Children’s book of the week: The Last Chip by Duncan Beedie

Our children’s book of the week is The Last Chip by Duncan Beedie. It’s a heart-warming tale with some affectionate illustrations featuring the city of Bristol. 

We’ve taken a look around and found some lovely resources online all about this lovely story. Take a look and have a go! 

  1. Storytime and drawalong with Duncan Beedie 

Duncan Beedie not only reads the story, he also treats his audience to a drawing tutorial over on YouTube

2. Printable pirate headband for kids 

There’s a rather fierce pirate seagull in the story – and this is a good excuse to make a pirate headband.  


3. Pigeon printable craft 

We like this printable craft activity for its sensitive portrayal of a pigeon.  

4. Drawalong with Duncan Beedie 

Another chance for kids to learn to draw with Duncan Beedie! 

  1. Paper plate pizza craft  

Inspired by a search for food in the story, children can adapt this pizza-themed activity and create a plate of their own favourite food.

World Heart Day

Know your numbers/World Heart Day

World Heart Day this year is on 29th September 2020. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death and has many causes, such as smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and air pollution.

Know Your Numbers

Looking after you heart starts with understanding your risk, so make sure you know all your health numbers.  Click here to find out more.

NHS Health Check

An NHS Health Check is a free health check aimed at adults aged 40 to 74. It involves measuring your blood pressure, pulse, height and weight and asking you some lifestyle questions to see whether there’s more you can do to look after your health. It involves a few simple tests to check your risk of

  • heart disease
  • diabetes
  • kidney disease
  • stroke

Heart Age Test

Take this quiz to find out your heart age compared to your real age.


Blood Pressure Test

It’s recommended that all adults over 40 years of age have their blood pressure tested at least every 5 years so any potential problems can be detected early.  Find more information here .

You can get your blood pressure tested at a number of places, including:


Chelsea Chatterbooks, with special guest Caroline Lawrence!

On Saturday 12 September, Chelsea Library organised its second virtual Chatterbooks.

The theme was The Roman Mysteries, by Caroline Lawrence. We read the extract from the first book The Thieves of Ostia, which I put on a PowerPoint presentation, and talked about the characters, life in ancient Rome, Roman calendars, the author’s style, etc. Aleksandar, Vuk, Carla, Maximilian, Sarah and their mothers were in the middle of a vivid discussion of what actually happened to the protagonists between the first and fourth book, The Assassins of Rome, when the author, Caroline Lawrence visited us.

Oh, the look on children’s faces was priceless! She was relaxed and funny and children loved being able to talk to her.

During the summer holidays, I enjoyed Caroline’s online talks and hoped that she would not mind popping by for a few minutes to greet my ‘Chatterbookers’ while we were reading from her famous book series. So, when Caroline stayed more than half an hour, talked about her books, answered all the questions that children asked and even left her email address with them – in case they have more burning questions, I was more than happy!

I know that it is not the same as having Chatterbooks in the library as it is “only” an online activity. But, evidently, a huge advantage of a virtual activity was that we had this special encounter!

We are all very grateful to Caroline Lawrence for spending her Saturday morning with us.


Book Review: The Clutter Corpse and Other Murders

Simon Brett photo
Author Simon Brett

Over to Zvezdana!

Simon Brett’s new leading character is Ellen Curtis, an amateur sleuth and decluttering expert. She even owns a decluttering agency, SpaceWoman, in Chichester. Her business grew from a casual favour, but when she finds a corpse in the old house, her world will change its course forever.

Glancing around my living room, God forbid peeping into the wardrobes, I feel that Ellen would be quite in her environment if she suddenly wandered into my flat. As many of us did during the lockdown, I attacked the clutter very fearlessly, at least for the first few days. Afterwards, the Proust effect took over and I was left almost choking on madeleine biscuits. Wherever you look, the ghosts of the past are waiting for the right time to ambush you.  I do not call myself a hoarder, but the idea of a professional declutterer sounds very appealing to me. Going through anyone’s accumulated belongings would make a good detective story, perhaps with the rosebud effect; even without hidden corpses. So, from the start I have been captivated by even the idea of Simon Brett’s new heroine and book. 

