A Trolls First Kiss - a short story

Bobo has a very big nose. It is so huge that all the other trolls find it hard to talk to him because they can't stop staring at it. But there is one troll who loves Bobo's nose: his mother. In fact Sheila thinks it is an incredibly important nose. Now Sheila is a very practical troll who runs the family cleaning business.

"Come here Bobo," she would command when he was a young troll. And Bobo wold shuffle over to his mother. "Stand tall," she would say and then she would hang one end of the washing line onto his nose and the other to a branch of a tree. For trolls are large and trolls are strong and Bobo's extra strength meant that she could get more clothes dried quicker - at less expense.

But Bobo was now a bigger troll and was fed up of being used as a clothes troll.

"Come here Bobo," his mother called to him one day. Bobo looked away, trying to look as if he were engaged in a most important task. "Bobooooooww," his mother called, her voice taking on that obey me or else edge to it that always made Bobo feel just a  little bit scared. "I know you can hear me, I need you." Bobo breathed in, exhaling slowly then pushed himself up and walked over to his mother. "Mother I am not going to do this anymore, here," he said taking the line from his mothers clutch and then dropping it on the edge of the nearest tree. And then turning, he wondered off feeling jubilant as his mother watched her son walking away. A soaking wet ball gown dripping from her arms, a look quite unfamiliar stretched across her face.

Will You Kiss Me? Bobo walked down the road feeling ecstatic. He'd done it! He'd stood up to his mother! He looked around desperately wanting to celebrate with someone. "Geena!" He cried running towards someone he vaguely knew. "Bobo, is that you?" He looked so handsome! So strong! Why had she never noticed this before? "It is!" And then reaching out he picked Geena up and twirled her around. Geena laughed with glee. Then placing her down Bobo was overcome with a desire to kiss her. Geena was looking at him open-faced and welcoming and he felt different to how he had ever felt before. What was this feeling? He brought his face to Geena's. Geena brought her face to Bobo. "Owh!" Geena cried rubbing her forehead. "Your nose Bobo, it hurt me." Bobo stopped horrified. He didn't know what to say. He tried again and again Geena let out an owh. "I don't think this going to work Bobo." She said quietly. Bobo felt so sad. And then turning he walked off wondering if he should go home and see his mother. She would know what to do. But just as he was about to turn back he spied another beautiful troll ahead, Sandra.

Bobo ran to Sandra convinced this time he would get it right. Sandra looked at Bobo running. He looks different she thought. He swung her to the side in a romantic sweep but it was not to be. Ba-Ding! Bobo's nose banged her face. Sandra looked at Bobo and Bobo looked at the ground. "I'm so sorry," he mumbled before shuffling off. Was there anyone he could kiss?

Shooting Stars Later that day as the sun was setting Bobo headed for the rocks by the sea. He had tried kissing other girls but all to the same effect. Maybe I'm just not cut out for kissing he thought to himself. And as the sun slipped behind the horizon of the ocean Bobo dropped his head in his hands feeling helpless.

"Look Bobo, a shooting star." Said the sweetest voice Bobo had ever heard. Bobo looked up quickly, his nose pointing upwards at the sky. And at that moment he felt a warm soft pair of lips give him the gentlest kiss he had ever known.

What a wonderful feeling! And he inhaled and smelt that familiar scent - it was Gwen! The troll who lived right next door. Why had he never noticed her before? Ah, it didn't matter. And then reaching out with one hand he wrapped his arm around this beautiful woman troll and with the other he grabbed hold of the shooting star soaring above them so that they shot across the skies, the adventures of the unknown calling to them on the wind.

And that is how a troll called Bobo received his first kiss.


A Message From Life: Slow Down Lady

You know you need to start listening to advice that keeps coming your way when even the mortgage broker is telling you to slow down. Oh slowing down... I know I need to.. I know I want to, it's just the consistency of it that I struggle with.

The Time Is Now I am in Norway with my mother and daughter Eve. I normally post on Sunday mornings but this Sunday we found out my 90 year old grand-father had been taken to hospital in Norway where he had been on holiday with his wife. And so the morning was spent speaking to doctors and organising plane tickets and hotels and passports being taxied to Heathrow (We were in the country when we found out - not realising they would be needed our passports were in London). And then the three of us got in the car and I had the vague idea I'd be able to post something later. But there has been no later.

Slow Down, Lie Down This afternoon I lay on the bed with my daughter lying in my arms. She's exhausted after two plane rides yesterday, delays, lost passports, a midnight arrival and only a brief nap in the morning on the way to the local pool with Ben. A father daughter trip that fills them both with delight. After waking from her afternoon nap she immediately rolled over and drifted off again nestled in my arms. I lay whilst she slept, my chin resting on the top of her head. My right arm sprawled on the bed beside her curled sleeping frame. I lie there wanting to get up and use this previous time to do. To write, to email (I am meant to be getting married on Friday) to make calls. But I don't. I lie there not wanting to wake her.

