The Runaway Schoolhouse Book Launch Night

It was a great night, and everyone seemed to have fun as you can see by the pictures I was supported by family and friends, and some of my Facebook friends surprised me by dropping in.

Thank you everyone and a reminder it is for sale as an e-book and you can rent it  which is an unusual option but one worth considering: http://www.emuink.ierunaway_schoolhouse_cover_Latest_151031

 

 

 

 

 

ava 1

maria and family (minus niall)

 

But there was someone missing who needed a hug, but he got plenty when we got home.

ipp

Happy Days, Cold weather is back.

I enjoyed Christmas, the Turkey was awesome but something even better happened this morning. Jack frost is back….

bob pooching

 

Though some dogs do get a little excited about it

 

ellie away

searching

bob and ellie with me

 

But not this cool dog.

bob 1

Because I know where the day is always heading…..

ellie asleep on bob the cushion

But using me as a cushion is a tad too much, don’t you agree?

Have a great New Year see you all in 2015,

 

 

Bob’s Diary: Four more sleeps till Turkey Day.

“I am afraid to look Bob. How did we end up in this mess?”

how did we end up in this mess

“Ellie, Lets rewind back to earlier when I was sitting minding my own business.”

bob5

bob 3

And stuff  kept dropping on me as Maria was rushing in and out getting the tree and other bits. Then you, Ellie made the mistake of sitting down… and Maria decided it was an opportunity..

joined by ellie

bob in  tinselTo make us look like a pair of right Irish idiot dogs. I mean do we look happy? Roll on Turkey day.”

Bob’s Diary – Bob the Reindeer

cropped-copy-sideways-bob2-e1388174420420.jpg

It was four days to Christmas day. Mrs Constance Claus was in a dither.  Enda, Chief Elf, was no help. He was moving fast making her head spin.

“Enda, stop moving and help. Where did he come from?” Mrs. Claus was red-faced, her voice loud, both unusual for her.  Enda looked up recognised the danger signs of a temper about to blow and stopped beside her. The list of must do’s trailed across the yard and into the workshop. Elves were skipping and jumping over it. He noted Leslie’s big jump and made a mental note to include him in the hop skip and jump the barrel competition.

“From his mum.” Enda said before he thought about it.

“Woof” said the dog.

This got both their attention. “Is he talking to us?” Enda looked at Mrs C. His hat had slipped to the side of his head and it fell from his head straight onto the dogs. Delighted with this game Bob, the dog, started to dance about in a circle.

“Hey you have a note tied to your tail. Give.” Mrs. C said in her best no-nonsense voice.

Bob stopped moving and waited while the note was removed, unrolled and read. He decided to have a nap.

Mrs. C read it aloud, “Dear Santa, I would like to send you my dog to help you at your busiest time. Bob is smart he knows stuff. He is strong and he may help you to get this list to the family who live beside Bob’s house.  I put in a drawing of the family drawn by Sean. He put their list written in a bubble above our heads. Bubbles are handy aren’t they, ask Bob.”

Yours miles of smiles.

Enda snatched his hat off Bob’s head and said, “Well I never. This is a first. I wonder who this smiley guy is?”

At these words Bob sat up and stared at Enda. Mrs. C laughed “well it must be this boy Sean’s idea. It is clever and different.”

“What age is Sean ?” Enda demanded.

“Six and three-quarters.” Mrs C referred to the letter written in bright red crayon. She squinted at the letter. ”

“How did you get here?” Enda muttered.

“That is not our problem but him being here is, you know Santa is allergic to dog fluff and this is one large fluffy dog.”

At this moment Enda’s brothers, Slim, Noel and Sam arrived.  Sam bent down and hugged Bob. “Ahh, we always wanted a dog, can we keep him please?”

Bob moved between Sam and Noel.  “We can’t keep him he belongs to someone,” Mrs C said. Then she looked at the three elves. They looked sad. There were tears in their eyes. She sighed. “Okay we will find a way to keep him out of Santa’s sight. He is stressed enough without having to worry about his allergy.”

