Category Archives: CHILDREN




The first thing Nana does when she is awake it to go across to that window and listen carefully. She makes sure that there is some music playing someplace in Triflora so that Trouble doesn’t get a foot into the Day. Trouble is allergic to Music.

The second thing she does when she wakes up is to listen for the sound she loves. The Children. The Children live on the 2nd floor from the Top of the Tower. Right underneath Nana.

These are the Children who will always be Children. The Children who will not grow up. The 2nd Floor from the Top of the Tower is their home. They can come and go. They can fly out the windows. Its an ENORMOUS floor. The Children take care of themselves on the 2nd Floor from the Top because some of them have been alive for a very long time and know just what to do.


The 2nd Floor from the Top is a wonderful Place. Nobody on the 2nd Floor thinks that Children need to be treated like babies all the time.

The 2nd Floor Children play all over Triflora in the daytime and at night they all come home and Nana and the Spiders weave a protection all round the 2nd Floor from the Top.

Sometimes, the Children have overnight guests. The Guests are safe there in the Tower – all night long.

Just yesterday, a strange little fellow was washed up on the rocks at the back of the Tower. He had tiny wings and a pointed face. Every big person scared him and he started to tremble and shake.

Only the Children could calm him down. He wouldn’t even let Jenny Wren near him.

The Children took him home for the Night. They fed him on Honey and sweet apple cider and wrapped him in blankets of Spider Silk.  He hasn’t spoken one word but when they woke this morning, he was sitting on the windowsill and singing a strange and beautiful song that smelled of the Perfumed Sea.


The Minders live on the Ground Floor of the Tower. Nana has rather a lot of Minders but they don’t all stay in the Tower at the same time. Loony Len plays the Lute. He sits just inside the Front Door, playing his Lute or drinking soup. Loony Len does not look like a Minder. He looks like a Baddie and he talks like a Loony. He wears a pointy hat with a very long feather in it and the tightest pants in all Triflora.

Loony Len is one of the best of the Door Minders. He notices all the details of the Beings who come in the Front Door.  So – when Legless Les came a-knocking, Loony Les was watching him closely. Poor Legless Les. He had a skinny black cat with him. EVERYONE knows that Nana will NOT have Cats in the Tower except on Party Day. Les tried to trick Loony into getting drunk but Loony is not someone you can trick. There is no way he is letting Legless Les into the Tower.


Nana spends most of her morning up in her Rooms. With eyes as old and wise as hers, she can watch the Parade passing a very long way away. In the Mornings, Nana has a very hot bath and dresses in her black dress and boots. Then she sits and waits on the Rooftop for her Gatherers to bring her all the News. The Gatherers do NOT come through the Front Door. Each Gatherer has a special way of getting into the Tower.

Young Caperlee gathers the news from the Mountains.

Young Caperlee leaps so far that he plain bounces from the nearest Mountain Top straight onto Nana’s rooftop even with a baby goat over his shoulders. 


As soon as Nana sees that Baby Goat she sends them down to the 4th Floor.


Young Terrence is in charge of the 4th Floor. His ego is pretty big  and he thinks he is extremely important. He even wears a Crown. The thing is – his heart is as big as his EGO and his Brain is mighty big as well.


He knows just what to do for a little mountain Goat.






Saffron loves Triflora. She has plenty of people to play with and some of them have red hair like hers.

As you know, Saffron likes wandering about the Village.

Most days, she takes herself off for a walk and on most days – she has a very good time.

At the moment, she is just a little bit lonesome because the 3 Girls are away in Unkya Guarding the Doorway  and they are 3 of her very best friends.

Yesterday, she tried making a seesaw with Sylvester. They had fun but once was enough.

Today, Poppy has her eyes on Saffron because she heard Saffron say to herself ;

“I have got an idea.”

auntfriendlysgif00bake_0062Nobody in Triflora relaxed when Saffron had ideas and Poppy, who is a very good detective has  decided to follow her today. Poppy is the best cross country runner in Triflora and she can last longer than anyone else when she is following a clue. Poppy has a whole network of Beings who pass messages onto her and tell her what’s happening so I don’t think we need to worry about the Cheery Redhead today.

