She hurtled downstairs yesterday waving a tag and saying "Phew, just made it, remembered I promised to enter the House of Bears challenge this month and I had made nothing!" She then posted her entry to the Time Travel Challenge and left me thinking "But I wanted to enter last month's and had nothing to do it with. How about this one?"
So I spent most of the day thinking on and off about The Time Traveller's Wife, the book the challenge is based on, and the fact that I haven't read it, so that wasn't really much use. But surely there must be something I could do? (Remember most of the dolls house stuff is now safely in the Czech Republic and I am still in England, surrounded by the chaos of packing boxes).
Still nothing came to mind. Then, for something else I was writing, I serendiptiously found myself refreshing my memories of the fabulous Caroline Hamilton, founder of the Kensington Dollshouse Festival and read this about her on the Discussion Forum of the Dolls House Emporium: "One of the dolls house magazines had a couple of articles on her and she had a 40s house I would love to see more of and a clever mouse house - the frontage was a piece of skirting board and wall with a hole in it and the rooms behind."
For the rest of the day the words "mouse" and "time" were rolling around in my head. I'm ashamed to say that it took several hours for the connection between them to be made....
However finally it clicked and I rushed upstairs yelling to butterfly that I needed a mouse. It didn't need to be a live one, and where oh where were the little furry stuffed ones I was given as a child? Long, long gone I fear. However we both thought there must be some mice somewhere in the house and yes indeed there were. And not just any old mice but a beautifully dressed husband and wife, both sitting meekly in a forest scene which hasn't yet been packed up to go to the Czech Republic. More serendipity......
And there is a very fine clock downstairs. Slight panic when the glass front wouldn't open, and more panic when butterfly managed to open it and then it wouldn't close again. But in the end it all worked out.
Mr Mouse has clearly always longed to travel and how better for a mouse to do it than to follow the words of the old nursery rhyme and run up the clock? And what can his wife do but what females have always done? Sit and wait........
Hickory dickory dock
The mouse ran up the clock
The clock struck one
The mouse ran down
Hickory dickory dock
"Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?"
From The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
I'm offering up this cheekily simple take on time travel in the House of Bears Challenge which ends on January 31st - go on blog-followers, have a go - you've still got time.
Oops, need to go and consult butterfly now on how to enter a challenge - this is my very first one!