29th May 2013

I’m really impressed by Tigger! He’s 15 next month, and he nearly caught a wood pigeon today. He stalked it for nearly 10 minutes, and only missed it by a whisker when he pounced.

Lynn was explaining Cheese Rolling to me today. Apparently someone sets a whole cheese rolling down a steep hill and then a lot of other people run down the hill trying to catch it. Of course, a lot of them fall over. People aren’t as agile as cats. And then the person who catches the cheese wins it.

Now, she says, they’re trying to stop it. They’ve told the lady who makes the cheese that she might have to pay anyone who hurts himself falling down the hill huge amounts of money. I asked how she made them chase the cheese, but Lynn said they just do it for fun.

They do have strange ideas here. They’ll be stopping people dancing round the maypoles next, in case they trip on the ribbons.

19th May 2013

Lynn’s been talking to me about magic in her world. She says that most modern people don’t believe in magic at all. If they can produce things like telephones with science, I’m not surprised they don’t need magic.

But then I see that, even here, people have been looking at things like te-le-pathy and te-le-kinesis and have made them work, but not all the time. Then the other people, who say they believe in science, say if it doesn’t work all of the time, it can’t have worked at any time, and anyway, it’s impossible it could work, because it doesn’t agree with what they believe in.

This doesn’t make sense. If something happens which doesn’t agree with their theories, there must be something really exciting waiting to be discovered. From what I’ve been reading, that’s what science is all about.

If you won’t believe in magic, and you don’t really believe in science, what do you believe?

A wise man called Arthur C. Clarke said "Magic is science not yet understood"

10th May 2013

Lynn’s been showing me the telephone today. When I said, "I thought you didn't have magic in this world," she laughed and said it wasn't magic, it was tech-nology.

She tells me it sometimes goes wrong, though. That's not quite like magic; if that's properly done, it works.

Lynn's local phone number is one digit away from an area code. She gets lots of wrong numbers for all sorts of places in that area. The people who connect the telephones together keep saying they're not doing it; it's all faults in all the phones.

Lynn has been, apart from a lot of people she has never heard of, a local hospital, a doctor's surgery, a florist, a pizza parlour and, three times, Lewes Prison.

7th May 2013

Lynn’s been very busy this week doing a VAT return. She explained to me that for everything FrankLynn Technology buy or sell, they have to either claim VAT back or pay it to the government. If we had VAT in Cardevin, this would mean that if Feo wanted a new shoe for his horse, and ordered it from the farrier, the production would work like this:

The mine owner would produce the iron ore. He would sell it to a merchant and charge VAT on it. He would then subtract the VAT he had paid on the pickaxes his miners used and send the difference to the government.

The merchant would sell the ore to the smelter and transport it to the furnaces. He would charge the smelter VAT and subtract the VAT he had paid for the ore, feed for his horses and maintenance work on his wagons, sending the difference to the government.

The smelter would smelt the ore to produce iron and sell it to the iron dealer, charging VAT. He would then subtract the VAT he had paid for the ore, his fuel for the furnaces and repair work on his machinerry and send the difference to the government.

The iron dealer would sell iron to the farriers and blacksmiths, charging VAT on it. He would then subtract the VAT he had paid for the iron, feed for his horses and maintenance for his wagons and send the difference to the goverment.

The farrier would make Feo’s horseshoe and charge him VAT on top of the price. He would then subtract the VAT he had paid for the iron, the fuel for his forge and the tools he used, and send the difference to the government.

Cardevin’s Lord of the Royal Treasury would be overwhelmed! He would be collecting tax from five different people for one horseshoe. He’d need to hire so many tax collectors that they’d eat up all the tax. Tax collectors are very expensive.

I don’t understand why such an orderly country does this. Why don’t they just collect the tax from the farrier at the end?

28th April 2013

It's still very cold here. I'm not abandoning my winter coat yet, although Lynn does say there's warmer weather coming.

The tadpoles have hatched! Tigger had a good look at them and tested the water and said it tasted fine. I asked him why he didn't drink from his bowl indoors, but he said it didn't taste thick enough.

There are seagulls nesting opposite, so perhaps Spring really is coming.

Lynn is organising visits to more local schools this term, so I should be doing quite a bit of travelling with her. Feo says I can stay a bit longer, since he's catching up on his reading. He's read two books bound in dragonskin, one in snakeskin and one in gryphonskin, although he says he thinks that one is fake. He says the contents are interesting, though. Perhaps he'll teach me to read when I go back. He's doing a lot of practical magic as well, and he says he'll give me a special fish dinner when I return. I hope it's a juicy one, not like that spiny coelacanth he conjured up before.

21st April 2013

Sorry I couldn't post last week. I've been at the London Book fair!

Tigger didn't come. He's too big to fit in a pocket, and besides, he said he's needed at home to inspect all the work for quality. He's got lots to do, since Frank has started work on the garden and he needs Tigger's help. He's making a pond for the frog spawn, so that Tigger can have some fun this summer. Tigger says that's very kind, as he does enjoy chasing the frogs. The only trouble is they jump faster than he does.

The Book Fair was amazing! There were even more books than in Feo's library. I didn't see many on magic, though. This world doesn't seem to be interested in it. Ghostly Publishing were very kind to me. Everyone fed me lots of interesting snacks. I was a bit disappointed that their books weren't REAL magic books, though. Perhaps I should explain a bit about magic to them. I'm sure lots of people would be interested.

7th April 2013

Had a good run outside today. The weather's definitely getting warmer.
Tigger tells me it can be quite hot in the summer.

I'm very impressed with Tigger. He has his humans extremely well trained. If he wants his dinner, he usually just sits and looks at them. If they're very busy, one miaow is usually enough to bring them running.

There are lots of books here. Perhaps not as many as Feo has, and the bindings smell a lot less interesting. One or two leather ones, but no snakeskin or dragonskin.

1st April 2013

I've arrived in England! It's really cold here. Tigger tells me he's not changing his winter coat until there's been at least a week of good sun. He's shown me round the garden, though, and the way up all the best trees.

England's an amazing place. Tigger tells me he's not even expected to catch mice! He just wanders round all day and purrs. He sleeps as long as he wants, wherever he wants. Oh, he does say he supervises all the work very carefully and makes sure the quality is up to standard.

I tried to talk to one of the visiting cats about magic here, but he gave me a very funny look and walked away. I'll ask Tigger about it later.

23rd March 2013

I'm really excited! Since I helped Feo so much in The Dragonstone, he's sending me for a holiday with Lynn in the other world! He did warn me not to expect much magic there, though.