Just Magic

The other day I visited the Magic Faraway Tree. It was deserted, which seemed strange for a portal to another world. But then perhaps that’s because it’s only a portal for my daughter and I.

She decided the tree was magic several years ago, when she was still young enough to need walking to school, to hold my hand on the way and count cats and pretend to be dragons, puffing out smoke in the frosty air.

The tree stands at the top of a hill, looking out across the valley and beyond, across rooftops that wouldn’t have been there when it was a sapling. Now it’s tall and stately, branches spreading to shade us during summer and create sky patterns during winter. It’s one of several trees we used to pass on our morning walk, yet the only one that became a Faraway Tree, home to fairies and dryads and dancing sprites, my daughter so enchanted by Enid Blyton’s stories that to this day she hasn’t finished the final book in the series.

We would often bring things to leave for the fairies, tucking them into the bark or among the roots. A patterned leaf or delicate flower, an interesting stone or shiny coin picked up on our journey. Once, an elderly gentleman offered us a piece of sea glass from his pocket, green and rubbed smooth by the waves. He’d carried it for a long time, he said with a smile, but thought that the fairies might like it. My daughter, thrilled and grateful, agreed, placing it in a special spot at the base of the trunk, cushioned by moss.

The moss is still there, velvet soft and deep green, but our gifts are gone. I hope the fairies liked them. There is magic still there, too. The magic of memory. The magic of joy.

Just magic.

Enjoyed this post? Want to read more? Find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, Under Stone (Ambeth Chronicles #4), is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Thursday Doors – Around the Corner


This tiny little door is just near to where I live, part of a fence bordering a residential property. My daughter loves it, always checking to see if anything is in the ‘towers’ around it, leaving daisies or coloured stones for the fairies.

After all, who else could it be for? It is too small for people, or cats, or dogs – the only explanation is that it is for the fey folk to use, should they wish to visit.

At least, that’s what I think. How about you?


This is my entry for this week’s Thursday Doors, courtesy of Norm 2.0. For more doors, or to add your own, visit his site and click the link.

Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge – Day 5 – The Fairy Mountain


At the end of last summer we visited Ireland, staying at a small village on the coast just outside Sligo. I’ve written of this trip before, the fossils on the beach, the beautiful scenery and found objects. Not far from where we were staying was a Fairy Village and, having a small fairy-obsessed girl with us, we decided to go and visit.

It was a gorgeous place, green woodland interspersed with gardens where great care had been taken to create tiny fairy villages, small houses and figures nestling among the plants.  There were animals as well, including a cranky goose who took a dislike to my husband, chasing him and pecking at his jeans as my daughter and I squealed and giggled, no help to him whatsoever. The owner came out eventually and shooed the bird away as we gasped with laughter, all part of the experience.

Then we took a walk up through the woods to emerge on a ridge looking towards a hill. This was a famous fairy mountain, Knocknashee, and the legend goes that, if you stand facing the mountain and make a wish, then close your eyes and turn in a circle, if, when you open your eyes you’re facing the mountain once more, your wish will be granted. So we took turns, standing and making our silent wishes, closing our eyes and turning around, feeling the peace of the landscape. I was the only one who ended up facing the mountain when I opened my eyes, so I suppose my wish will be granted. But I felt, as I stood there in the soft green, the three of us alone in this magical place, that it already had been. That all I could wish for was with me in the circle, complete.


I’ve been nominated by Ali Isaac to take part in the Five Photos Five Stories Challenge – I would like to nominate Louise Taylor – I know you’re busy but if you’d like to take it up at some point in the future, I imagine you’d have some lovely photos to share 🙂

The rules of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!