A long long time ago I walked into the library and searched for something new.
I'd read my way through The Chronicles of Narnia over and over again.
I'd read almost all of the Patricia Lynch books I loved so much. I'd devoured all the 'Fairy Tales' books..the big thick serious fairy tales from China, or Russia or wherever the book took me.
I pulled out a narrow navy blue book I hadn't noticed before, and opened it.
I was intrigued straight away. I loved that I was being addressed by the author. I'd never heard of him ..or her...I didn't know. It was someone called 'Tove' so it could have been either. On the next page was a map of Moomin Valley.
It was the beginning of a lifelong love of the Moomin Stories by Tove Janssen.
No one else I knew had read them.
They were mysterious, fascinating, sad, and sweet. The creatures who appeared in them had names like 'Too Ticky' ''Snufkin, 'Sniff' and the 'Snork Maiden'.
They lived in a beautiful place and were very influenced by the weather and the seasons.
My favourite characters were The Hattifattners. Silent enigmatic and still. They met in the night forest and bowed to a barometer on a pole.
Later, as a Primary School teacher I introduced my classes to them and then my own children, and then the Moomins became TV stars and were no longer my own discovery.
I believe there is now a Moomin theme park.
To my mind, the line drawings of the author are far superior to any multicoloured models.
When I was making these I was strangely reminded of the Hattifattners.
I made one, two, three, more.
Then there were six.
Six in a square set, then six in a row
Then there were eight
Gathered on my sewing table, no doubt swaying and dancing while I'm asleep.