Instead I bring my attention to my body, feeling the sensations in my feet and legs as Ben is always encouraging me to do. My thoughts drift to doing and I bring my attention to being with my child. I write out my blog in my head, plan trips I want to take with my family and friends. And every now and again I contemplate slowing down. Feeling the pulse of my life wheezing for a bit of time out.

You Can Never Say It Enough This evening Eve and I walked up the hill to visit my grand- father. He is very weak at the moment and I don 't want to write about his condition as that's private to him but I think it's alright if I write that being here I am reminded of a few things...

I am reminded how hard it can be to say to those we love: I f*****g love you and I hold back, in case that love is too much. In case it scares you. Although I said this of my grand-father tonight - omitting the word needing asterisks.

I am reminded of the follies we make in allowing our hurts to rule our hearts.

And I am reminded that when someone feels loved nothing is impossible.

I am reminded how ill-educated we are to deal with the realities of life. Death it happens to us all and yet how scared we are of it. Oh why do we not acknowledge it more? For if we did I imagine we would live with far more graciousness and gratitude. Courage too. For we may deny our own deaths but it is in denying others theirs that we only hurt them more.

Manners - Time For Something More Refreshing? A teacher dear to my heart Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche said recently that us British we are so polite. It wasn't a compliment.

The Home Of A Heroine On arriving at the hotel last night my eyes swam to a magazine in the hotel lobby. My heart swelled. The magazine was called Arundal - the name of Princess Elsa & Anna's home in the Disney film 'Frozen.'

The next morning I checked with the receptionist to make sure it's the same place as the film Eve adores. Yes, she tells me, though the pronunciation is way off.

I walk over to my daughter eating breakfast beside her beloved 'DoDo,' my mother. I bring the magazine to the table - bubba guess where we are? Her eyes open in curiosity. We're in Arundal. The home of Princess Elsa. Her eyes shine and a beam of a smile soars across her face.

To be in the place of ones hero. There are no words and I see the impact that this has on my daughters body. She softens and waits - what magic this world can bring.

The Bliss Of Trolls The rest of the day we discover troll caves whilst walking to the hospital and even spy four big nosed dudes in the window of a shop. This feels extraordinarily important. It doesn't matter that the trolls aren't 'real.' They are there. Something imaginary has been given form.

I watch as Eve gets out of her buggy captivated by the sight of them. Something is happening for her, though I may not fully comprehend it.

The End Is Near And that's it. Somehow this world brings to us adventures we cannot dream of in situations that remind us: we are not in control.

Oh Christ.

Slowing down.

Accepting I'm not in control.

I'm going to need some help with those ones.



The Girl Who Fell From The Clouds

Cloud Stuff

Houses sit on sloping hills.

Trees are scuffed with soft green mosses and yellow grasses tickle the thick juicy cactuses that stand as if that’s where they’ve always been – marooned on top of volcanic black soil.

Burnt orange heathers cover red ochre earth and grey charcoal stones – large, small and in between - stretch out along the shore below.

In the waters swim small brown fishes, darting amongst rocks covered with black and copper crabs, who when the sun sinks towards the ocean come together, waving their claws in the air, as if to say – “Till tomorrow, till tomorrow.”

Humans here don’t like clouds much. If they ever see one, they moan and make gestures with their hands, as if hoping that they can wipe them away like smudges on a table.

“Clouds are like scabs. I can’t wait for them to be peeled away.” One gentleman would say to himself if he ever saw them. Not knowing, (because no one knows), that high up in the sky, right there on the clouds, lives Lily.

Lily makes cloud things for the people below.

Her work goes largely ignored.

Who wants to look at a cloud anyway?

That is apart from Anam.

Anam loves looking at the things that Lily creates with cloud stuff.

And because he spends so long looking up at the sky, his mother has bought him a telescope for his birthday.

“It’s for looking at the...” but before she could finish her sentence, Anam was racing off down the hill towards the rocks near the sea, telescope in hand, Bongo his dog racing behind him, barking in delight.

Now every day Anam looks up at the sky


at night-time when the stars twinkle, Anam puts down his telescope and comes in for supper.

All Our Geese Are Swans

“Your son is odd.” Said a friend of Anam’s mother one day as they watched Anam running around on the hill with Bongo, looking up at the sky.

“Doesn’t he know that telescopes are meant for looking at the stars?”

“Doesn’t look like it, does it?” replied Anam’s mother.

Her friend couldn’t help herself – she smiled. And after a pause -

“Maybe he can see stars that we can’t?”

“Maybe!” Replied Anam’s mother.

And when they thought the other wasn’t looking, they both peeked up at the sky curious to see if they could see a star sparkling, glimmering beside the afternoon sun.

