World Book Day 2020: Our Favourite Childhood Stories

Today is World Book Day! Inspired by this year’s theme, Share A Million Stories, in this post we talk about our favourite stories from childhood.

Laura

One of my favourite stories as a child was There’s No Such Thing As A Dragon. It’s a story about a little boy called Billy who wakes up to find a dragon in his bedroom, but when he tells his mum, she doesn’t believe him. The dragon, who is a rather rebellious character, gets bigger and bigger and harder and harder to ignore, yet the mum still tells Billy that the dragon doesn’t exist. It’s a funny story and a great reminder that sometimes children are right and adults are wrong. Plus, it has some really tasty looking pancakes in it, which I was always desperate for my mum to make for breakfast (she never did!).

Tommi

One of my favourite childhood stories was a book read to me in Finnish when I was laid up in bed with pneumonia. It was called Kuinka Kum-Maa on Kaikkialla and tells of a little boy called Pau who is bored and ill in bed. All of a sudden a shape in the flowery wallpaper comes to life, and princess Lilaloo takes little Pau to ‘Kum-Maa’ (a play on the Finnish word kummaa meaning strange) where all of the inhabitants are two dimensional like pictures and so eat only two dimensional foods like gingerbread and pancake. Princess Lilaloo and Pau have a number of adventures in ‘Kum-Maa’, and I vividly remember staring at the wallpaper and the various paintings at my grandparent’s house imagining my own exciting adventures. After all, as the Finnish title promises, “Kum-Maa”  is everywhere…

Alice

I was considering writing about something a little less obvious, but I would be lying if I didn’t say that the Harry Potter books were hands down my favourites as a child. I distinctly remember the release of new books and the pain at these times of being the youngest in my family – this meant having to wait for every other family member to read it before I could. When it was finally mine, I would read it cover to cover without much stopping, before turning back to the beginning and starting again. So exciting!

Anna

I had a lot of favourite books when I was a child (I still do!) but what really stands out for me is the Malory Towers books by Enid Blyton. Sharing them now with my daughters (who love them as much as I did), I’m surprised at how modern they are in some ways – the girls are expected and encouraged to do great things, and to be clever and brave as well as kind. I suspect when I was a child it was the midnight feasts and the absence of parents that I enjoyed most though.

 

Flo

Like Anna, it’s really difficult for me to choose, but one that stands out is Dick King Smith’s Sophie Stories. I loved (and still do!) the character of Sophie – ‘small but very determined’ and no-nonsense, she loves animals and her greatest ambition is to be a ‘lady farmer’. At the beginning of the books her parents think she’s too young to have a pet, so in preparation for her future career she keeps ‘flocks and herds’ of woodlice, earwigs and snails in the garden shed, which she conscientiously tends to. As the series goes on and she grows older, she accumulates a cat (Tomboy), a rabbit (Beano), a puppy (Puddle) and eventually a pony (Lucky). My sister and I were big animal lovers and our ultimate wish was to have a pony (spoiler – it never happened), so the idea of all those pets was very appealing (less so to our parents, who had agreed to a cat and nothing more).

Sarah

One of my favourite bedtime stories (and one that has always stuck with me!) when I was young was from Enid Blyton’s Goodnight Stories. It is called Polly’s Ps and Qs. It was about an ill-mannered girl who always forgot to say please and thank you. Her mother decided that she would pin a big ‘P’ or ‘Q’ to her dress every time she forgot. I lived in horror of my parents starting this trend if I didn’t remember my manners! 😃

CVP/MM Summer Round Up 2019

It’s that time of year again – the CVP/MM summer holiday round up! Take a look at what the team got up to at home and away over the already distant-seeming summer months…

Tommi

The main event of this summer was celebrating Mum’s 70th birthday. My partner Sara and I travelled to Finland where my brother Sami and his family, along with mum’s brothers and their families joined us for a lovely summer party under the old apple trees that my great-grandparents planted. As well as the party we enjoyed a family boat trip to Stockholm and took part in a fell-orienteering race at Kilpisjärvi. The summer could not have been better and so lovely to have all the members of the three generations of our family all in the same place for the first time ever.