Let’s see what she is up to.





She was heard to say :



Saffron stopped a moment and chattered with the little birds. 

Signed, Poppy.


This is a sad thing to see. It looks as though Cock Robin is dead. He is just lying there. Jenny Wren tells me that she can look after him and she already has a match lit to warm him up.

The Dove is there as well and the Dove will keep things calm.

I asked the Linnet about what had happened and she said she thinks it was the shock of falling in love with Jenny Wren that knocked Cock Robin flat on his back.

They said to me; “ Keep going, Poppy. We can handle this. It’s a matter for the Birds ! Saffron left a little while ago and she says she has an idea. You can’t let her go wandering around Triflora with an Idea. “

Jenny Wren changed into her human form to mix up the herbs and flowers into medicine for Cock Robin. If he sees her like that he will probably have another attack.

Signed, Poppy.



The wedding of Charoline and  and Matteus  was being held in the Tinykin Church down on the river. It looked like a place Saffron might like.

I searched everywhere and asked everyone but nobody had seen her.  She must have got away from me while I was talking to the Birds.

I shall look around for signs of her.

signed, Poppy.


I heard a miaow from the  Ferryman’s House near the jetty on the River. 

The Ferry Cat told me that Saffron had taken one of the boats and headed over to Cat and Fiddle Island. 

Last time we tried to row across to the Islands, we got into great difficulties.

Signed. Poppy.


Here is the Report from that trip: 

Poppy and Saffron sneaked down to the Creek with Eric the dog and Mad Flynn. (There are quite a few Mad people on Triflora. Sometimes, Poppy was called Mad Eline and Saffron was called Mad Lola. )

They took a boat and started to row across to get a closer look at the stone wall on the Mad Island.


The tiny little creek seemed to turn into a wild river. Waves splashed over them and the boat splashed and bounced.

It is not easy to get near a Wizard’s Tower unless you  have been invited. They only just made it back to shore safely.


The Ferry Cat told me that Saffron had talked Ferry Rose into going with her. Ferry Rose is about the same size as Saffron but she has white hair and has spent almost all her life around boats and ships and ferries.

The Ferry Cat said they took off very quickly but she doesn’t think the little girls will be able to row as far as Cat and Fiddle Island.

Now. This is VERY worrying.

I really need to contact my father Mad O’Brian on Mad Island. Saffron loves her Mad Uncle and his Island is much closer to here. She just might have had the idea to go and visit him.

Signed. Poppy.










AS you know, some of the Triflora Children come and go but other Children live all their lives in Triflora. The SignWriters are one of those families. They NEVER speak – except to one another. They write signs! They begin writing signs when they are very, very young and that is the ONLY way they communicate with the World.

Some people ignore their signs and that can be quite hurtful.  Then again, some people cannot read and then we do have a real problem.

The Sign Writers have heard about the Children from Arizona. They had a good talk to one another and decided that perhaps the Sand Cutters might not speak any language that Triflorians understood. The Sign Writers are making themselves very worried indeed. They are going to  make as many signs as they can in as many languages as they can so that Brynn and Calen won’t feel lost. They are also going to make some signs with pictures on. Just in case. 

The Sign Writers don’t know very much about Arizona.



Sometimes, when I am tired, I sit at my front window and I watch the Passing Parade.

Sometimes, when I am tired, I sit at my front window and think about the Good Things.

I think about my Friends. I think about sitting around and chatting. Chatting is a very good thing.  I don’t even have a key to my Tower.  I don’t need one. We all keep an eye out for one another.


Tonight, I am thinking of Little Bell.

Little Bell came to Triflora a long time ago. She is one of those children who makes people laugh right aloud.

Everyone loves Little Bell. She had so many friends in the Village that even I couldn’t count them.

