Olive is a girl who daydreams.
“Daydreaming” is a strange word when you think about it – dreaming in the day – awake but drifting off inside your head for a little holiday from what’s going on round you. Daydreaming is something we’re not supposed to do, not at school or work anyway. Olive gets told off for it quite a bit. She can’t help it but she gets told off anyway. When she’s meant to be finishing a sum or a story she might look out of the window and suddenly she’s off trying on cloud-hats and imagining them, delicately wobbly against her forehead…
Every great idea must have started life as flimsy as a cloud-hat – all the greatest stories and theories and inventions. I imagine a boy called Stephenson sitting by the fire one afternoon two hundred years ago, watching the kettle boil on the kitchen fire. He’s daydreaming of course. He lives every day in a world where everything’s pulled by horses and yet he’s dreaming of a carriage that somehow, magically, heaves itself along with nothing more than the puff of kettle steam. What a delicately wobbly idea that must have seemed at the time. Yet if Stephenson hadn’t been dreamy enough to dream it, then brave enough to make it real, what a sad, steam engine-less world it would have been.
But will Olive ever bring back anything worthwhile from the land inside her head…?