Sarah

In June I went to Cala Blanca in Menorca with my sister and some friends to collectively celebrate us all turning 40 within the year! Much fun was had 😊 I don’t know what this says about me but my biggest take away from Menorca was how lovely the gates are.

 

 

 

 

Flo

After Laura raved about Slovenia following her trip there last summer, I decided I had to see it for myself… (heavily inspired by her itinerary) we started off in Piran on the southwest coast and ended up in mountainous Bovec, near the Austrian border. It was beautiful weather and we swam almost every day of our trip, in the sea, river, lakes and waterfalls. This photo was taken from the top of St George’s Bell Tower in Piran, where you get a beautiful 360 degree view of the town, the sea and the coast of Italy.

Laura

On holiday in Italy this year, we ventured up high into the mountains to what is known as ‘The Balcony of Italy’. The view from the top is actually of Lake Lugano in Switzerland and the Alps beyond, and is absolutely stunning. What better place to sit for a couple of hours with a book?

 

Alice

This year I spent a week walking the Dorset coast path (my home county) with my mum and dog. I spent much of my childhood walking sections of this coast path, as well as on the beaches, so it was lovely to connect everything up in one week. The walk also happily coincided with the hottest week of the year, so there was plenty of time spent in the sea cooling off!

Anna

A sunrise swim on our last day in Kefalonia, with the beach entirely to ourselves. We had a lovely, very lazy and very hot, holiday with lots of Greek food and beer.

Welcome Back Alice!

Last month we welcomed Alice back to the MM/CVP team after more than a year away! In this blog post we find out how she’s spent the last 12 months…

What have you been up to for the past year?

Alice and her friend with Fuego, an active volcano in Guatemala, in the background. It erupted a week later!

So, I left the office last February and flew to Colombia in March. I then spent the next few months travelling through Central America up to Mexico, enjoying the people, wildlife and different cultures along the way. From there I took a long flight to Vietnam, where I stayed for a month before visiting Cambodia, the Philippines and Malaysia, and then unwillingly flying back to the UK in August.

Wow! Which was your favourite place you visited and why?

The wax palms in Colombia’s Cocora Valley

Colombia! I think the people made it special, who were all really welcoming and keen for conversation. But also the amazing jungles and wildlife, beaches and cities, they seem to have it all. We also managed to do a lot of trekking, which I really enjoyed.

What have you been doing since you got back?

Since then I’ve started studying for a part-time Masters in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law, which I really love! I’ve just completed my first year, so I have a couple of months to settle back into life at Channel View and enjoy the sun, before I start again in September.

Alice back at her desk

How have you found it coming back to Channel View? Has anything changed?

It’s been strange trying to dig things up from my memory that I’d let slip, but it’s generally really great to be back! The office is largely the same but there have been a few tweaks here and there, and small improvements to how we do things. Otherwise, I’ve been working with Rose and Ellie for the first time, which is really lovely!

It’s great to have you back! One last question – what are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just finished reading Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham – loved it. Now I’m looking for something new to start!

Goodbye and Bon Voyage to Alice!

Today we said a sad goodbye to Alice, who has been at CVP/MM for a year since starting as an intern last February. In this post Alice reflects on her year with us and reveals what the future has in store for her…

So, sadly my time at Channel View has come to an end. It’s been a great year, having continued working here for seven months after my initial six month internship. This has therefore been my first ‘proper’ job since university and has set the bar high for anything to come!

When I started, Flo guided me through a number of jobs that I could take on – dealing with incoming emails to the info box, keeping our online database up to date, setting up 6 month P&Ls and various other tasks. Since then I’ve been handed other jobs here and there and taken on more responsibility with things like putting books into production and drawing up contracts.

Being in such a small office means I’ve also been able to see how things work and undertaken tasks in most areas of publishing: production, marketing, permissions, editorial and other bits and pieces in between.

