As a child, I never got into WInnie the Pooh. Guess I was too old. The adventures of Pooh and all the animals seemed very childish - and Christopher Robin seemed like a ridiculous boy, not at all like the boys I knew, who spent all day rushing around pretending to be fighter planes. But recently I found a First Edition of "The House at Pooh Corner" in a bargain box, and, in looking through it for damage, I found myself reading it. And it was wonderful. It may not have appealed to me as a child but certainly does as an adult.

Then I happened to spot Ernest Shepard's biography - he is of course the illustrator. He wrote two volumes and I have read the first, which is charming, and, as you'd expect, beautifully illustrated. He remembers his life until the age of 7 with such clarity and affection that you can quite see why he was the ideal illustrator for Pooh.

I'm still working at getting the book proposal right. It's fascinating to hear what various readers have to say, but it's tricky to know just how much attention to pay to them. I always, ALWAYS listen to criticism, because any feedback is useful to a writer, however bad or stupid I may privately think it is. But these professional readers don't know what I want and what I'm like, and they may suggest things I don't want to do at any price. I hope I'm treading the fine line between listening to them and retaining my independence. So far the proposal doesn' t have the right "voice," but I am sure it will come in time.