Then one day she decided to go far away across the Unfound Sea. Bell did not like the Cold Weather so she went to the Beaches where she can wear flowers in her hair and swim every day. We miss her very much – but we think she is very happy.


I am not the oldest woman I know – but I am pretty old. My friend, Marabella is older than me. She knits. I don’t knit. Marabella has always knitted. I don’t like Knitters much more than I like cats, but Knitters are fairly relaxing to be around.

Until I look at them. Then I get jumpy. I always think Knitters  know something that I don’t.  I always wonder what they are doing. I mean, I know they’re knitting – but WHAT are they knitting?

I tried Knitting when I was young but I didn’t take to it. Little Marian told me to go away and let them unravel the mess I had made.

So, on Saturday Nights, Marabella sits around Knitting and making cups of tea for other Knitters who come to visit. But I go to my window and look out and THINK.


Some people polish their teeth on Saturday Nights. Triflora is a place where people really like to have their teeth shine.

I don’t polish my teeth on Saturday Nights because I don’t have any teeth at all. Not many of my Friends have teeth either. Perhaps we should have polished them more when we were little.

That got me thinking about some of odd teeth, I have seen. I, myself, think that Marabella still has one tooth left – but she keeps it hidden.


On Saturday Night, when I am sitting there thinking, it gets late more quickly than I expect. As soon as the moonlight touches my window, I look out. I love to watch the Little Ones going down to the water to take the boat to the Land of Nod.

Not all Children go to the Land of Nod to sleep, but many of them do. Its not far and it is on an island filled with lullaby music and gentle people. It is the safest place in all of Triflora.
The water babies sleep in the waters around it.

You have to be VERY old or VERY young to go to the Island of Nod.


Best, I take myself to bed. Good Night, Triflora.




Day 5 is almost over. Most things are cleaned up and Poppy’s Place is ready for the next year. Gardens are planted and people are hugging and kissing and crying and getting ready to go Home.

All day long, the Children in Nana’s Tower have been making more than enough music to keep Trouble away.

It has been a wonderful party. Saffron and the Flower Children have planted 100s of flowers on the roof of the Tower to surprise Nana.

Soon they will be going back to their own Gardens. Saffron wants to cry when she says goodbye to them all.


Penelope has asked Quinius to come and live with her. Quinius doesn’t much like the idea of living in a Castle.

He’s all dressed up for the Party but he will be very glad to get home and take off all his clothing and run around in the Jungle like he usually does.

Penelope does NOT want to run around all niggedy in the Jungle – not at all.  She likes living in her Castle.

They argue about this at EVERY party.

canadianwonder00macmrich_0105 (1)

Robertino  would LOVE to live in a Castle. Everyone is wondering how to get him to come home because he just sits there – waiting to be asked to come and live in the Castle with Penelope.

Robertino likes to be dressed in fancy clothes ALL THE TIME.

Robertino likes to have lots of servants to do all the work.

Penelope is NEVER going to ask Robertino to come and live in the Castle.

Poppy just says You are NOT leaving Robertino at MY Place !


Many different things happen at parties and this is a particularly BIG party. That means that MANY, MANY, MANY different things happen.

Parties are not all dancing and singing and eating.

Things get talked about at the Party for No Reason at All.

People fall in love and out of love at the Party.

People make new friends and learn new things.

There is more to a Party than you might think.

A lot of NEWS gets passed on at Parties.

As you know, the Cats have spent Day 5 in Nana’s Tower. They have purred and chatted and passed on News. No Cat expected the News that Red Stripe had to tell them. It was about Lilli Pilli.

cat on moonLilliPilli –Daisy Dojigger has been fiddling on her fiddle all Party Long. Its because of Lilli Pilli that the Flower Children’s colours were so very beautiful.

Not once did LilliPilli say one sad thing or one angry thing. She smiled and laughed and everyone she met felt like they had been sprinkled with the perfume of the flowers.


LilliPilli did NOT tell anyone that she had nowhere to go Home to when the Party was over.