There have definitely been a few highlights outside of ‘normal’ work too. Some things that have stood out are: going on days out to two of our printers, Short Run Press and CPI, as well as to the massive Gardners Books wholesaler; eating lots of delicious biscuits and cake; experiencing a ‘Channel View Christmas’; and being introduced to the local Pippins doughnuts at the Friday food market. Most importantly it’s been great working with a group of people that get on so well and have fun while working hard.

Now I am flying off for five months for a bit of an adventure, starting in Colombia and working my way up to Central America before heading to Southeast Asia. Who knows what will come after that, but I want to thank Channel View for having me for the last year – it’s been a great experience!

Thanks Alice for all your hard work and good luck on your travels!

Merry Christmas!

As an office, we take Christmas very seriously! Celebrations start on 1st December, when we decorate the office and get the Christmas tunes playing. In this post we put a Christmassy spin on our recent Desert Island Discs blog post and share some photos of this year’s CVP/MM Christmas festivities!

Decorating day in the CVP/MM office

If you’re bored of hearing the same 10 Christmas songs played on loop in every shop, you can check out our office’s carefully curated Christmas playlist on Spotify here. Here are our personal favourites, including the one we’d each save from the waves marked with a star.

Sarah

  • *Proper Crimbo – Bo Selecta
  • Don’t Shoot Me Santa – The Killers
  • Must Be Santa – Bob Dylan
  • Donde Esta Santa Claus – Augie Rios
  • Christmas was Better in the 80s – The Futureheads
  • Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes
  • The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
  • One More Sleep Til Christmas – The Muppets Christmas Carol

Favourite Christmas Film: All I Want For Christmas

Favourite Christmas Food: Turkey & bread sauce sandwiches

Anna

  • Must be Santa – Bob Dylan
  • *Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
  • All Alone on Christmas – Darlene Love
  • It’s Clichéd to be Cynical at Christmas – Half Man Half Biscuit
  • O Holy Night – Tracy Chapman
  • (Don’t Call Me) Mrs Christmas – Emmy the Great and Tim Wheeler
  • Santa Claus Meets the Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
  • Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight) – Ramones

Favourite Christmas Film: It’s a Wonderful Life, with Nativity! a very VERY close second place

Favourite Christmas Food: Bread sauce

Laura

Time for a quick photo on the way to Christmas dinner
  • Gaudete – Steeleye Span
  • Feliz Navidad – José Feliciano
  • *I Was Born On Christmas Day – Saint Etienne
  • Last Christmas – Wham!
  • Walking In The Air – Aled Jones
  • It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas – Pet Shop Boys
  • The Power of Love – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  • Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy

Favourite Christmas Film: As I’ve only seen 3 Christmas films I have very few to narrow down, so it’ll be The Holiday

Favourite Christmas Food: Brandy butter (with mince pies on the side!)

Flo

  • 2000 Miles – The Pretenders
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
  • *O Holy Night – Tracy Chapman
  • Christmas Eve, 1943 – Tom McRae & The Standing Band
  • Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
  • Will You Still Be In Love With Me Next Year – Hot Club de Paris
  • It’s Clichéd to be Cynical at Christmas – Half Man Half Biscuit
  • Kindle a Flame in Her Heart – Los Campesinos!

Favourite Christmas Film: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Favourite Christmas Food: Yule log

Tommi

  • Christmassy cocktails

    Sylvian Joululaulu Various different artists

  • Tonttujen Jouluyö Various different artists
  • Joulupuu on Rakennettu Various different artists
  • Joulupukki Various different artists
  • Joulupukki puree ja lyö – M.A. Numminen
  • *Herra Huu Pelkää Joulupukkia – M.A. Numminen
  • Näin Sydämmeeni Joulun Teen Various different artists
  • On Hanget Korkeat Nietokset Various different artists

Favourite Christmas Film: I don’t have a favourite Christmas film, I think they are all pretty appalling and besides I can’t think of anything less Christmassy than watching TV on Christmas Eve, so I would rather sit in a wood fired sauna staring at the flames flickering under the stove. I hope, by the way, that my desert island will be an arctic desert island so I can jump in the snow from the sauna and it will be properly dark.