Ellen’s personal problems, her family history and how she deals with depression, make her very likeable and believable.  The backstory of The Clutter Corpse is almost as interesting as the main who-done-it thread.  Ellen joins other Brett’s famous amateur sleuths – a widow Mrs Melita Pargeter,  aging actor Charles Paris, and the Fethering ladies, Carol and Jude.  They are not flawless detectives; they gossip, they cheat, usually drink too much, have considerable memory baggage. They are mostly middle-aged people who frequently do not know how to deal with personal and other issues. That is exactly what makes them real; sometimes I like them and other times I just want to argue with them!

Humour and irony lace all Brett’s novels and characters. Be aware. It is hazardous reading Brett’s novels on public transport, especially now – with masks on and shaking with laughter.

I look forward to more in this series and expect to be delightfully entertained, as usual.  

If Zvezdana’s recommendation has piqued your interest, check out our (free!) Simon Brett event! Hear the author speak about his new book, The Clutter Corpse and Other Murders, and ask him any burning questions you may have! Tickets can be booked at the link here.

Clutter Corpse is available to download from our cloudLibrary here.  All you need is an RBKC library card and if you are not a member, don’t worry,  just click here – it’s completely free to join and use our resources. 

National Hygiene Week

The Hygiene Bank is launching National Hygiene Week to help raise awareness that hygiene poverty is real for many of the 14 million living in poverty in the UK.

National Hygiene Week is an opportunity to raise awareness about hygiene poverty by bringing together thought leaders, community partners, grassroots organisers, schools, charities, and volunteers to contribute to the public conversation and increase demand for action so that collectively we are a voice for change.

What is hygiene poverty?

Hygiene poverty is a real thing and affects many of us here in the United Kingdom. This  link provides  very useful information about Hygiene poverty, what it is, and the statistics associated with it.  The Hygiene Bank have put together some good resources here, along with a series of conversations that explore the issue of Hygiene poverty.

You can watch this short video about Hygiene poverty produced by the Hygiene Bank, and this short Animation tells the story of Elisha, and how Hygiene Poverty impacted her life.





World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month is observed in September every year and was launched in September 2012. The decision to introduce the full month, to contain the existing World Alzheimer’s Day, was made to enable national and local Alzheimer associations worldwide to extend the reach of their awareness programmes over a longer period of time.  Below, we have put together some great resources to help increase awareness.

Continue reading “World Alzheimer’s Month”

The Wornington Word: A People’s History, Part 2

Last month, we introduced you to Natasha: founder of the oral history project “The Wornington Word”. Check out the first part in our three part series here to read about how Natasha was inspired by Wornington Green and the people living around her.

Continue reading “The Wornington Word: A People’s History, Part 2”

Recommended Reads

This week, our Book of the Week is the Phantom of the Opera. Because Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical has taken over the public imagination of The Phantom, all of the Recommended Reads this week are books which have been transformed for the stage. Lights, sound…action!

Continue reading “Recommended Reads”

Dancing for Health and Wellbeing

If you enjoy dancing, it can be a great way to boost your mood and improve your fitness.  This week, we have some great inspiration that will get you in the mood for dancing to lift your spirits and move your body.

If you want to find out more about the impact of dance on mind and body, have a look at this article on the ultimate feel-good exercise.  Did you know that dancing can burn up to 600 calories per hour? Or that hip hop dancing boost your mood, lowers stress and improves your energy, similar to other more traditional forms of aerobic exercise?  Find out more dancing facts here in this article by Time magazine.  If you need any more reasons, Warwick University have put together this list of six of the benefits of dancing to get you started.  Finally, for some truly personal inspiration, here is a wonderful Tedx Talk by Kevin Turner who talks about how dance has impacted him as a person and his mental health condition.

Dance to Health are an organisation that have created these great follow along dance routines that you can do in a chair in the comfort of your own home.  These routines are designed to help prevent falls in the over 55s – another great benefit.

Wanting to burn those 600 calories?  How about this 15 minute dance workout or this 30-minute hip hop routine from Pop Sugar?

If you want to feel more confident in your body when you dance, we have found some great dance videos for everybody here, here and here.