Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Guest Post - All About Bubbles by Malcolm Howard - Blog Tour

My ex-wife Della (affectionately known as Delilah) was working as a Governess for the sixth richest family in France and skyped me one day for story ideas. The precocious offspring had soaked up everything she ever knew, or could find in storybooks, and still they wanted more. It was Delilah’s fault – she is a great storyteller.

Delilah was working in this Chateau in the Alps and I was staying nearby in a place called ‘the funny house’ (to get upstairs you had to go out the front door and up an outdoor staircase). “Can you write me a story” she said. 

Looking out of my window I could see the old abandoned schoolhouse in the village. ‘Monday’ was the first story, which was followed by Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday over the next few weeks.

One of my favourite books when I was young was “Angelique and the King” so I picked the name for my schoolteacher. I suppose she was based on Delilah. The long legs and long arms were necessary to reach the bubbles on the high shelf, which was out of the reach of children, and the enormous spectacles enabled her to be ‘all seeing’.

The story exists in three different dimensions. Reality is the parents bringing the children to school and collecting them. The presence of the ‘fabulous’ creatures within the schoolroom is insulated from the reality of the outside world by the bubbles. The bubbles are also the gateway to the third dimension; the adventures in dreamland, where Mrs Buttercup is Angelique’s alter ego in looking after the children. 

The fun with the bubbles is in the combination of names given to the bubbles depending on their effect, and also the effect of a cocktail of different bubbles. The bubbles provide this ‘portal’ between different dimensions of the story. The current book is very much a pilot project and the effect and significance of the bubbles will be expanded in future tales.

The one guideline Delilah gave me was that every good story should have a ‘moral’. I like to think that has been followed but not at the expense of fun and adventure. I also like to think that the safety and wellbeing of children, in this day and age, is seen to be protected.

In case you’re wondering; Delilah and I would be celebrating our 40th ‘Divorce Anniversary this year. Unfortunately I haven’t a clue on which date the decree absolute came through! 

We are now the best of friends. We have two sons, Don and Jim aged 47 and 45 and a 17-year old Grandson, who is half French.

Angelique has long thin legs, long thin arms and a turned-up nose on which sits an enormous pair of spectacles. Her spectacles are so big that they look like magnifying glasses and make her eyes look very large. She normally wears black shoes, a blue dress and a red scarf, and she had just been awarded all her Certificates and Diplomas to become a teacher. But she needs a job. Returning to her home village at the foothills of the French Alps, Angelique finds her childhood school has closed! All she needs is determination, enthusiasm and ten pupils to re-open the school and realise her dreams. But Angelique soon realises that her daily adventures have only just begun.

About the author: 

Now retired Malcolm Howard lives in Walton-On-Thames Surrey. Malcolm has enjoyed a varied career from being a part of the Queens Surrey Regiment, to moving to the French Alps where he set up a Ski High School, now part of the British Ski Academy, before returning to Surrey to work for the probation service. In his spare time he continues to lend a hand at the local Council as well as visit the mountains in France where his son still lives.

Please follow along with the rest of the Bubbles Blog Tour:

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