But Red Stripe had gone looking for her before the Party. Red Stripe was going to walk to the Party with LilliPilli because the Cats LOVE her and she loves them.  Red Stripe looked near the Faraway Tree where LilliPilli lived and he did NOT  like what he saw. It was a pretty good Cottage and it was near the Faraway Tree but LilliPilli did not open the door when Red Stripe miaowed. LilliPilli did not come to the window when Red Stripe jumped up and called out for her.


Red Stripe found her in a little room at the bottom of the Cottage. She didn’t even have one piece of her furniture in the Room. He had never seen Lilli Pilli look so sad. Her violin was not there. Her hats were not there. There were NO pictures on the Wall. She did not even have a chair to sit on.  What is going on ?


Well – let me tell you one thing. The Cats will find out what’s happening and they will do something about it !





Nana likes Mice. It seems crazy to most people – but there you go ! On the only day that Cats are allowed in the Tower, she has her worries about the Mice.

The Cats have all promised not to touch one single mouse.

The Cats have all promised not to even look at one single mouse.


So along comes Floyd.  Floyd dresses in very old fashioned clothes. He likes them.

Floyd is the Mouse Hummer. The Mice love him and he loves them. He starts up humming Mmmmmmm.  Mmmmmm. Mouse. Mouse.  and the next thing out come the Mice one at a time and Floyd puts them into the little Mouse Houses he has for them. The Mouse Houses are made of a cat proof alloy. If a cat touches a Mouse House, the cat shudders and shakes and has nightmares IMMEDIATELY – right there in the middle of the day.

Not that the Cats were going to hurt the Mice anyways – but it makes Nana feel much better and far more relaxed. Noone at all wants Nana getting uptight because she becomes quite UNPREDICTABLE when she does.


When she DOES get UNPREDICTABLE, everyone gets a bit jumpy. Just about the only thing that will calm her down is going to the very bottom of her Tower where its WET. Nana LOVES water. She likes to sit deep in the water with Nerissa and the Seashellians. She becomes more predictable after a chat with the Toad and her visit with Nerissa.




Giselle is on her way up to the Tower for Children’s Day. Her brothers and sisters are still very young. They’re staying with Mama. Giselle is just a little nervous and she’s hoping someone might come down and show her the way.

Its not always easy being a young person in a new place.

She hasn’t been anywhere without another Fox before.



babydaysnewselec00newy_0087 babydaysnewselec00newy_0034
laaventurojdeali00carrrich_0029 memoirsababy00bacogoog_0287



The last day of the Party is an excellent day for Poppy. She is SO busy most of the time that she doesn’t very often just play – like children do.

On the Last Day of the Party, Poppy doesn’t do one single bit of cleaning up. She doesn’t do one single bit of detecting.

She goes ever so quietly out the back door and down the Garden to Nana’s Tree.

The Tree looks like a tree. It feels like a tree when you touch it.

But it is not really a Tree. Not the kind of tree you normally see in a garden. Poppy just puts her hand on the Tree and says Good Morning. Good Morning. Good Morning.  And a small door opens and lets her in. Straight into the bottom of Nana’s Tower. Only Rose, Poppy and Saffron can come in by this little door. The Last Day of the Party is Children’s Day and Poppy is, after all, just a Girl. Sometimes, she needs to just play with other children.


Children come from everywhere on Children’s Day. Poppy only sees some of them once a year on Party Day. Harriett of the Chickens and  Imelda Red Beret come up from the egg collecting to spend the day with Rose and Poppy.

Rose has even left her Dragons sleeping in the fire pits. The Old DragonMaster is looking after them. He gets very tired nowadays but on Day 5 he sends Rose off to the Tower to play.

Take a look at the Photographs we have of Children’s Day.

The Children do many things they can’t do on other days.

childsgarden00stevrich_0137 faerytalesofweir00shol_0119

Joyce spends all day cleaning the chimney. Noone knows why she wants to clean chimneys. She just loves it.

This is the ONLY day EVER that Cats find their way into Nana’s Tower. She so does not like Cats – but she lets them in on Children’s  Day.


