30/09/2013 Dave Cryer

If you’re dotty, you’re a mad thing. If you’re a lake, you’re calm. I’m Dotty Lake. I’m both. I’m madly calm. I can be one, I can be the other or I’m somewhere in between. I’m torn between two worlds.

I get my wild streak from my mum. She’s an artist, pretty famous for her bonkers creations. She calls herself a modern artist. She does installations. My dad is the calm one. He’s a lawyer. He solves things through diligence, he says. Due diligence he calls it. Get your head down, put the work in and you’ll get there. Whereas Mum’s wild and free. She works hard, yes, sometimes so hard you don’t see her for days on end. She says she works by spilligence, which is a word she made up, a word which means the opposite of getting your head down. It means getting your head up.

I don’t really know who I am yet.

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Comment by Lynne Coppendale on September 30, 2013 at 9:56

My mums the dotty one not me and my dad’s the calm one, which is also not me. So, where do I fit in? I’ve got mad ideas, crazy ideas but they don’t fit in with anything my parents do. This is where my story starts…


I don’t want to be normal, I don’t want to be weird, I just want to be well… me no matter what I have to do. My name is Dotty Lake and I am 13 years old. I live in south east London and have done ever since I was born. I have a little sister called Ivy and a little brother called Zem. I get picked on because of my name and apparently my mum’s a complete psycho, to me any way. There are lots of things that are weird to me like different coloured cats, multi-coloured kites and well…ME!   

Jessica Thompson, Y8, Danum Academy, Doncaster

Comment by Sue Parr on September 30, 2013 at 10:57

People tease me at school.  For a start, I have bushy, multi-coloured afro hair and I often wear really geeky glasses which belonged to my great granddad.  I like to combine this look with very smart, sensible suits and shiny, bright red and yellow clogs.  My ambition in life is to be an astronaut, flying around all of the planets in our solar system in my very own orange and purple rocket.  My super-cool grandparents, who work for NASA, could come with me in my rocket to keep me company, along with my pet pig, Cedric.  I used to love school because of my best friend, Sarah, who was super smart and lots of fun to be around.  Sadly, though, Sarah was killed by a rogue hippopotamus on a visit to London Zoo last summer with her parents.  It was her birthday!  She appears in my dreams every night and haunts me.

 Anya, Anshika, Emily and Sarah, Y6  Heathfield School for Girls

Comment by WP Central on September 30, 2013 at 12:12

As the night grows later, strange occurrences happen throughout our capacious home,

objects are moved from place to place and I get visions of my former friend. The image of

that day is still stuck firm in my mind and that reflects on my visions, at least two nights a

week, I will be woken abruptly to see an aggravated rogue hippopotamus staring at me, its

eyes like a pathway to the underworld.

This morning, I woke up with a sense of caution as I searched my room to try and decide

whether my vision was a pigment of my imagination. I ran downstairs to find my Mum

painting a new picture in her vivacious art studio, and consulted her about my nightmarish

visions; she gave a confused look and burst into laughter, “Don’t be silly!” she shouted with

a wide smile on her face and walked away without adding any more; I walked over to her

half finished painting which seemed to resemble an eye, scarily similar to that which had

shaken me over-night. The features around it also matched up to my vision creepily. My

concentration was fixed on this painting until my Mum broke out into song and re-entered

her studio with a plate of bagels and some beverages, “do you like it?” she said with a flush

of excitement, “what?” I replied, “My picture, do you like it?” my attention returned to the

painting and I replied “yes, of course!” her face lit up and she returned to her work with


I decided to leave the house for a few hours, to try and forget about my visions, I grabbed

my granddad’s glasses and headed for the door, my thick head of multicoloured hair shining

bright in the London sunlight.

Adam, West Kirby Residential School

Comment by Samantha Donnelly on September 30, 2013 at 13:44
As I walk a thick mist forms around me. I can’t see where I go, left nothing, right nothing. I slowly shuffle forward with my hands out in front guiding the way. As I walk I start to see shapes of stars above my head. I feel faint, when I shut my eyes hopping to find my home. When I open them the mist disappears now I see a street sign saying Regent’s Park. I know where it is from when I was younger. I dash forward to see London zoo. When I enter the animals are out there cages. The animals that are out are the cheetahs and the lions. I see a gun to my right. I grab the gun with a tight grip. I check the gun for its ammunition. None. I am scared then I hear a quiet oink behind me. “Cedric!” I shout. Suddenly he mutates into a giant killer pig. I blinked again and the zoo and mutant Cedric had gone, and normal Cedric was biting my ear. I ran to the zoo to see if this was true. And there was a hippopotamus out of its enclosure glaring at me with its beady eyes. It seemed familiar. It had chains on its legs that had been snapped. Steam was coming out of its nose. A yellow tag was round its neck. It said Gertrude. I knew that this was the hippo that killed Sarah. A small oink is behind then Cedric mutates…
Thomas,Shaun and Matthew
Sandbach School
Comment by Samantha Donnelly on September 30, 2013 at 13:51
... I pinched my self its not a dream...
Thomas,Shaun and matthew
Sandbach School

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