All posts by pollyspiralympics

I am an author who is passionate about bullying - especially of children, so I go into schools with Polly, one of my characters and deliver the message that bullying isn't cool, being a bully's just for the fool.

Welcome aboard Cally, Aarrgh


Cally’s mum sent in a pic of him with Polly’s Piralympics. Let’s hope it is as good as Star Wars!

So Cally is the latest crew mate to join Polly on the Thistle with Captain Hake.

“Welcome on board lad, yas will be startin’ duties in tha crows nest. So look sharp an’ climb tha riggin’ me lad. An’ be keepin’ a sharp lookout for treasure ships.”


Christmas is the time for MY little children

img-20161224-00969As Christmas Day draws near the feeling of Christmas Spirit in our home has been awakened. Our tree has been up for 3 weeks now and ever since the first boxes started to appear our pups have been hyper excited. So even though it is holiday time they are still waking me up at 5am every morning, (just watch, when it’s time to go back to work, love nor money would drag these dogs out of bed at that time in the morning.) no rest for the wicked eh?

This is one of my children, Jessie, checking out the her Christmas stocking and those of her two brothers. She is just so excited, she checks her stocking every few hours, and then sits by the staircase watching them, ha,ha,ha.

My big brown boy has had his head under the tree smelling out the presents. And the new cushions bought today have already been ‘stolen’ and dragged around the garden – because we are too busy to play with them, as we finish painting and making cushion covers ready for guests.

I can’t wait until tomorrow. It is such a wonderful time with MY children, they give unconditional love – barring a few treats and toys from time to time, and are always there to lick away my tears. They make my life feel complete. So tomorrow morning will be their time as balls and squeaky toys get thrown and played with, and chew get metered out over the next week or so.

So to all with furry children, enjoy this special time with them, they may on;y be a dog for many, but they are our children.


Adri Sinclair, my fairy godmother/angel

Yesterday I woke from an 18 hour almost comatose state of sleep as I tried to brush off the flu. (Today I have St Benedict’s Prep to talk to.) I was flicking through Facebook when I came across this post…


I was already too late for the 4 hr deadline, but thought, nothing ventured – nothing gained.

WELL, to my amazement Adri replied, she is a South African living in the UK, what were the chances of that? Not only that but she actually replied to my request. and this was the amazing result.


Sometimes in life we are just so lucky to come across and angel/fairy godmother and yesterday was my day.

Adri Sinclair doesn’t know me from Adam, but offered to produce a book cover free for me and I think it is soooo cool. AND I AM SOOO LUCKY.

Self publishing is a long and somewhat arduous journey, and when one is fortunate to have wonderful people around you (Adri, Debs, Tonia) it, well it just makes that journey so much easier and more doable. thank you all for being in my life and walking with me along this path.

Adri’s info is:      Where Books recommend Readers

I think today I must be the luckiest author on the planet, here’s to what adventure tomorrow brings



Bennies Prep tomorrow

So tomorrow will be the first time I am visiting St Benedict’s Prep (previously I have been at the Junior Prep). I will be chatting to the boys about elements in my book.

The grade 4’s know me from when they were in Junior Prep and we shall continue to learning process of being an Author, how we write and how we are all different.

Being different IS OK. We are all different in our own ways, tall, short, fat, thin, big ears, small ears, good at writing, bad at writing, good at science, bad at science, good at drawing, bad at drawing, good at maths, bad at maths. That is why we all do different jobs, because we have different strengths. Mine is I am (I think) good at writing children’s books, others are they are good at other things and become engineers, scientists, chefs, doctors, telesales people, receptionists, refuge collectors. we all have a place in this world, and that place is OK.

The grade 5’s will be seeing me for the first time and my talk will centre more around how we all have challenges and how we shouldn’t bully/tease others about their challenge, as they or others may just bully/tease us about ours too. Also how we can stand up to a bully – strength in numbers, and how friends can help. How we should show ZERO tolerance to bullies in out schools, clubs at home or where we play.

So wish me luck.

Wow 2nd read, he must have liked it.


OK so Thomas’ mum ordered some more books and here is Thomas (First Mate Tom) re-reading Polly’s Piralympics.

Wow I consider that the best review I have ever received. He enjoyed it so much that her is re- reading it.

It only took him 2 days to read it the first time, so I hope he enjoys this time just as much. You go First Mate Tom!