The little Prince Orson is not the easiest of the Children. He SULKS! When he’s at home, all the grownups try to make him happy but he just sulks even more. Its better when he is with a lot of other Children. They will take of his Prince’s clothes and let him wear ordinary things and play – just like a little boy. 

KATRINA AND Lilliana grabbed one foot each of  Malcolm Whitebeard. On Day 5, the Tower fills up with the very young and the very old. Malcolm comes to teach them and tell them the Old Stories but this year he decided he didn’t want to be bothered with the little ones . He called Nigel the Nutty Hawk to take him away. Up he went to the Tower Top Garden and Nigel the Nutter flew down low to get him.

No way !  said Katrina and Lilliana. You have stories to tell us !  NIgel tried very hard to fly off and Malcolm kept calling out  FLY! FLY! You Nutter !

But the girls did not let go of his feet and in the end Malcolm Whitebeard gave up. Nigel the Nutter flew away and Malcolm told stories all day long.

The Tower smells beautiful on Children’s Day.
The Flower Children are all over the Place with all the perfumes of the Gardens.
That’s Violet up there, smelling as pretty as a Flower.
flowerchildrenli00gord_0079 (1) nurserygarland00chea_0202
BITTERSWEET : One of Saffron’s best friends.

Saffron and al the Flower Children plant flowers all over the Tower Roof Garden. They throw seeds from the very top of Nana’s Tower. That’s why you sometimes see a flower growing just where you didn’t expect it.

peacockwishingfa00ingr_0031 peepsreallytruly00coxmiala_0035

Portia and Phillipe are Butterfly Children. They take their friends for rides. Every now and then, there’s a whoosh in a Tower Room and it’s a butterfly being ridden much too fast.

Swansea of the Swallows flew in with her baby swallows. She is a good friend of the Rose.


singing cecilyparsleysnu00pott_0029

Day 2 is a great day at the Party. Its SINGING DAY.

And it’s the day to meet old friends and make new friends.

The trick is this : no talking allowed. No barking, yelling, miaowing, chirping. 



Singing Day spreads magic all through Triflora. If Trouble were thinking of stirring itself up, it would not be on Singing Day. The Music is EVERYWHERE. Cassandra’s Pigs sing while they’re working. The children sing to the ducks and the ducks sing to the children. Up on the branch, the Brownie sits very quietly. He is going to sing but he knows the children and the ducking will be rather surprised.  Brownies are very small indeed – but their voices are HUGE.  Not their talking voices !

Their Talking Voices are just ordinary Brownie Sized Voices – but their Singing Voices are as big as mountains. Deep as the deepest seas. Wide as the Widest River.  The problem is that Brownies just LOVE to sing. It won’t be long before he starts. His voice is very beautiful but he doesn’t want to scare the Children or the Ducklings.

He especially doesn’t want to frighten Alyx. He thinks Alyx is the loveliest thing he has ever seen. The Brownie LOVES the blue dress she is wearing today.

He likes it when she laughs and he likes it when she sings.

He does not like it when she cries and sighs and looks sad. She does that a lot. Noone knows where Alyx comes from. They all love her but they don’t know where her home is or what kind of Being she is.

If the Brownie could find out, he would. If he could make her smile forever, he would. Alyx doesn’t know about the Brownie who follows her about and looks everywhere for her home and family.

She certainly will find out that he’s there once he starts to sing.


One thing the Brownie has noticed is that Alyx is always near the Water. Any water. She likes to have her feet in the Water. She did see him once when she was younger. She had gone out onto the ice looking for water to put her feet in. Alyx got so tired and cold that she sat down on a stone and cried.

The Brownie was so worried that he turned the stone into a nice hot cake and then took her back to the dry land of Triflora.

He has an idea about Alyx but he is not sure just yet. He is hoping and wishing that something special might happen at the Party, once the Mer People arrive.

I will give you a clue. See what you think!

fairy_40CLICK HERE