Thursday, 7 July 2016

A ho ho ha ha hee hee Holiday Ha Ha Ha Blog Tour post from awesome Candy Harper!

Today we're VERY lucky to have an awesome guest post from Candy Harper, author of several brilliant children's stories including a rib-tickling tale for the new "Holiday Ha Ha Ha" story compilation, which was released on 30th June 2016 by Simon and Schuster.

Along with the esteemed company of David Solomons, Joanna Nadin, Jonathan Meres, Steven Butler, Jeremy Strong, Steve Cole and William Sutcliffe, it's the sort of fantastic story compilation I'd have squealed loudly for as a bored kid in the long summer holidays.

Check out our June Chapter Book Roundup where we talk about the book in a bit more detail by the way!

Anyway without further ado, here's Candy relating a tale of youthful mischief and her own holiday memories (Candy, we have to say, we REALLY love the sound of your sister!)

The summer I was five and my sister was seven, my parents told us that this year we wouldn’t be going on holiday to Devon as we usually did. We were devastated. A week on the windy (and frequently rainy) beach was the absolute high point of our entire year. Fortunately, the following day, my sister came up with a brilliant idea to cheer us up.

My sister has always been full of brilliant ideas: there was the time she decided we should make our own wine from the grapes in our lunch boxes, there was the time she thought we could make some money by selling things from around the house that were clearly no longer needed, and there was the time she told me that I could totally pull off blue hair (that one wasn’t very long ago). Granted, none of these schemes actually ended in success, but I couldn’t be a writer if I wasn’t the sort of person that gets wildly excited about a project at the beginning with no thought as to how things will end. That’s my excuse for agreeing without hesitation when my sister said, We should make a bedroom beach!

Yep. That was my sister’s plan.

To get started, what we really wanted was some sand, but we didn’t have any sand. What we did have was talc. One tube of Lily of the Valley (Mum’s present from Nan last Christmas) one tube of Cherry Kiss Shimmer Shine (from our eldest sister’s dressing table) and one tube Avon’s Black Suede for Men (my dad’s, it smelt like the dentist’s). They were all sprinkled gaily across the wooden floorboards of our bedroom. Next, we needed somewhere to paddle. In the end we thought it best to contain our ocean and settled on filling a drawer from our dresser with water. Our beautiful beach was complete and now it was time to enjoy it. We were couldn’t find our swimming costumes, so my sister came up with a substitute for bikinis: a matching set of my mum’s underwear. They were a bit big, but you’d be amazed by what you can hold up with an entire packet of plasters.

We then proceeded to have as much fun whilst making a terrible mess as only small children can. My mum was busy occupying our baby sister downstairs so we splashed and frolicked happily for some time. Until we realised that water was leaking out from the joints in the drawer. Our lovely powdery ‘sand’ was slowly turning into a thick, grey paste. My sister insisted that this would only make it easier to build castles out of. As she reached forward to demonstrate she bumped the drawer hard and a wave of water sloshed over the edge making a small lake in the middle of the room. She looked at me and I looked at her. It was the look that siblings give each other when they know they are both in deep trouble. (The look you give your sibling when it’s just them in trouble is quite different).Suddenly the beach didn’t seem like such a wonderful idea.

It was at this point we heard my mum’s steps on the stairs.

I won’t repeat exactly what was said when she found us. All I can say is that it wasn’t nearly as bad as when she found the bedroom ‘ice rink’ that we made that Christmas.

More about Candy Harper

Candy Harper is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing for Young People. She grew up in Oxfordshire as the fourth of five sisters. She has been a Waterstone's bookseller, a teacher and the person who puts those little stickers on apples.

Follow Candy on Twitter @CandyHarper__
Don't forget to catch up with posts on the other Blog Tour stops!