9 Days of Hot Key: Day 7, THE CLOUD HUNTERS

Exif_JPEG_422Brr! It’s cold out there! Fortunately, the deals are heating up here on our 7th day of the 9 Days of Hot Key Books. Today’s spectacular holiday deal is for THE CLOUD HUNTERS, by Alex Shearer. This book is the perfect gift for everyone — it’s a charming, exciting and thoughtful coming-of-age novel which takes place in a world without water. This gorgeous book also features truly beautiful jacket artwork by urban illustrator Joe Wilson, whose work you might recognize from THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACTHE CLOUD HUNTERSOB DE ZOET.

Alex has written a blog about Christmas, keeping warm and a rather unusual game…

Well, it’s getting on for Christmas, and we could talk about all sorts of wonderfully Christmassy things: will there be snow, sledging, slides, snowmen, snowballs?

Without or without snow there will, no doubt, be presents, trees, decorations, crackers, carol singing and plenty (even too much) to eat and drink.  (For the fortunate majority of us in this country anyway.)

Maybe you go, or get taken out, for walks in the country over the holiday – crunching over the frozen mud, and equally frozen cowpats.

When my children were younger, we had a game with cowpats.  You can’t really play it in the winter.  Well, you can, but it’s better in the summer, and it goes like this:

You go for a walk in the country and you head across a field where cows have been kept, and which is covered in cowpats.   You take the hand of your brother or sister, or your mum or dad, or a friend, and you tell them to close their eyes.  Then you ask them to trust you, and you promise that you will lead them safely across the field while they keep their eyes shut.

Of course, what you then do is to steer them towards the nearest cowpat and try to get them to step in it while they can’t see where they’re going.   This is guaranteed to make you laugh very loudly at least once – as long as you are the person doing the leading.  But even if you’re the one being led, it can still be nerve-wracking fun.

One problem with winter, which I have never solved, is how to keep your feet warm while cycling.   I have bought expensive shoes, thermal socks, in-soles, over-shoes, and nothing works.  After half an hour on a bike in the winter, your feet have turned to blocks of ice, and it takes an hour to thaw them out when you get home.  Walking can keep your feet like toast, as you are stomping up and down on them.  But cycling doesn’t have the same effect.

So, if you have any (sensible) answers as to how to keep your feet warm, please let me know.   And don’t say go and stick them in a cowpat.

Merry Christmas to you all!!

(And if you’re ever stuck for an idea for a present for someone—how about a book?)


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