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Authors: Kelly McKain

Charlie and Charm

BOOK: Charlie and Charm
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For Katie J, with thanks xx


With special thanks to our cover stars,

Emily and Timmy, pony guru Janet Rising
and our fab photographer, Zoe Cannon.


Title Page


Entry One: Monday, after lunch

Entry Two: On my bunk bed after tea, chilling out!

Entry Three: I’m snuggled up in bed with Frieda – writing this by the light of my torch!

Entry Four:Tuesday, I’m quickly writing this before we get called down for lunch

Entry Five: I can’t believe what’s just happened!

Entry Six:We’ve just finished on the yard – I’ve found a little space in the tack room to sit and write in here

Entry Seven: Still Tuesday

Entry Eight:Wednesday, it’s nearly time to go down to the yard – and I’ve got butterflies in my tummy!

Entry Nine: Just quickly writing this before lunch

Entry Ten:The cross-country practice was amazing!!

Entry Eleven: In bed

Entry Twelve:Thursday, after tea

Entry Thirteen: Friday morning, and I’ve just woken up

Entry Fourteen: Still Friday!


Dear Riders,


A warm welcome to Sunnyside Stables!


Sunnyside is our home and for the next week it will be yours, too! My husband Johnny and I have two children, Millie and James, plus two dogs … and all the ponies, of course!

We have friendly yard staff and a very talented instructor, Sally, to help you get the most out of your week. If you have any worries or questions about anything at all, just ask. We’re here to help, and we want your holiday to be as enjoyable as possible – so don’t be shy!

As you know, you will have a pony to look after as your own for the week. Your pony can’t wait to meet you and start having fun! During your stay, you’ll be caring for your pony, improving your riding, learning new skills (this week we have a special surprise for our more experienced riders!) and making new friends.

We’ll also be off to the beach for a day of fun with our ponies – just imagine cantering along the sandy shore together! Add swimming games, films, nature trails and a gymkhana and you’re in for a fun-filled holiday to remember!

This special Pony Camp Diary is for you to fill with all your holiday memories. We hope you’ll write all about your adventures here at Sunnyside Stables – because we know you’re going to have lots!


Wishing you a wonderful time with us!

Well, here I am at Pony Camp, and Jody has given me this special diary to write all about it!

It’s amazing here, with lots of ponies and two manèges and a swimming pool! And the girls are really lovely, too. I just wish that Apple was here to enjoy it with me. She’s my pony … whoops, I mean she
my pony, but I got too big to ride her and Mum and Dad said they had to sell her. That was 1 month, 23 days and, erm, 5 hours ago. And I haven’t ridden since – well, I hadn’t until this morning anyway. I found it really strange being on a pony again, and I was sad that it wasn’t Apple.

When I got here there were other cars pulling up. Girls tumbled out, chattering excitedly and dragging big suitcases into the
farmhouse. I was feeling nervous, so I stayed close to Mum when she went to register me in the office. I wish I hadn’t, though, because she was doing that annoying thing of talking about me as if I’m not there, saying “Charlie” this and “she” that.

She was telling Sally the instructor and Lydia (one of the stable girls) about me not riding since they sold Apple. Well, actually she said, “since
sold Apple” and I said, “since
did” because I had nothing to do with it – I would never have given up my lovely pony! Then she said how I won’t even go back to the stables where I used to keep Apple on livery, and how I’ve lost touch with my riding friends because I always said no to going up there with them and after a while they stopped asking me.

I was getting really upset and annoyed, and I think Sally noticed ’cos she sent me off into
the farmhouse to unpack and meet the other girls. Lydia walked up there with me, and on the way she squeezed my shoulders and said, “Don’t worry, Charlie, you’ll be OK at Sunnyside.” That was so nice of her, but it also nearly made me start crying.

When I got to the room I started unpacking straight away, to take my mind off Apple. I could hear girls chatting in the other rooms, but mine was empty. The bed by the window was unmade and covered in clothes and mags, but the bunk beds looked free, so I took the top one.

After a few minutes, Mum came up to say goodbye because she had to get off to work. She and Dad are always really busy at their offices and my big bro Hughie is away this week too, on an outward bound course in the
Lake District. He loves canoeing over waterfalls and stuff like that. I used to be outdoorsy, too, and I practically lived at the stables while Apple was there! But when she was sold, I ended up moping around in my room not really knowing what to do with myself. Mum and Dad tried to talk to me about getting a new pony, but I was so upset I couldn’t even
about it. In the end, Mum booked me on this holiday to try and cheer me up. That was only a couple of weeks ago and she kept saying how lucky I was to get the last place.

I tried to tell her that I didn’t feel like riding, but she did that thing she does where she acts as if she’s at work and bosses me about, saying things like, “Come on, darling, don’t be silly about this, it’ll be good for you.” Why can’t she just see that I miss Apple so much it hurts?
She wasn’t just a pony to ride, she was my best friend!

I went down to wave Mum off, and when I got back upstairs there was a girl sitting on the bottom bunk cuddling a really tatty toy rabbit. When I came in she stuffed it under her pillow, but I got Frieda my frog out of my suitcase, where I’d been hiding her.

The girl smiled and climbed up to sit on my bunk, bringing her rabbit with her. “Have you come on your own, too?” she asked.

She was relieved when I said that I had. She’d been worried that everyone would have friends here already.

She’s called Skye (and her rabbit is called Sniff) and she’s nine, like me. She’s from
Wiltshire, which is kind of on the way back to London from here. She’s got lovely long, dark hair with some little plaits and beads in, and she’s wearing a really cool pink tie-dye top. When I asked where she got it from she said she’d dyed it herself! I’m going to try dying a couple of my T-shirts when I get home.

Then Millie, Jody’s daughter, came bursting in (turns out she’s the owner of the messy bed by the window!). She climbed up on my bunk, too, and soon we were all chatting about what riding and stuff we’d done.

When Millie told us she had her own pony I ended up admitting that I used to have one.
I wasn’t planning to tell anyone about Apple in case I got upset, but it just came out. Skye said she could imagine how I felt – poor thing, her mum gave her cat away because of her baby brother being allergic to it. And Millie said how she couldn’t even bear to imagine selling
pony, Tally. I’m so relieved they don’t think I’m spoilt for being upset when I’ve been lucky enough to have had my own pony in the first place. It’s great knowing they understand.

Jody came up and sent us down to the yard then. The other girls were there and Sally and Lydia, and we had to go round in a circle and say our names and where we’re from.

In the older girls’ room there are:

Ricosha and Tameka are both 12 and they’ve come together from Croydon. Jemima is 11 and she’s really giggly and cheeky, and she says she’s always getting told off at school for talking in lessons!

BOOK: Charlie and Charm
5.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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