So for the next two days, Bob was in heaven. He got to meet the Reindeer,  Rudolph he knew about cos of the red nose. The reindeer are:Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,Vixen Comet, Cupid,Donner, and Blitzen.

They laughed when they learnt why he had come to the north pole. Dasher said, “you are one heavy-looking dog, you will have to sit in the back of the sleigh.”

Bob patiently explained he had come to help pull it. The reindeers thought this was hilarious. They rolled about in the snow laughing, then went back to eating. Bob left them to it and went to find Slim, Noel and Sam. They were eating dinner. “Hi Bob, would you like some dinner?”

Slim said,

Bob sat beside slim and ate a dinner of fish, potatoes and green beans. Enda noticed and shouted over, “hey he can’t eat that.”

Slim smiled then said, “Too late he has and he enjoyed every single bite.”

Bob wasn’t listening he went to sleep. He needed his energy because he had a plan to prove to the reindeer he could do anything they could do.

Next morning he got up early. When the reindeers went out for exercise they got a surprise. “What is it?” Rudolph asked.

Bob said, “It is an obstacle course you have to get from point a to point b and no cheating for this one. No flying over things. You have to run, jump, crawl and climb.”

Vixen looked madder than usual. “Climb. How can any of us climb?”

Bob didn’t answer just looked at Noel and said “Woof.”

Noel let a shout at the group. “When I say go, I mean run, walk, climb just get to the end.”

The reindeers didn’t look happy but they lined up beside Bob. Noel shouted, “Go” and they did.

The first obstacle was easy it was a simple jump over a gate. They all sailed over it leaving Bob behind. He wasn’t worried. He jumped over it.  At the next obstacle a low muddy patch under a large flag the reindeers held a meeting about how best to get under it and survive. Bob lifted the edge and slide under it then he was heard grunting as he walked through the muck.

Rudolph said, “Dasher you hold up this end I will follow Bob and when I get out I will hold the other end up and you can all walk through. Easy.”

Bob was now at the tree. He sat and looked back at the reindeer they were carefully tip toeing through the mucky patch. He gave a small leap on to the tree trunk and two swift strides had him onto the lowest branch. He walked onto it and then leapt to the ground landing on some nice soft hay.  Then he trotted to the finish line and lay down to wait on the group.

When they eventually got to the tree they had another meeting. “He said no flying but we could jump.” Dancer said flexing his hoofs.

“No anything over four-foot is considered a flying movement.” Noel told them.

He went to join Bob and they watched the fun. Eventually the reindeers jumped onto Donner’s back and then leapt onto the branch, this took a while as they did it one by one. Then Donner was left stuck on the ground.

The others trotted up to Bob. “Okay you won. But you can’t fly? So how can you help us pull a sleigh.”

Bob gave a grunt. Stood up and shook the snow off his fur. Closing h is eyes he took a deep breath and floated gently off the ground. Rudolph shook his head. “Well I never. Okay so you are in. We need to fit you for a harness and teach you the signals for turning right left and flipping.”

During this time Bob heard a lot of arguing and disagreement among the elves and reindeer. Most believed they could manage without this large hairy  dog who seemed to smile a lot. The main argument was they didn’t need him. So Bob waited until they had loaded the sleigh and were doing a test run before Santa appeared.

No matter how much the reindeer dug their hooves into the snow the sleigh didin’t move. Enda shook his head. “There were a lot more toys this year than normal and the new electronic stuff is not as light as we supposed. We need help.”

Everybody swung around and looked at Bob. He walked to his spot in the middle of the group and waited while his harness was clipped in with Vixen and Cupid. Vixen snarled at him and Cupid batted her eyelashes. Bob said “woof”

When Enda took the reins in his hands this time the sleigh took off without a hitch and they did a neat lap of the north pole landing to a huge round of applause.

Christmas Eve Santa was being patiently helped into his seat by the four brothers who were shoving and pushing as normal. Slim muttered, “I thought you were on a diet Santa.”

Noel said, “he was, a see food diet.”

While the elves were giggling and pushing while trying not to squish the great man too much they heard the words they dreaded hearing him say. “Hang on who is that between Vixen and Cupid.”

