Thank you Kingston International School!

September 22, 2011 at 10:01 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A big thank you to the lovely Melissa Preisig and the feisty and fabulous kids of Grade 3 at Kingston International School for all the fun today in our How to Write a Riveting Story Workshop and story session of The Tale of Rhonda Rabbit! You have all the tools now to write me a WONDERFUL story for my Clever Competition – ready, steady, GO!!

New Competition: The Night my Hero came to Dinner!

September 14, 2011 at 4:04 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

What on earth would you do if Justin Bieber came to dinner? Or Venus Williams? Or Buddha? Would you  make polite chitchat over an elegant banquet…or would you order a pizza and gibber away like a nervous monkey? Whatever happened, it would be a night to remember! So why not write me a story all about it, and be eligible for one of my fabulous prizes? Go to my Clever Competitions page right away for all the details!

A Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to the Tai Hang Fire Dragon!

September 13, 2011 at 7:18 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How quickly a year flies! It’s Mid-Autumn Festival again, when throughout China delicious moon cakes are eaten, beautiful lanterns go on display, and we remember all the old Chinese legends relating to the Moon.

But here in Hong Kong there’s another special celebration, when the people of the district of Tai Hang perform an amazing dragon dance through the streets, for 3 nights in a row! Thanks to my dear friend (and famous poet and photographer) Madeleine Marie Slavick, I was lucky enough to see the spectacular Tai Hang Dragon Dance for myself from her roof garden just above the crowds!

Legend has it that in 1880, when the Hong Kong district of Tai Hang (just near Hong Kong’s Central Library) was just a small Hakka village, a series of terrible disasters befell the village culminating in a dreadful plague. One of the village elders had a vivid dream in which Buddha instructed the villagers to light firecrackers and perform a dragon dance for the 3 days and 3 nights of the Mid-Autumn Festival.  The villagers did as the dream instructed, and the plague disappeared! (Some say it was the sulphur in the firecrackers which killed the germs!) So ever since, every year, the ritual is repeated.

Here are some photos that I took. The magnificent dragon is 67 metres long, and spiked with 72,000 burning incense sticks!!

It starts with a parade:

Then the thrilling beat of the drums, warning of the dragon’s approach:

Around the corner, the first tantalizing glimpse of the dragon’s tail, bristling with incense sticks:

At last! The first sight of the dragon’s fiery head, with its brilliantly glowing eyes!

It circles round:

And around…

Before winding up the street…            And circling around again!

Last but not least, no Chinese Festival parade would be complete without…

The skirl of the bagpipes!!!

Life gets stranger and stranger!

September 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

We’ve all heard about pigs that fly…but have you ever heard about a pig who thinks he’s a trained sheep dog? And what about a soldier who becomes a farmer who becomes a teacher who becomes one of the most successful and best-loved children’s writers in the United Kingdom! If you want to read either of these VERY strange stories, you need to click right away on my Brilliant Books page and my Amazing Authors page!

And if that’s not enough, you’re in for a fabulously strange Wicked Word this Week – click on the Wicked Word tab to find out all about it!

Welcome back … and congratulations to the winners in my summer writing competition!

September 4, 2011 at 11:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Welcome back to the new school year! I hope you all had a fabulous summer holiday! I know that I certainly did – and you can read all about the fun I had in England with that rascal Rhonda Rabbit if you scroll down the blog!

And a very big congratulations to all the entrants into my Favourite Things Poem Competition – we had some excellent entries! Special congratulations to Natasha Diederen of UWCSEA in Singapore for winning first prize, and to the three runners-up! Their entries have just been published on my Clever Competitions page so click on the tab above right away to read some great new poems! A new competition will be coming soon, so keep visiting my blog to find out all about it!

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