Trust the universe and see how it conspires to help you! I discover the truth of this over and over, most recently yesterday. For various reasons I’ve been feeling fairly flat creatively for some time. Yesterday I walked past a new Vinnies and, on impulse went in to see what I could find. I usually take a grab bag of ‘magical objects’ and assorted goodies when I visit schools as I find handling something tangible often helps students’ imagination to kick in, so I’m always on the look out for something new and interesting. My first treasure was a Domesday commemorative pot: 1086 – 1986, 900 yrs since William found out every skerrick of what he owned after conquering England in 1066. As I’ve spent about 10 years referring to the Domesday Book (a translation!) while researching and writing The Janna Mysteries, this seemed a particularly serendipitous find – and perfect for housing my pencils. Next was a pair of black shoes with stiletto heels and covered in sparkles, with very fancily-decorated tips wrought in pewter. That was something for the girls – what about a boy toy? I found a hunting horn (?) made of translucent horn with a metal (brass?) tip and ‘mouth’. The mouth has a pattern engraved on it, along with a mountain peak with a cross on top. It speaks to me, I don’t know why, but I knew I had to have it; it’s a mysterious object indeed. Finally, I found a cauldron – made in Greece with Greek figurines decorating it – perfect for spells! An added bonus was the conversation I had with the two lovely women in the shop. We exchanged book suggestions, and so I also left with two Diana Gabaldon novels – I haven’t read her books before so I’m looking forward to a new treat. Finally, today, while letterboxing precinct notices, I saw a ginormous spider web with filaments reaching to the top of a double-storey house and extending all the way to the ground – certainly big enough to trap a flying unicorn …

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