J. K. Rowling’s Stories – a New Website Launched part 2

Yesterday I shared my observations from the Stories website noticeboard, today we will look at the rest of the desk and shelf area. So lets switch the desk lamp on (with a satisfying audible click) and join me after the break to take a look around.

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J. K. Rowling’s Stories – a New Website Launched part 1


J.K. Rowling has just released her first new website since the current one launched on 20th December 2016. The new site is aimed at children so doesn’t cover any of the Robert Galbraith novels or A Casual Vacancy and can be found at https://stories.jkrowling.com/.  The new location holds a few secrets (with possibly more to come). So join me after the jump to take a look at a few of them.

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Denmark Street – before the building work.

Before I started work this morning I came across a Reddit post showing views of Denmark Street from 2015 and 2020, clearly showing the building work that our favourite detectives complain of:

In a pleasing piece of synchronicity, at lunch I was listening to an old radio comedy from the late 60’s called I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again, that featured a song written by Bill Oddie called Denmark Street. The song is clearly picturing a Denmark St. from a different age in it’s laid back and artistic heyday. If you are in the UK (or have a VPN that can make the internet think you are) you can listen to the episode on BBC iPlayer here. For the rest of the world the song can be found here.

New Cover Reveal for the Christmas Pig

On 29th June 2021, J.K. Rowling announced that the cover of her new children’s book – The Christmas Pig had been revealed. Designed by Jim Field the award-winning illustrator, character designer and animator.

“The new book will be published as a “gorgeously gifty hardback”, with full-colour jacket and featuring nine black and white spreads and decorative inside art from illustrator Jim Field. The jacket design will be revealed in the coming months.” The Bookseller

Jim would seem to be the ideal choice for a project that looks like a very promising animated film, and at least to me the cover has more than a little of the movie poster about it. Far more interesting to me will be the nine black and white spreads that Mr Fields has been commissioned to do. Look around his website to get an idea of some of the beautiful monochrome work he is capable of.

“Jim’s illustrations are simply perfect. It really is as though he got inside my head and drew what he saw there. I gasped out loud when I saw one particular illustration — I can’t say which it is without giving spoilers — because it was such a perfect representation of one of my favourite scenes.”  JK Rowling


“It was ever so slightly daunting when I thought about the number of people who are going to see this cover around the world. I wanted to create something filmic, timeless, that captures the excitement of J K Rowling’s incredible story and the wonder of Christmas, where the adventure begins. It is really a dream project and I’m so chuffed to be part of it.” Jim Field

Ms Rowling seems more than happy and given that Jim Field is aiming for the filmic look it is possible that we may be looking at an animated film ready for Christmas 2023.

In a comment on another thread I mentioned that Rowling tweeted about this pig before: https://twitter.com/jk_rowling/status/727407744161071105?s=20, she was replying to her friend Jenny Colgan who had lost her daughter’s toy puffin called Neil at an airport. Ms Colgan is a very accomplished author of both romantic fiction and science fiction writing for the iconic Dr. Who series. She is also a member J.K. Rowling’s circle of friends within Edinburgh. Neil the Puffin first appears in Jenny’s romantic fiction book The Little Beach Street Bakery, published in 2014 and set in fictionalised Marazion and St. Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. In 2015 she began publishing a spin off series of children’s books based on the characters she had created, principally the daughter Polly and the Puffin Neil. This series is Jenny’s first foray into children’s stories and seems to be very successful. Neil now has his own twitter account which consists principally of tweeting “eep!”, so much more tolerable than most celebrity accounts.

As a post script the original Neil the Puffin was never found, but a replacement miraculously appeared to take his place. Could J.K. Rowling be planning a similar series of adventures for the Christmas Pig? let me know in the comments.

Strike’s SIB 2: A History of the SIB

When we last saw the Special Investigation Branch of the Corp of Military Police (CMP), it consisted of 19 newly minted soldiers in brand new uniforms, formed from Scotland yard’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID), on the recommendation of Chief Inspector George Hatherill. The unit that formed up on 29th February 1940 might wear military dress, but they were still civilian detectives using the training they had gained within the Metropolitan Police to solve what were familiar crimes. What was needed was specialist training for military duties, such as: the military chain of command; King’s Regulations (rules and regulations covering all aspects of military life) and the army system of indent, issue and accounting, which they received at the military police training school at Mytchett Barracks, near Aldershot. The original recruits would go on to form instructors at the first SIB Training Centres in Egypt and at Gatton Park in Surry. Join me after the jump to find out how the SIB would fare in war and peace.

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