Vintage Writing Paper

8 Aug

A lovely little package came today… My vintage Waverley writing set.

Never opened and in fabulous condition. Can’t wait to start using it.

Packing up!

19 Jun

Check out my second post

An interesting visit

19 Jun

Check out my new blog.

New Art

8 Jun

Got to love new pieces of art. It can change a rooms feeling completely.

Banish Abuse

1 Jun

It strikes me as odd that psychological abuse is only just making headlines. This is not new news, in fact this kind of abuse has been slipping under the radar for far too long now.

Be it young children or the elderly, the footballer or the local school caretaker. Each and every person you see, hear, work or live with could be being abused. Right this second they could be feeling like their world is falling apart.

Ask yourselves… Is this the kind of world we want to live in? Where you order a Friday night kebab with a helping of ‘weight’ abuse! Or watch as the kid with a fresh fashion sense gets hounded for being individual? Are we as a country, a community really going to sit by and watch as people slowly get worn further and further down into a soul destroying abyss?

No!

This could be your parents, your little brother. It could be your child or it could be you! Would you tolerate such cruelty from another? Would you expect anyone else too? Lets hope not, because in order to stand up for what is right we first have to stand up for ourselves. Something that can be incredibly hard and breaking. But… Once you have climbed that wall, sat at the top and said ‘No’ to abuse, perhaps then you can make a difference.

Make a difference to the neighbour or the guy you see at the bus stop every morning. Maybe it is the kid that walks so slowly home from school. Could you be their difference? Let us speak up for those who are afraid too. Let us stop abuse in its tracks.

It may not be obvious at first, the abuser may be sly and clever. They are sometimes the people you would least expect them to be. They are the silent abusers, the ones that slip by unnoticed. They will break their victims down little by little. Break them down to depression and sadness, until their light no longer shines.

But, that light is not completely extinguished and never will be. You could be the its igniter. Lift them back from the darkness. You may feel powerless at first, feel as though things will not change. You will be right. You cannot change what happens in the darkness, you can only support them and help them grow strong. Support them to fight for themselves again.

With your help we can free the abused, help them grow back into the people they once were. So I ask you, speak up for yourselves and speak up for them. Speak up for banishing abuse.

Speak up I say! BANISH ABUSE! BANISH ABUSE!

Other Links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27631523

http://www.antibullyingweek.co.uk/

London stay

28 May

Check this out. Also see the first two chapters of my blog novel.

Charlotte Wanstall

Having arrived home from a two day trip to London I feel myself already missing this vibrant city.

The people, the sights and the shopping. The culture, the fashion and the Royalty. Everything is there for the taking. People say New York is a place where dreams happen… But London, well… Why not London too?

It is a magical place to be, get lost on the tube, take a trip along the river and visit a museum. It’s all in a days work. Then snuggle up at your stylish hotel with a night cap.

Good seeing ya London.

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London stay

27 May

Having arrived home from a two day trip to London I feel myself already missing this vibrant city.

The people, the sights and the shopping. The culture, the fashion and the Royalty. Everything is there for the taking. People say New York is a place where dreams happen… But London, well… Why not London too?

It is a magical place to be, get lost on the tube, take a trip along the river and visit a museum. It’s all in a days work. Then snuggle up at your stylish hotel with a night cap.

Good seeing ya London.

Chapter 2 – Seaside Holiday

27 May

Chapter 2 us available now. Check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Charlotte Wanstall

July 1957

I was eight years old when my parents decided that they would take me and my brother away for the summer holidays. I was distraught about the whole idea. Five weeks away with just my parents and brother for company was not an ideal situation for me. I had already planned on helping out at the local farm with the horses and have friends over.

A day before we were due to leave my mother came to help me pack. She sat me down on the end of the bed trying to reassure me that I would have a good time. “You will meet new people Annie, there will be plenty of children for you to play with. Plus I am sure they have horses there too!”, She had said smiling at me sweetly but half disappointed that I was not at all excited.

