with my dad for another book. I’m not wild about the octopus.

    • Pauline

      I missed out on Anne of Green Gables Chris. I watched the TV series recently. And yes, the little octopus is a divisive character! However, I think he’s quite

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