As an avid reader from an early age I liked to re-read well loved books and a few well thumbed children’s stories remained in the loft when I cleared the family home. The best loved was Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women which I knew almost by heart.

Two others that are still on my bookshelf and were firm favourites are – The House in the Hills by Olivia Fitz Roy and The Basket of Flowers by Christoph von Schmid. I read The House in the Hills as a 10 year old while on a long summer holiday in Wester Ross and as the story is set there I identified with the characters and their many adventures in that wild and remote region of my homeland.

The Basket of Flowers is a German children’s book which is rather a moral tale of a young girl wrongly accused of the theft of her employer’s jewels. This gripped my imagination, especially the revelation that a magpie had been the thief!  All these favourite books were prizes so especially treasured.

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