We were going to…

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Chapter 2 – Seaside Holiday

25 May

July 1957

I was eight years old when my parents decided that they would take me and my brother away for the summer holidays. I was distraught about the whole idea. Five weeks away with just my parents and brother for company was not an ideal situation for me. I had already planned on helping out at the local farm with the horses and have friends over.

A day before we were due to leave my mother came to help me pack. She sat me down on the end of the bed trying to reassure me that I would have a good time. “You will meet new people Annie, there will be plenty of children for you to play with. Plus I am sure they have horses there too!”, She had said smiling at me sweetly but half disappointed that I was not at all excited.

We were going to be staying in a camper van. Not one that moved I might add, just one that stands there looking well… like a box on sticks. Five long weeks I would be stuck in a box in close proximately to my brother who I did not get on with. He would constantly annoy me and pick on as all younger brothers do. And, so it was that I decided to pack some items to keep my busy over the holiday period.

My mother was excited that the four of us would be spending time together. While I admire her trying I feared she would be disappointed. So in order to keep the peace as much as possible I packed a three or four books and my sketch pad and pencils. The least I could do was make this a productive trip.

We set out on our journey early on a Saturday morning. I remember being dragged from my bed at what must have been about five in the early hours. Seriously, who does that to their children? I remember thinking. I think I must have slept most of the way as I don’t really remember the journey.

I do however remember standing and staring at our little box of a home with such disappointment I think my brain may have died. It was made worse when I found out that I would have a roomy for the next few weeks. Yes you heard right, my brother and I had to share a room. I really considered ending my life there and then, after all there was no way I could have imagined making it through an entire summer without strangling him and being sent down for murder. Suicide was I felt the better option.

Problem was that at the point I started to consider my options my little brother came bursting into the bedroom. We would need to discuss this barging in thing. “I’m so excited, I have never had a roomy before. Can we stay up late and eat marshmallows?” I remember standing there in shock. I had never heard him so excited. It was then that a ever so small part of me warmed to my little brother.

A few days later once I had settled in I decided it was time to explore a little further. Mum and Dad were busy with Eric and I was in need of some alone time. I grabbed my rucksack and a towel then packed my sketching pad and pencils. I wanted to sketch all the beautiful things I saw and that day was perfect because I just had time to do just that.

I headed out of the camp site and onto the beach, although it was a beautiful summers day the beach was not very busy. I remember hearing the waves crashing on to the sand before I saw them. I walking over a sand dune and was met with crystal like water and blue cloudless skies.

I walked along the beach for about ten minutes or so, I remember trying to take in every little detail like I would never see it again. The houses that lined the beach were quite breathtaking the first time I saw them. Just a row of seven or eight houses all looking out onto the beach.

I nestled myself down in front of them, but distance away so that I did not look like I was casing the joint. I sat down on my towel and grabbed my sketchpad, I suppose I had been sketching the sea and skyline for about thirty minutes or so when I was disturbed.

“What are you doing?”, came a voice from behind me. I remember thinking that this could not be happening. All I had wanted was some alone time. However I put my pad and pencil down and turned to face my disrupter.

“What do you want?”. My tone was not the most welcoming I have t admit as I look back now. So much so that most people would have got the hint. However, much to my dismay he did not.

“I just wondered what you were doing. Don’t normally see kids out here on there own”. He just stood there looking at me and waiting for me to respond. It was funny, of all the people I expected to disturb my peace it would not have been some random kid of about the same age.

“Can’t you see what I am doing? I am sketching, now if you do not mind I would like some peace”. I really was very rude to him, but he really did not care.

It was irritating. Even now when I think back, it winds me up now just thinking about it. He was just so relaxed and carefree. I think I could have said anything to him and t would not have changed what was to happen next.
“Oh right, well I tell you what… you just carry on doing what you are doing and I will just sit here and watch”, I could not believe my ears. This kid wanted to just sit and watch me draw, these days he would be accused of being some sort of child psychopath.

“Why would you do that?”, I asked him. Thinking he might just change his mind and go back to wherever it was he came from. I was wrong.

“Why wouldn’t I? I like watching people. I watch my dad in his workshop all the time. He makes furniture. I am Charlie by the way. Nice to meet you!”.

“Fine, just sit and be quiet will you. I have to concentrate”, I was more than just annoyed with this Charlie kid by this point. Which was increased by the fact tat I did not know if I would be able to concentrate properly if someone was watching.

“Can I at least get you name before I am not aloud to talk?”, honestly I have never know a more annoying kid. Not even the boys at my school were like this.

“I’m Annie, OK?”, I said, probably with a lot of annoyance in my voice.
“Cool, I like that name”.

From that point on he did to my surprise listen and stay quiet. He just sat there watching my drawing go from a simple sketch into a shaded drawing. I remember looking up a couple of times and noticing how engrossed he was. It was like he had never seen anything like it.

Everyday for the next fur days I would walk out onto the beach and sit in the exact same spot. My Mum just let me get on with it, she could see it made me happy and so did not want to ruin the holiday by asking me to do stuff with them.

On the fifth day it all started to change. As usual I was sat in my regular spot for about an hour or so until Charlie would head out so see what I was attempting to draw that day. Except this time he sat down with a massive grin on his face. Yet he said nothing.

It was obvious he wanted to say something but as always he respected that I wanted silence. After about fifteen minutes I could not take his fidgeting and smiles in the corner of my eye any longer.

“What is wrong with you today Charlie, you are different? You are jiggling all over the place and to be honest you are starting to annoy me!”.

“Well Annie, I was wondering if you wanted o go swimming with me. You see my Dad just finished the pool in the garden and well I am desperate to try it out. I really want you do come to”. He had the dopiest grin on his face that not even I could reuse.

If I was being honest I had wanted to go swimming since we got here but if you saw the pool on the camp site you would have given it a miss too. This however sounded pretty cool. The weird kid that sits and watches me sketch has his own pool. Who would have guessed that? Of course I played it a bit cool.

“Well… I really did want to get this new picture finished, but I suppose that can wait. Where do you live?”, his answer to my question would be the second surprise in under a minute.

“Just behind you”, I remember looking round at a beautiful beach house. It had white washboard and brick walls with a balcony on the second floor. Enough bushes in the garden to keep it private from the beach goers and in all honesty I was just completely overwhelmed by it’s beauty.

So there we have it, not only does the random kid have a pool, he also lives in a beach house that I had just happened to be sat in front of the past fur days. I had been so bothered about my own selfish self that I had not even given a thought to where he came from.

I packed up my stuff and followed him back to his house. As I walked through the gate I was completely taken back by how stunning the garden was. Wild rose bushes lined the walls of the garden and there was every type of colourful flower to be seen. To the far right hand side I noticed the cool blue of the pool.

Charlie’s mum was sat on one of the side her legs hanging over the edge in the water reading a book. She looked up and smiled as we both approach.

“Hi there, you must be Annie. I’m Mabel Charlie’s mum. It is nice to finally meet you. I have heard lots of lovely things abut you. Charlie here tells me you are quite the little artist”, she said and smiled. Now I knew where Charlie got his chattiness from, but she seemed nice enough.

“It is nice to meet you too. Is it ok if I come in a swim?”, I am sure Charlie was quite shocked by my polite tone. I actually felt a little worse about the whole attitude thing now knowing his nice his mum was.

“Of course dear, it is here to be used. Little Charlie said he wanted to bring you over to swim. It is so nice to see him bring friends over. Would you like a drink and perhaps some cookies?”, she asked.

“Thank you, and yes please”, the moment I answered Mabel jumped up from her sitting position and headed inside. Charlie was already removing his t-shirt. He had his swim shorts on and was ready to go. As normal I was prepared also, I had worn my swimming costume under my shorts and t-shirt just incase I had the sudden urge to paddle.
For the next three hours Charlie and I swam around in the pool and were taking running jumps before curling into a ball and splashing into the water. It was the most fun I had had in a long time. Back home I did not have many friends, I put it down to the fact that I liked my own space.

It was rare that I ever got invited around to friends houses and so I really enjoyed spending time splashing around with Charlie. He was fun and he did not judge me for liking my space and enjoying my drawing. If anything he liked me more for it.

That evening I got back to our little box on legs and pretty much collapsed on the sofa. My mum came and sat down next to me. I remember snuggling up to her and telling her everything about the last week. Everything from the first time I met Charlie right up until going swimming. She was happy when I told her.

“I told you that you would meet some friends didn’t I”, she said.

“Yeah, it was really fun today. We ae going to go swimming again tomorrow if that it ok?”, Mum was more than happy for me to g swimming again. I think it had something to do with the fact that for the first time since we arrived I was not being moody. I was happy, right up until…

“Annie’s got a boyfriend… Dad, Annie’s got a boyfriend”, Eric shouted at the top of his lungs.

“Shut up Eric. He is not my boyfriend”, any warmth I felt towards my brother in the previous days was now gone.

“Eric that is not nice, if you can’t be nice then you will have to go to your room and stay there. Now apologise to your sister”, It was nice hen mum stuck up for me. Usually it was the other way around.

“Sorry Annie!”, Eric mused with a huge smile on his face. It was obvious he did not mean it.

I fell asleep straight away that night, I was absolutely exhausted. Infact that seemed to be what happened for the next couple of weeks. It was a blur, I got up around seven each morning. Had breakfast then showered and got dressed with my bathing suit on underneath.

On a couple of occasions I even took mum around there with me. Her and Mabel got on famously and sat drinking coffee whilst Charlie and I just had fun hanging out and messing around in the pool. We were having such a blast that the time just flew by. Before we knew it the time came that we had to go home.

The day before I was due to leave I had to spend most of my time gathering my things and packing my suitcase. It was a sad time, I did not want to leave. Charlie had become my best friend and even though I was only young I knew I would miss having him around.

Mum and Dad were so busy sorting stuff out that they did not even realise me slip past them and out the door. They had said I was not aloud to go out and told me t say goodbye to Charlie the day before. Which I had but I had forgotten to give him the drawing I had done him.

When he saw me his face lit up, I knew it had been worth the risk to go and see him. “This is for you”, I said and handed him an envelope. Don’t open it until I leave”, I told him.

“I wish you did not have to go Annie, will you be back next year?”

“I hope so, but my address is in the envelope so we can write to each other”, I said.

“Ok, yeah that is such a good idea. You can tell me abut all your new drawings”.

“Well, I had better get back before my parents flip out”.

I gave him a hug, “See ya Charlie”. “Bye Annie”.

I started to walk off down the beach before turning and looking back. He was just stood watching me walk off and all of a sudden I felt deep down how much I would miss this annoying kid. Before I had a chance to think I ran back and swiftly kissed his lips, pulled away smiled and just ran for it without looking back.

I remember the whole way home I was smiling. That was my first boy kiss.

The next day Dad announced we would be leaving as early as possible. He packed up the car and we all bundled in. As we drove away from our little box on legs I felt a pang of upset in my chest. I was sad, so sad to be leaving. Winding down the window I let the last of the sea air drift through the open window and brush my face.

As we approached the exit of the site I heard my name being shouted outside the car. I stretched up and turned my head to look out of the back window. It was Charlie and he was sprinting behind the car. He was holding up the picture I had sealed in the envelope with a sign. ‘Thanks Annie, It’s great!’. It read. I smiled and waved. He stopped as we exited the site and started waving back.

I continued to wave until the final moment. Until every part of him went completely out of site. It was in that moment that I knew we would see each other again.

Chapter 1 – The children love a good story

11 May

Has anyone had a chance to read yet? Thoughts welcome 😊
Thanks, Charlotte

Charlotte Wanstall

The Children love a good story 

As I stare out into the waves crashing down onto the sand I smile. You are there with me, watching the waves pull back into the sea and then pounce again like a tiger onto its prey. When I close my eyes you are there, sitting by my side just watching silently. 

My eyes are open again, Chrissy and Alex are playing in the sand. I cannot quite believe how grown up they are getting. Chrissy is eight on Tuesday and Alex will be five in a months time. But they love to come stay with me, and I love to have them. 

Their mother, my daughter rarely stays since Charlie died, Actually she has never stayed since his passing. I can’t blame her, the only reason I stay is because he feels close to me here. In our home, the house we have both adored since…

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