Favourite Christmas Food: Joulukinkku (Christmas ham)

Alice

  • A Spaceman Came Travelling – Chris de Burgh
  • *Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses
  • Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea
  • Last Christmas – Wham!
  • 2000 Miles – The Pretenders
  • Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie
  • Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
  • In Dulci Jubilo – Mike Oldfield

Favourite Christmas Film: It’s a Wonderful Life

Favourite Christmas Food (/Drink!): Mulled wine!

 

Merry Christmas from all of us – see you in 2018!

Christmas dinner with the whole team

 

 

Our Desert Island Discs

This blog post was inspired by the BBC Radio 4 programme, Desert Island Discs. For those of you not familiar with the format, the show’s guest (or ‘castaway’) chooses eight pieces of music, a book and a luxury item that they would take with them if they were cast away on a desert island. For this post, we’ve each taken a turn at being the castaway and chosen the eight tracks that mean something to us, as well as a book and a luxury. Castaways also nominate the one track they would save if the rest were washed away by the waves, and we’ve marked those with a star. If you use Spotify, you can listen to the playlist of our music choices here.

Tommi

  • Murheellisten Laulujen Maa – Eppu Normaali
  • Lapin Jenkka – Tapio Rautavaara
  • Ivano Fossati – Viaggiatori D’Occidente
  • * Valse Triste – Jean Sibelius
  • I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You – Tom Waits
  • Sylvian Joululaulu – Various different artists
  • Enough is Enough – Chumbawamba & Credit to the Nation
  • Tango Pelargonia – Kari Kuuva

Book: Muumipeikko ja Pyrstötähti – Tove Jansson

Luxury item: A compass

 

Sarah

  • * Joe’s Head – Kings of Leon
  • A Day in the Life – The Beatles
  • Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing – Stevie Wonder
  • Wherever is Your Heart – Brandi Carlile
  • Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
  • The Only Place – Best Coast
  • Doctor! Doctor! – Thompson Twins
  • Proper Crimbo – Bo Selecta

Book: Anne of Green Gables series – L. M. Montgomery

Luxury item: A cricket bat and ball

 

Anna

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide – David Bowie
  • The Dancer – PJ Harvey
  • Doll Parts – Hole
  • * Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Darlene Love
  • Leader of the Pack – The Shangri-Las
  • The Guests – Leonard Cohen
  • Proserpina – Martha Wainwright
  • Queen of Denmark – John Grant

Book: The Crimson Petal and the White – Michael Faber

Luxury item: A still

 

Laura

  • Pure Shores – All Saints
  • Good Tradition – Tanita Tikaram
  • * Sky And Sand – Paul Kalkbrenner
  • Send Me On My Way – Rusted Root
  • Books From Boxes – Maximo Park
  • Heart and Soul played on a piano
  • The Way I Are – Timbaland feat. Justin Timberlake
  • Murder On The Dancefloor – Sophie Ellis Bextor

Book: The Noughts & Crosses trilogy – Malorie Blackman

Luxury item: A 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle of the world in exceptional detail

 

Flo

  • Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
  • What Can I Do To Make You Love Me – The Corrs
  • Fast Car – Tracy Chapman
  • Mr. Brightside – The Killers
  • * Good Arms vs Bad Arms – Frightened Rabbit
  • Postcards from Italy – Beirut
  • Everlasting Light – The Black Keys
  • Coffee – Sylvan Esso

Book: Atonement – Ian McEwan

Luxury item: An everlasting notebook and pen

 

Alice

  • * Teardop – Massive Attack
  • Rambling Man – Laura Marling
  • Respect – Aretha Franklin
  • Porcelain – Moby
  • Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
  • Fake Empire – The National
  • The Blower’s Daughter – Damien Rice
  • Peaches – The Presidents of the United States of America

Book: The Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling

Luxury item: A lifetime supply of painting materials

 

Spotify users can listen to the full list (almost – sadly not every single song listed above is available on Spotify!) of our Desert Island Discs choices here.