“Life is a journey, a glorious, amazing, oftentimes hard, sometimes uneventful, always surprising, a completely serendipitous journey. Live for it!” ~ Unknown

The Midweek/Wednesday Word-prompt over on our other site is Serendipity and was chosen by GC. This is my response to the challenge.

When my son was born, which was a good many years after our four girls, our collection of early years’ books had long since passed to the children of friends.

Building up a new library of children’s books was a pleasure, and quite early on, I purchased the full set of Beatrix Potter. Joshua loved these little books, and we read them over and over. I even used cassette tapes to record myself reading them so that he could look at the books but still enjoy listening to the stories when I wasn’t there.

Beatrix Potter boxed sets

Eventually, Beatrix Potter gave way to Harry Potter, and with a tinge of sadness, the little books were put away.

Recently, when Josh and I took a short break in the Lake District in Cumbria, we learnt that it was mere serendipity that Beatrix had become an author.

The basis for her first book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was initially written in the form of a letter on the 4th September 1893,  to a real child, her friend’s five-year-old son Noel who had become ill. It was later suggested to Beatrix that she should turn the letter into a book.

Letter to Noel

During our short holiday we visited Windermere and whilst there we took the opportunity to visit the Beatrix Potter exhibition. The place was heaving, and perhaps unsurprisingly, we were the only adults not accompanied by children!


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Enjoying the exhibition were children of all ages, with most exuding squeals of excited delight at each new exhibit! A selection of some of the exhibits from the stories are shown in the slideshow above.

Josh, a teacher of seven-year-olds, came to the conclusion that a Beatrix Potter topic would probably go down very well with his children. I, of course, had already totted up the educational mileage that could be gleaned from her stories.

Later the same day, we took a trip to Hill Top, Beatrix’s former home in the village of ‘Near Sawrey’. We learned fascinating information about Beatrix, but perhaps we’ll save that for another day.

A few days after returning home, I began to re-read the Beatrix Potter stories, and then I hit upon the idea of recording them again for the youngest grandchildren.

My latest attempt at creating a talking book ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ is included below. After all, who amongst us doesn’t enjoy turning back the clock and listening once more to a little bedtime story.


(c) 2018 In response to the word-prompt from Weekly Prompts

44 thoughts on “Beatrix

    1. We only let the children look at these when supervised, and with eleven grandchildren 18 years to 9 months they’ve been looked at often. Last weekend I bought a Beatrix Potter board book so that the little ones could look at it by themselves. Lovely little books aren’t they. Thank you for your kind comment Trev.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha.. I’ve only recorded one this time around I’ve had a busy week, so you’ll have to wait! Thank you Peter.
      Oh, I got a little closer to Nottingham yesterday, I went down to Chatsworth House

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I replied to you a couple of hours ago but no idea where it is now!
        it was my first time at Chatsworth and I loved it too. We took the buggy to view the gardens and had a wonderful old guide, so knowledgeable, though come to think about it, he was probably my age, not old at all!! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No-one is old, just older.
        I was taught that I should not use the adjective “old”, but instead use “older”. It is perceived to be less ageist, and older people prefer it!
        I don’t know whether that is true. I’ll let you know when I am older.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Those slide shows are absolute magic.
    How amazing to see that letter! I wonder who made the suggestion to her?
    Mind you, I am recalling that my Tabika books started life as letters home to the kids while on a very long course in Johannesburg. They wanted the story to continue after my return, so I carried on; then the book won a local writing competition. As a result it was snapped up by a famous agent (who placed ‘Cry the Beloved Country’). She got me to split it in two, after which she received definite nibbles from two major international publishers — and then sanctions set in with a vengeance and that was that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps, indeed.
        The above comment about the family urges me to mention that one of a number of half-first cousins I didn’t know I had until a couple of weeks ago found one of my books in her library in Pretoria a day or so ago, and said she was ‘super excited’!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ‘Immy and the Dragon’ is already having a new cover designed for a combined version where ‘Immy in Trouble’, ‘Immy and the Knights’, ‘Immy goes Riding’ and ‘Immy goes Flying’ will all be included. I’m not sure what if anything will be done with the music I composed for it, though.
        It is, of course, designed for pre- or early readers, and is my most juvenile story. The ‘Immy’ it was based on when one of her much younger cousins started prompting the story is currently finishing her Masters at Oxford.
        Did you sample the YouTube linked from my sidebar?


      3. I think Inwas thinking of something to read to my little grandchildren. No I must have missed the one on the sidebar, so sorry. I will look


  2. How cool about Beatrix Potter. I have been writing a book to my granddaughters who live on your side of the pond. I send a chapter every so often with drawings too. I love your reading voice and will send it to my granddaughters too. They think their Grammy talks funny. Perhaps I do! =) ♥.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Arlene. I have other books here at home for the grandchildren that I’m happy for them to look at, but these Beatrix Potter ones are special so I daren’t put them into the toy box.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These books bring back sweet memories of our daughters’ childhoods. Our oldest loved Appley Dappley’s Nursery Rhymes and begged for it over all other books. Over 25 years later and I still have much of it committed to memory. Love that you are making your own talking books … your lovely voice is perfect for these stories. Hope you don’t mind a suggestion, but as a reading and writing teacher I’ve noted that children need time to absorb the words and pictures of a picture book so perhaps consider a slightly longer pause before having the page turn. I hope you do more of these. What a treat for your grandchildren and the rest of us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I welcome your comments and I agree with you on all points.

      The audio originally had longer pauses but then in an attempt to cut out the sound of the page turns, I edited the audio and a little more than I intended. Then I set the timing before adding the visual page turns, another mistake that actually cost me a couple of seconds. It seems this IT teacher isn’t quite as good as she thinks she is!

      I will have another listen and see if I can salvage it, if not I will probably re-do because out of all the little books Peter Rabbit is my favourite.

      Thank you so much for your comments here, very much appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You have single handedly scuppered my childlike belief in fairy stories! Not to mention the draft copies of Part 2 and 3 of Beatrix! 😢


      1. Oh no! Rest assured, no one listens to me anyway – and you have a much nicer voice! Frankly, I hope you do the whole set – which I’m sure my children had; I wonder what happened to that?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Loved your site and your Peter Rabbit was really lovely. We had a great time at the exhibition and yes plenty of Japanese tourists. We skipped the show , a step too far we thought! Loved the garden. Did you know it was featured at the Chelsea flower show? I will publish my article about Beatrix it’s similar to yours but I think yours is better. I’m also going to redo the little book, too many edits on the recording. Thank you Mike, I’m looking forward to popping over to yours again. 🙂


  4. gc

    There is something magical about the Potter name and mythology that inspires magic, revelation and hours of reading fun. Thanks for sharing your tale Susan.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Mrs Heelis | Nan's Farm-Inside Out

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