I was immediately intrigued by ‘Sign Here’ as I’ve noticed that children always seem to have a fascination with filling in official-looking forms – shopping lists from a well-known Scandinavian furniture store, order slips from catalogue companies…the list goes on! So when ‘Sign Here’ arrived, packed full of more unusual forms to complete, I just knew my kids were going to love it!
There are forms for planning birthday parties, to say sorry, to write Father Christmas, but I decided to give my sons the ‘When I Grow Up’ form to complete. I plan to keep them to show them when they get to age when they actually need to choose a career! One wants to be a footballer or an engineer. The other? A wizard. Excellent choice!
I am also lucky enough to be able to host a post by Gabrielle introducing herself through 5 things you may not know about her….
5 THINGS YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT ME
1. My grandparents were magical
My grandfather was a magician called ‘The Great Masoni’. He regularly cut my granny in half on stage and, in her own right, she performed an impressive memory act as ‘Shan the Girl with the Amazing Memory’. Her real name was Audrey, but to my sisters and me she was Granny Mason or Gem – the latter describes her perfectly. Together they performed on cruise ships, in West End theatres and on television. ‘TheGreat Masoni’ made a brief appearance as a conjurer in the Ealing Studios comedy, Passport to Pimlico.
2. When I’m not writing I’m making hats
I trained as a milliner after graduating from Goldsmith with a degree in English Literature. It wasn’t the path I had planned (nor one a careers advisor could have dreamt up), but I did at least venture into hat making knowing that the trilby took it’s name from a hat worn in the stage adaptation of George du Maurier’s novel Trilby. I didn’t know much else! Years later, while working for eminent milliner Stephen Jones, I had the good fortune of meeting Adèle Mildred – a brilliant designer, artist and illustrator. We now run a millinery collective, HOOD and her name appears next to mine as the illustrator of Sign Here.
3. Mr Kandinsky
I have a wonderful dog called Mr Kandinsky. People often think he is named after the Russian abstract artist but he in fact takes his name from the hard-working tailor in Wolf Mankowitz’s novel, A Kid for Two Farthings. Mr Kandinsky (Dinsky for short) has a mostly black coat with shades of grey around the edges and a substantial white moustache, by virtue of which he bears more than a passing resemblance to my dad. He likes big dogs, small children and prefers chasing a ball that doesn’t belong to him.
4. Creature comforts
If it’s not Mr Kandinsky, it might be a black cat scarf, parrot earrings or a silver mouse brooch. Whichever way, there is always an animal (or two) with me. My jewellery box, a repurposed glass cigarette case, is a menagerie of finds from hunting expeditions at local car boot sales and nearby charity shops. It’s a happy obsession and choosing the animal that will keep me company is the best bit about getting dressed.
5. Funny side up
Boiled, fried or poached eggs have never passed my lips. They never will.
However, I love scrambled eggs (especially those served in Café Bohème on Old Compton Street in Soho). I’m not entirely sure I can argue any logic to this, except that I generally find a muddle more appealing!
Thank you, Gabrielle. I really do feel that I know you a lot better now – Mr. Kandinsky is so adorable!
Make sure you take a look at @readitdaddy ‘s stop on the blog tour tomorrow.
*Many thanks to Prestel Publishing for sending me this copy to review and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour*