Sunday, 19 November 2017

Family - Part Three - Chapter Six

Hi all,

I'm back from the Cauldron opening night a little earlier than anticipated, but that's not a bad thing. As it was a soft launch and a pop-up it wasn't up to full operating capacity and, therefore, wasn't quite as good as it could be. But it was an interesting experience - although I was a little disappointed that there appeared to be no non-alcoholic drinks on offer - I know it was open to over-eighteens only but not everyone wants to or can drink.  

I still believe it is a good idea but to execute it properly would be really expensive and to do it any sort of real justice the organisers would need to get Warner Brothers onboard to ensure the theme could be put in place - being a normal pub just isn't going to cut it, and making it a generic 'fantasy-type' pub isn't likely to attract the number of customers it needs to thrive. Using the Harry Potter fandom is a good way to draw in the crowds, but there needs to be more than a subtle nod, and we all know how aggressive WB can be with copyright infringement. 

There were several interesting 'magical' cocktails on offer (at £10 each), which as yet have no names, and we were asked to try them and suggest names for them. I tried the whisky, ginger and honey concoction - which looked like butterbeer and tasted like Lemsip - my choice of name was 'Night Nurse on the Knight Bus'. I doubt it will win, but if it does you know who chose it. 

My friend tried a rum, lime and strawberry cocktail which was set alight and had cinnamon thrown on it to cause fabulous sparks, but it was extremely heavy on the rum and wasn't really to her taste, so she didn't bother to think of a name.

There was supposed to be the opportunity to pour your own beer using a magic wand, but it wasn't working when we went up there and as it was the first of these pop-ups there wasn't much else on offer.

The organisers are arranging for magical cocktail-making courses in addition to more pop-ups to help boost the coffers and I would definitely be interested in going to one of those. 

So, onto the story.

Time has moved on again and Draco's wife, Astoria has passed away. Hermione and Sophie are there to offer their support to a grieving Draco and Scorpius.

Next week sees the start of the final part of the story. Any comments etc. are always welcome.

Have a good week.



Sunday, 12 November 2017

Family - Part Three - Chapter Five

Gosh, how time flies - another week has gone already and the Christmas adverts are coming thick and fast now - even the John Lewis one is out (although, actually, it's quite cute - but not as good as the M&S Paddington one). 

So again it's time for the latest chapter of Family.

It's the Christmas holidays, and Sophie is home from Hogwarts. But she isn't very happy. Can Hermione give her daughter the Christmas present she truly wants or is it going to be something that is too hard to provide?

Comments and kudos are always welcome. I'm always interested to hear what people think of the story, and it's nice to know when people are invested in it.

Next week is going to be a late one, or maybe even a Sunday posting as I'm going to the opening party at a new pop-up pub in London called The Cauldron, which is based on the magical pubs found in fantasy stories (like the Leaky Cauldron) and includes things like moving photos and beer taps operated with wands.

It should be fun, but it also doesn't finish until early Sunday morning so by the time I get back I might be too tired to post.

Have a good week and enjoy whatever you're reading


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Family - Part Three - Chapter Four

Good morning everyone,

Another week has whizzed by already, and it's time for the next chapter of Family. 

This week, a long-anticipated reunion takes place. Well, it's only taken 17 years.

Thank you to everyone who is commenting or leaving kudos, I really appreciate it, please keep doing so as it makes my day when I see people are reading.

We are now firmly in the countdown towards Christmas as I saw my first Christmas advert the other day and they are showing Christmas films on the telly. Of course, we all know it doesn't really start until the Coca Cola Christmas ad is on, but like it or not we are heading that way fast and nothing can stop us now.

As has become traditional, I have a couple of Christmas stories up my sleeve which will be ready to be posted when Family ends which, all being well, should be in mid-December.

It's also NaNoWriMo time and so I'm hopeful that by the end of November I should have something resembling a new story - or at least the first draft of it. Fingers crossed that I can hit my target as I've managed it every year but two since 2009.

Have a great week and enjoy reading - whatever it is you're reading.


Sunday, 29 October 2017

Family - Part Three - Chapter Three

Good morning all,

As it's almost Halloween I can't resist posting my pumpkin picture - anything to make the post a little less boring looks-wise. Also, if you haven't done so already I suggest you read/listen to The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury and A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny, both of which are excellent stories for the time of year. 

It's time for the latest chapter of Family, and this week Hermione bumps into an old friend. It's time for a good catch-up!

I am really enjoying reading the comments on both sites, so thank you for posting.

I'm sorry that some of you are disappointed that I haven't shown the interaction between Lucius and Hermione in Azkaban, but to be honest, it was never a focal point of my story and so I didn't really consider it too much beyond how it fitted into the wider tale.

Someone also asked how Hermione manages to live without working, which is a good question. My take on this that she is fairly well off as when her parents died Lucius sorted out all their finances for her and wanting to make sure that she had a 'Malfoy' standard of living if/when she went out into the adult world bumped up the account a bit (he was still trying to impress the MoM at that time) – although as both parents were dentists I think they were probably fairly well off already and no doubt left big life insurance policies so she was never going to starve. 

After leaving Malfoy Manor she spent all her time in hospital/at the Burrow/at Hogwarts until she started work, and her flat isn't palatial, rather small and cosy and was bought using her parents' money so she has no mortgage and little in the way of bills. Although she had quite a drinking habit those insalubrious friends of hers were more than happy to buy her drinks in return for sex, so she didn't even really get into debt because of that, and she now lives a quiet life, not spending much except for what she lavishes on her daughter.

Until next week, enjoy reading.


Sunday, 22 October 2017

Family - Part Three - Chapter Two

Morning everyone,

I've managed middle ground this week - not too early, not too late (for me at least).

I was surprised by some of the comments I received last week as I thought I had made it pretty clear who Sophie's father was, but in case you were still in any doubt this week should clear it up for you.

This week Hermione goes to visit Sophie's father and then, in one of those time jumps of about five years, finds herself spiralling into depression again. But as I promised no more relentless misery and pain for her (I did say that, didn't I?) she's got a plan to get herself back on track . . . whether it's a good one or not remains to be seen, but at least she's got something to think about other than how terrible her life is (which it isn't really by now although with her mood the way it is she's finding it hard to see that).

As always comments, reviews and kudos are always appreciated. I particularly love hearing your thoughts about what I'm doing with Hermione, so thanks for interacting.

As I mentioned last week, I went to see Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library this week, which was an excellent mix of rare books, draft manuscripts, pictures, artefacts and interactive activities such as potion-making (and there's a painting of Severus Snape on display, always a bonus). It was an extremely interesting and educational exhibition and I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the ideas and folklore that underpins Harry's world, although it might not be of that much interest to much younger readers, who might find it too much reading and not enough interacting.

Also recommended is the Booking Office, which is about five minutes walk away in St Pancreas Station, and is currently serving Harry Potter themed cocktails (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), including hot Butterbeer.    

Have a good week.



Sunday, 15 October 2017

Family - Part Three - Chapter One

Morning everyone.

I'm late again, as I was at a concert and have only just got back.

We're starting a new part today, which signals that the story has moved on a few years and it's a new chapter in Hermione's life.

She's finally happy (ish) and is a successful and thriving mother, with a beautiful daughter. What could possibly go wrong for her now? 

As I said in the Author's Note at the beginning of this chapter, the story is not relentlessly depressing from here on in, in fact, as anyone who knows me knows it'll all work out in the end and have a happy ending - let's face it, if I was going to kill Hermione off I'd have done it by now - she had plenty of opportunities after all! 

By this time next week, I'll have been to the British Library to see their new exhibition: Harry Potter: A History of Magic, which I'm really looking forward to. I may also be popping into the Booking Office close to Platform 9 3/4, which is serving potions themed cocktails to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publishing of Philosopher's Stone. They all look very tasty, but I'm especially interested in the Butterbeer (of course).

See you next week.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

Family - Part Two - Chapter Three

Evening all,

Just made it before midnight but it's not going to be a long post as I've got a banging headache and I feel really queasy, so I need to go to bed. I'm just here long enough to post the links to the latest chapter. We're halfway through the story now - astonishing how quickly the time goes, isn't it?

So, Hermione's on the brink again, and this time she's got a bombshell to drop:

A couple of my eagle-eyed readers did spot what was coming last week although I actually thought I'd made it fairly obvious - I wonder if the burning question will be so easy to answer?

I got my copy of the illustrated version of Prisoner of Azkaban today. Boy, it's a heavy book. I'm trying to imagine what Order of the Phoenix is going to be like - that's going to be almost impossible to pick up. Anyway, as usual, the illustrations are amazing, so I look forward to reading it again soon.

Reviews, comments etc. are always gratefully received, as are recommendations for things to read. 

Time for me to go to bed.

Stay safe