Enda looked at bob who was wearing a light weight pair of antlers and had a bright green nose stuck over his own nose. “That is Smiley. Our newest reindeer. He is amazing you will like him.”

Then as Santa landed in his seat Rudolph gave the command and the sleigh took off. Santa’s last words to Mrs C and Enda were “But why does Smiley sound like a dog?”

 

 

Bob’s Diary: Happy Christmas &Thank you for following us.

Me and Snowman are on strike, because the turkey isn’t cooked, yet.

sad snowman and bob 030

But, there is always tomorrow…..

ellie and bob 029

I’ll smile then.

Bob and Maria wish all of our followers, a very Happy Christmas.

Thank you for taking the time to keep track of our lives and imagination, which isn’t easy for you.

(I forgot Ellie says happy Christmas too. She is wishing for a bucket of tennis balls. I hope she gets them……., more turkey for little old me.)

ellie and bob 031

Bob’s Diary: Countdown to TURKEYDAY

December 21st, cold, wet and she has me:

ippLooking for Holly? I don’t know any Holly. I’d prefer to get to know a turkey.

When she said, we would go home. I thought ; fire, heat but….

tree for christmasNow I know she is crackers!

Finished at last

bob's tree

Now where is the Turkey?

 

Bob’s Diary: Regarding Shopping Lists.

Today’s Top Tip.

 We can all be creative.

Don’t be like Maria. She spends hours writing a shopping list. Then goes off shopping without it.

Top tip if you write a list take it with you.

(that way I might get a decent Christmas pressie.)

Mrs. Claus Fixes Christmas

Christmas Eve –  two am – Constance Claus decided it was time. She tiptoed through the snow filled square. Though the sound of the elves snoring was reassuring Constance was being extra careful. She knew Enda could hear a feather drop in snow.

“I wish I could snore in harmony like them.” She paused, mid step to listen. “Ahh. I know the name of this tune. Let’s get this party started.'” Bending down to rub her white cat, she murmured, “we agree, don’t we Summer?”

The cat shook her paws before continuing on to the doorway of the workshop.

Constance believed her idea was brilliant. She was tired of listening to the elves moaning about the amount of snow. They are getting themselves in such a state that they are catching cold. She shivered at the thought of catching such a dreadful thing.

With her hand on the door knob, she paused to check again. Their snores floated on ice cold air to her. Satisfied she walked inside, flicking on lights as she went.

The workshop looked empty and vast. It wasn’t that way an hour ago.

*   *   *   *   *

Panic had been the order of the day. For a start, getting Santa into the sleigh  proved to be difficult.

“Steady on, mind my trousers.” He shouted as the elves formed a line and pushed him into the sleigh.

“Let’s fit the other toys in around him when we squish him down,” Enda  suggested.

“Hey Enda, less of the squishing. I can sit down.” Santa roared.

“You do the squishing bit.” Enda’s brothers, Slim, Noel and Sam, sang. They preferred to stay out of his way during the fraught filled minutes of final preparations.

Constance walked up to Santa, “Wait dear, you forgot your thermal insulated gloves.” She narrowed her eyes, “did you remember to put the matching socks on?”

He gave a nod then grimaced because they were hotter than he liked.

She said, “Good. I packed you a snack.”

At the mention of food he cheered up.

“And some liquorice for the reindeers.”

When he scowled, she chuckled, “a thermal mug of hot chocolate and a barrel of ginger nut elf biscuits for you. Take your time. Remember the list. Drive carefully Mr. Claus.”

Santa scowled. “That incident with the plane was not my fault, the idiots came closer for a second look. The reindeers lost their bootees with fright. As for the traffic lights in the main street, it wasn’t my fault, Mrs. Claus, I didn’t know they could swivel.”

The elves scurried away to check the reindeer’s boot laces.

She kissed the tip of his nose then worked her way around the reindeers planting a kiss on top of every head or they would be jealous.

“Have a nice rest, be kind to yourself Constance do something for you just for a change.” With those words he left.