But mostly Lily and her clouds were ignored. If someone did look up at the sky and see something unusual  they would turn to their friend and say “Look! What’s that in the clouds?”

cloud stuff

And their friend would hurry off and call behind them, “Oh it’s nothing, come on, we are late for where we are meant to go!” And off they would rush leaving Lily and her cloud stuff alone.

Occasionally there would be periods when Lily went to other places and countries, traveling on the clouds, curious to see where they would take her. And then she would look down at the people below, and start playing with the cloud stuff, wondering if she would ever be seen.

But no one anywhere was as curious and attentive as Anam.

And even though it filled her little heart with joy to see how quickly he searched for her, she couldn’t help but grow sad, as most below ignored her, not even knowing she was there.

And so her messages began to get a little more infrequent. A little more irregular. And in her sadness she grew lonely, eventually losing the will to jump from a cloud just before it dissolved completely. As it was important to do.


And so one day when the cloud that she was on dissolved, Lily fell through the skies, plummeting to the ocean beneath her, where with hardly a splash she sank through the waters, sinking to the deepest darkest depths below.

“Lily!” Called Anam desperately. “Lily!”

And Bongo barked frantically sensing the sadness of his human. And so he began to howl and was soon joined by the other dogs on the island, as they wailed to the empty skies.

“Must be something in the air.” More then one human muttered as way of explaining away the call of the dogs.

Not knowing how right they were!

But where Lily was, no sound from above could be heard. And as she landed on the bed of sand, she stood up and looked up her watery ceiling. Used to looking down, her neck creaked slightly.

With bubbles floating out of her mouth, she quickly grew accustomed to this new way of breathing. Taking a few steps forward, a few steps back. Noticing how the view above remained the same for she was so far below in the deepest part of the ocean, that the space around her seemed as large as the sky. Infinite. Never ending. It reminded her of home, allowing her to relax.

“I shall never sit on those clouds again.” She whispered to herself. For for a girl of her size, once down, it would be impossible to come back up. In fact it would be most dangerous. And so Lily accepted her fate. Quicker perhaps then most.

But Anam was very sad and not even his canine friend could make him smile. (And he could always make him smile). So he spent all day swimming in the ocean, or going out with his uncle in his old motor-boat, looking for Lily, pointing his telescope through the waters, where he would peer and squint to try and find her – the girl who had lived in the clouds. And when night came and the stars shone across the skies, Anam would put his telescope down and forlornly walk back home.

“Will I ever find her?”

"Under the sea....life is sweet here, we got the beat here...We got the spirit, you got to hear it, under the sea." Sebastian - A Little Mermaid

Then one day, when he had all but given up hope, Anam heard a delicious sound: Lily laughing. And he stood up so very quickly in the boat, causing it to rock slightly. Taking out his telescope he dipped it into the ocean to point it far below.

And there he saw Lily, laughing and swimming alongside her new friends the squids and the sharks, the angel fish and the phospherence. All the great and small beasts that swim in those depths below. And he watched his friend so very far away and knew that this was her home.

HOney Flows

But even though he knew this, a part of him did not want to accept it.

“Maybe a great current will come and sweep her back up to the surface.” He whispered to Bongo that night. And Bongo looked at Anam, an expression on his face that made Anam close his eyes.

And because his uncle was a generous man, he continued to let his nephew come out on the boat with him every day. For he loved the oceans and relished any excuse to travel out over them.

So Anam spent his days peering to the bottom of the ocean with his telescope whilst Bongo lay in the shade under the taurplin. For the days were hot and though Bongo liked to watch the leaping fish and the dolphins, the sound of the water lapping against the boat would soon lull him off into deep tranquil snoozes.

And whilst Bongo snoozed, Anam would watch his friend Lily as she played around with the seaweed making things for her friends, the beings of the depths below. And unlike up above in the clouds and down below with the humans, every time the sea creatures saw Lily making something they would stop and watch her intently.

“What will she make today?”

One day Anam was watching as Lily was making something for passing sting rays who were waiting nearby. For a moment Lily stopped and looked up. Up through the ocean’s waters. Up through the seaweed and fish that swam around her. Lily looked up to see Anam looking down. And in that moment Anam felt what he hadn’t realised he knew. And he smiled at Lily, a smile that felt like a good-bye. And at the same time, a hello, a hello, a hello. And he sat up in the boat and turned to his uncle and said, “I believe it is time to go back home.”

When Anam returned home that night, he went into his room and placed his telescope against the wall. And there it stays like the trunk of a tree, rooted, never to be moved. Occasionally Anam will look at it, patting it fondly as he walks past, but he has not since felt the need to pick it up and point it up at the skies, or down though the waters below.

And Lily, a girl who fell from the clouds now lives in the bottom of the sea, using seaweed not cloud stuff, content in her new world below.

For all around us floats seaweed and cloud stuff - I wonder what it is that you see?

Note about the illustration

Honey Flows - Jane Lilian Vance