12 Apr 2010

Exploits of Miss Mavis III: Setting Sail

Many said the journey would be too much for Miss Mavis, too cold, too turbulent, too lonesome. They were sceptical that she could sail there in a teacup, scared for her safely, feared for her sanity. Yet none of their criticisms, concerns, hushed whispers and shaking heads put Miss M off. When she was determined to get something done, she did.

And Miss Mavis was determined to sail to Antarctica and back for her 47th birthday.

It all began one afternoon in summer when Miss Mavis was standing in her overgrown (but well loved) garden... she was surveying the tiny fruits emerging on her quince tree, feeling content and comfortable with herself - she hadn't done anything wild or impulsive for years - in fact, not since her roaring twenties. Not since she travelled with gypsies from Russia to Shanghai in a caravan, not since she settled in a quiet suburb and planted a quince tree.
Mavis sighed softly, so this is the calm and comfort people work their whole lives away for...

(Now Miss M was by no means ungrateful for the simple and soft pleasures in her life, but she missed getting her boots wet)

And as she clinged to the branches of her tree, with a quivering heart, she felt a great beam of sunshine on her nose. At that moment she resolved to plan an adventure to a place she had always longed to go - she would go to the coldest and most barren place on earth. She would see the aurora australis, she would see sun dogs, she might even see crystal dust. To a place where she could observe lichen and fur seals and patagonian toothfish. She was going South.

Really south.
She as going to A N T A R C T I C A
After informing her friends and neighbours of her plans, Miss Mavis carried out the nautical transformation process on her chosen sailing vessel - her grandmother's Irish teacup. She then packed all the provisions necessary for such an adventure and at 6.36am on an autumn Thursday Miss M sets sail and sings;
Goodbye sweet home,
goodbye soft and simple comforts,
goodbye warm porridge
goodbye quince tree,
I am going
but not for ever -
I am going on an adventure
sailing high
sailing low,
south and south and south
I will bring you back a jar of ice
and a happy heart
to A N T A R T I C A
I go!

**Check back in a week for the next installment of Miss Mavis' voyage to Antarctica; where she becomes trapped in a violent storm and is led to safety by operetta-inclined fur seals...**

To read more of her past exploits go HERE.


  1. Miss Mavis is magnificent!
    ..I am awaiting part II of this exciting saga!

    Miss Mavis is one cool lady!

  2. I always knew she had Roaring Twenties! I like her better all the time.

  3. I showed this to my daughter and she loved it, as did I!

  4. Seriously how did you come up with this story? its genius!
    This is going to become a book right!?
    It SOOOOO should and also filled with your awesome blue drawings!

  5. I agree with Ailin. I would love to see a little book made of Miss Mavis - and sold on Etsy so I can snatch it up.

  6. yup kid's book is a definite must. Ms. M is riveting ;)

  7. I have a crush on Miss Mavis...

  8. Smiling sooooo much. I adore her. You are so brilliant. So beautiful. But she needs a snowcake!

    And crystal dust - how very Philip Pullman of you; I do remember your rant on his novels and smile.


Thank you for reading! I do so love and appreciate every one of your comments even if I don't get a chance to reply.