“I will indeed,” she said.  Armed with a giant cup of creamy coffee embellished with a sprinkling of coco and a flake bar,  to get her creative motor running she began to plan. She liked inventing things, and tonight she felt like doing so.

 “Deciding to invent something is easy. The problem is doing it without causing further complications along the way.” Constance bit into her flake bar.  “Oh dear I will have to be careful. I remember poor little Elsie’s hair. Poof, up it went in a rainbow cloud of smoke when I made a hair curling tongs for her. And poor Jake tested my first sock warmers. He couldn’t bear to reveal his scorched foot to anyone for a long time. It looked so hideous. I got sick when I changed the bandages, but then I suppose that was my punishment for the damage I did.”

To dispel that nasty image she nibbled on the flake bar. Summer neatly caught the bits that fell towards the floor. There was silence for a long time as Constance sat and considered if, maybe, this was another stupid idea. The clock chimed. She glanced up at it. A scroll flipped down. It read, “late Christmas eve, go to bed.”

She muttered, “You are correct. I should but I won’t get an opportunity for another twelve months. So lets start.”

*   *   *   *

Once in the work shop she began by grabbing her tool box and plugging in the compressor. Bright blue sparks flew about her. Steel screeched as she cut and shaped. She didn’t realise she was finished until she reached for the last nut and bolt and discovered there was no more.

 “Now for the fun bit, testing and trying.” She hesitated. “Bother health and safety but I can’t ignore it.”

Getting ready for the test took more time than she bargained on. She dressed with care but she frightened Summer who raced towards the woods.

“Coward,” declared Constance as she pulled on the goggles and the thick safety gloves, before checking everything. “Right let’s check first,  safety harness for climbing. Hard hat, in case I slip. Bright obnoxious yellow jacket to make me highly visible, in case I get stuck under the snow.” She lifted one booted foot and stopped, they were of course safety issue, heavy and cumbersome.

 Saying a quick prayer to her guardian angel she went to drag her monster invention out of the workshop. It wouldn’t budge.

She stood looking at it wondering how to get it moving, then spotted a pair of roller blades, “perfect.”

Minutes later it sat outside in the snow, looking like a forlorn giant dog. Humming merrily she pressed the on switch. Clipping her rope to the central Christmas Pole in the middle of the square she took a look at the trampolines. They were lined up in strategic spots. They were used for hanging up lost and fallen lights or icicles. “Tonight I have another task for you,” she said.

Taking a leap she began to bounce along the trampolines hovering all of the snow from sight!

Constance was woken by a loud rumpus. It roared in her left ear. Sitting upright in her bed she discovered wasn’t easy as elves were climbing up onto her bed. From the muffled sounds beneath her she guessed a few were hidden underneath her bed.

“It’s been stolen, Christmas has been nicked.” Enda squeaked. His brothers took up the shout. “Not one snowflake left. Christmas is lost.”

“Not at all. It’s….” Constance smiled. “Isn’t this what you wished for?”

“No course not. It’s gone.” There were elves sobbing and moaning all around her.

She chewed on her bottom lip while considering the problem. “Let’s make the most of it, pretend we are in Hawaii.”

The elves moved into a huddle. There was frantic whispering. Enda appeared beside her.  “Slim is googling it on his iphone.” He ducked back inside the large circle.

“Can we barbecue? Make flower garlands, wear grass skirts? Try limbo dancing?” Sam asked.

She grimaced and worked her way around the vision of a hundred elves who can’t cook attempting to barbecue while wearing grass skirts.

Constance nodded. “Of course we can, but we’d better make sure there is a giant bucket of water standing by just in case..”

The words, “Christmas gets burnt,” died on her lips as she quickly added, “in case you get thirsty.”

Constance watched them race from her room chattering about sun lamps and sun burn. She wondered how she was going to explain this to Mr. S. Claus. With a sigh she tumbled from her bed and went to search her cookery books for tips on barbecuing.

“I suppose if the worst comes to the worst, the reindeers will not get lost this year, they will be guided home by the flames and aroma of one hundred turkey’s burning.”