The most special day at Craiglands

If you read this please take the time to read it right to the end.

playtimeI had the most wonderful day with the pupils and staff of Craiglands Primary yesterday. There was something amazing about this intimate school as you drove down the narrow driveway in (and of course yesterday I chose to drive the chunky monkey car!) but it opened out onto a small parking area – would have to think about the 20 point turn I would need to get back out again later.

Janine my namesake met me, oh what a beautiful lady, she made me feel so welcome right from the start and looked after me throughout my visit. we chatted and as I turned, there was a lovely golden retriever coming towards me.

You have dogs here, how marvellous.” puppy-love

I remarked.

Actually we have 5 of them.”

Did I say this was a special school? It really is.

We threaded our way through the excited children that had assembled and she then helped me put up my posters. The usual Jozi traffic seemed worse than normal yesterday and I had arrive with literally only a few minutes to spare.

Then as I turned around there were 75 eager faces looking at me (gr1-7). As I said it is a small, special school. Actually no that is wrong. My first impression was that it was actually a rather large family.

We chatted about being an author and how to write a book, as well as the content of my books How Polly Became a Parrot and Polly’s Piralympics . We also identified many of the different types of challenges we all have – can’t dance, can’t sing, can’t ride a bike, can’t see, can’t hear, one arm, no legs etc. We also acted out how to BEAT THE BULLY. The trick here if there isn’t a parent or teacher around is to GET YOUR FRIENDS TO HELP YOU – THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS. Later I would learn just how powerful that little exercise had been.

Then I read from my book Polly’s Piralympics, the chapter I had chosen was – the 3 legged race. The children helped me with  some of the sound effects and we all laughed as one of the crews had to be rescued from walking around the whole island.

Then it was question time, hands shot up everywhere, including from the staff, ha,ha,ha. and then it was finished. I packed up my posters and joined the staff for a cup of tea. Their ‘staff room’ was a table and chairs on the stoop (veranda) overlooking the climbing frame and play area.

One of the staff had taken her class to clear up their classroom. On her return she told us how during that exercise one of the boys had upset some of the others by telling a lie. The rest had all stood up to him and told him how it was wrong to do what he was doing and that they didn’t like it. – oh my gosh, never has one of my talks ever had such a fast effect.

Whilst we sat there children occasionally would come up to ask another question, and then all too quickly it was all over and time for me to leave. I drove back up the narrow driveway and out on to the main road my mind was racing with the events of my morning. Opposite there was a shady area to park under the trees alongside the road. So I pulled up.

“You’re being stupid, ” I told myself as the tears started to trip down my face. I couldn’t get the images of Nathan, Liaam and his twin brother Teghan out of my head. They along with others had come up to me when I finished my talk.

I can’t see very well.” Nathan told me.

He has only 10% vision.” Janine added.

We chatted about how he didn’t let this stop him and how he too wanted to write a book, as did Chloe, who also stood before me.

Then the twins Liaam and Teghan, I’m not sure which one was which, but one of them showed me that his brother had a hearing aid. He said that sometimes people bully his brother and he can feel it too, he knows what it is like – such is the connection between these two brothers.

Can I put you two in one of my books?” I asked them.

There is a special connection between twins and these brothers as they stood in front of me holding hands had just melted my heart and etched their faces in my mind forever. They will appear in one of my future books, of that I am sure.

So this morning I spoke with Ms Irmela Turner the head (another very special, inspiring and gentle lady.) and thanked her again for the opportunity to have met her ‘special’ children yesterday. I feel my life is a little richer from the experience and I look forward to returning in February.

Oh and did I mention that Craiglands Primary is a special school, with very special teachers and support staff, very special dogs and very special pupils – WELL IT IS, and yesterday they all touched my heart forever.

Craiglands is a remedial school for learners who experience problems in mainstream schools due to their learning difficulties. It caters for children with challenges, ADD and ADHD, is a co-ed school for learners gr1 to gr7.

You see I told you it was SPECIAL.


Off to Craigland’s Primary tomorrow

Ok so I’ll be having a bit of help tomorrow with these cool posters to help explain bullying to grade 4 and 5’s. How Polly Became a Pirate, Polly Ya Na Can Fly and Polly’s Piralympics (Paralympics for Pirates.) are the first three books in the Polly’s Piralympics series, where I look at anti-bullying as one of the themes that are in the books.