Bright windows

The evening sky turns to dark teal and then midnight blue. A shining slice of new moon is framed by chimney pot silhouettes. Among the houses life tableaus blink on in bright windows before the curtains close – a real life advent calendar.

In the garden I have cut back the rambling roses, snipping vigorous growth into bitesize chunks for the compost heap. I gather up the yellow, handspan leaves of the fig tree and feed them in too. All the better for nourishing spring mulch when the world has turned and the fresh shoots of a new growing year are bursting forth. But that is a dark winter away.

The fields that inspired Howard's End by E M Forster. Photograph by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (

This month I spent a week in a hotel in Steveage, on a course for specialists working in MS, generously paid for by the MS Trust. If I’m honest, I couldn’t have told you where in the country Stevenage is before now. Despite the learning and the sumptuous bed my internal alarm clock woke me at my usual time and I tromped out in the early mornings to find the fields when E. M. Forster dreamed up Howard’s End.

Kids on a Devon lane by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (

We also spent treasured days in a chalet beside a North Devon cove, savouring the ocean spray and swell, and climbing narrow combes teaming with fungi and tumbling autumn colour.

North Devon coast by Hannah Foley. All rights reserved (

Review copies of The Tiger Who Sleeps Under My Chair have been making their way out into the world and I have been so grateful for kind words. Here is the lovely Jacqui Sydney from Mrs Sydney’s World Famous Smallest Library: “Beautifully written, powerful and with characters that children will identify with enormously.”

Jacqui Sydney Hannah Foley The Tiger Who Sleeps Under My Chair Zephyr Books review
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