Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Midwinter magic and fairy dust

Sometimes you plan things for ages, and other times an idea just hits you from out of the blue. I was browsing through one of the girliest shops in the world in the town of Arundel in West Sussex, when I found this:

In case the picture is unclear, it is a phial of glitter which says 'Fairy Dust'. Costing about 50p, it was irresistable to a mum with two small girls of 3 and 6. The possibilities! Bear with me on this one...

While growing up in the wild moors of Lancashire, believing it to be the back end of nowhere, (subsequently proved by the long journeys back from civilisation later in life), I couldn't wait to leave and live in a big city. I was never sure which city, but I knew it was going to be a bigger and more interesting place than the rainy wilderness of home.

Of course, when I had my own children I was very excited to be bringing them up in London. WOW, I thought, how lucky are they to live in such an important and cosmopolitan place? The history, the culture, the museums, the markets, the endless life opportunities. A truly enthralling place?

So I was very surprised when my daughter announced that she thought Tottington, the Lancashire village I grew up in was the most amazing place in the world and that she was going to move there when she grew up. They do say life comes full circle! Curious to find out more, I asked her why Tottington was the best place in the world to live. She replied that it was because there was more magic there than there was in London.

I realised that when we had visited Granny there, the girls had got to make spells in the garden and, by magic, some gifts from the fairies appeared when they got up the following day. Now of course, spells had never worked at our house in London, and we had speculated that there weren't any fairies in our garden. However, when I found the fairy dust, we wondered together if it might make our spells work? Obviously Granny must have her own magic which Mummy can't do?

So we tried:

The girls had a pot each, and collected an assortment of grass, leaves and other ingredients from the garden. They mixed them up with a stick, and then we added the fairy dust to see if it brought any fairies overnight?

Well, the next morning we checked:

The fairies had been! Well, my 6 year old confided that she had started to think that fairies didn't really exist, but this confirmed that they did. The rest of the fairy dust went a long way. We made magic wands using real magic glitter, we made the teddies move, and we even made facepaint out of it later that day.

All in all a magical midwinter day.


  1. what a sweet post, as a mother of two girls , now 9 and 11, this really speaks to me.... life without magic and wonder would be so dull.. i am glad that your magic worked so well,
    ginny (sweetmyrtle)

  2. Thanks ginny, I do love magic. What will I do when my girls grow up?

  3. It's wonderful what a little magic can do. The years with young children are very special, mine are growing up now, 14 and 11.

  4. Hi Jo
    I hope every year as a parent is special, but I am really trying to savour the moment now. The years when they were very tiny were such hard work that I never got time to enjoy them, so now I am taking more time to reflect than I used to.

    No matter what age, they are always an inspiration.

  5. Morning ! your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes, really ! not kidding it actually did. That is the sweetest post and sums up how wonderful children are in their innocence and faith in things magical. I hope those fairies in your garden keep popping up from time to time (leaving little gifts !) and keep your girls believing in magic for a long long time.
    It also reminded me about my life. We moved from London to Hampshire so that our children would have a better life, and I missed London sooo much. Guess what ? my younger son now lives in the hub of London (Marylebone) and wouldn't want to live anywhere else, and the other son lives in Surrey, and also loves going to London. It's only my daughter who has stayed here in Hampshire., and thats because her family and work keep her here, she also loves London ! Just shows we don't always know whats best do we? At least now though I get to go very often to London, I love it.
    Have a super day.
    M x

  6. Hi Maureen,

    Aw thanks for your lovely message! I had a little brother who was 12 years younger than me, so there is really very little of my life where I have had to live without magic.

    It seems to me that whatever you do, wherever you bring up your kids, they will always make their own choices in life, and decide that you did it wrong. Which I suppose is sods law and some kind of intergenerational karma for the things we said to our parents once?

    Personally a Hampshire idyll sounds good to me, and at least they will have lovely memories that they can bring their own children back to visit!