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Carnaby - The Yarn Spinner

Full name: Carnaby Street
Characteristics: A natural storyteller, a keen observer and a patient host.
Least likely to say: My relatives are rather dull.
Most likely to say: Of course you are my favourite animal, Alice.
Favourite animal: The aardvark
Because: Alice would sulk if she had any other favourite.
Least favourite animal: The python
Because: Alice would sulk if she had any other least favourite.
Favourite word: Kith and kin (and Aardvark)
Because: It means family
Least favourite kind of person: a humblebrag
That’s: Someone who pretends to be humble but who can’t help boasting.

Oxford - The Brabbler

Full name: Oxford Shirley Street
Characteristics: A modern-day wordsmith who knows how to sing Happy Birthday in many languages and who otherwise says very little out loud.
Most likely to say:‘Hmmmm’, whilst thinking a great many very clever things, inside his head, which he has no wish to share with the rest of the world.
Least likely to say: Innit, wotcha, or catch ya later.
Favourite animal: The border collie
Because: There’s one in the United States that can recognize over 1,000 words.
Least favourite animal: The howler monkey
Because: It is the loudest land animal (its call can be heard up to three miles (4.8 km) away) but it has nothing sensible to say.
Favourite word: Logophile
Because: it means someone who loves words
Favourite insult: Hoddypeak
Which means: Fool

Carter – The Quester

Full Name: Carter Henry Able-Street-Macadm
Characteristics: Cool in a crisis and inventive, whilst remaining deeply distrustful of poor road construction.
Most likely to say: What we need here is a widget; I think I just happen to have one in my pocket.
Least likely to say: Let’s forget the safety check and see how things pan out.
Favourite Animal: The elephant
Because: They have the largest brain of any land animal, they move slowly, and they use tools.
Least favourite animal: The clam.
Because: They have no brain at all, they move with the tide (which Carter feels shows a sorry lack of forward planning) and they never use tools.
Favourite word: Engineered
Because: It refers to something that is designed before it is built, as opposed to a ‘lash-up’ which refers to something that is built before it has been designed.
Favourite tool: a whatchamacallit (similar to a thingamabob or a doodah)
Because: No matter what the job, the chances are that you are going to need one.

Flo – The Jargogler

Full name: Florence May-Street-Macadam
Characteristics: An enthusiastic collector for all things colourful and decorative. Flo loves to add to her outfit – sometimes so much so that she disappears under the weight of what she is wearing.
Most likely to say:Flowers, spangles, stripes and swirls suit me to a T.
Least likely to say: I prefer to work a simple look.
Favourite animal: The magpie
Because: They too are collectors of all things shiny.
Least favourite animal: The blowfish
Because: They are very ugly, they never wear glitter and they rarely collect anything shiny.
Favourite word: Bedazzle
Because: It’s a captivating word like gleam, glitter, spangle and astound
Favourite sound: Rickety-rackety
Because: It sounds like the wheels going around on her scooter.

Aunt Sylvia – The Flibbertigibbet

Full name: Sylvia Ivy Street-Macadam
Characteristics: A hopeless romantic who finds everything to do with road construction irresistible and who loves to be surrounded by other people at all times.
Most likely to say:Let’s all nine of us spend six weeks in a three-person tent.
Least likely to say:I want to be alone.
Favourite animal: The rosy-faced lovebird
Because: Because they are affectionate and look like they are blushing
Least favourite animal: The skunk
Because: They are potentially smelly, prefer to live alone, and aren’t in the least bit affectionate.
Favourite word: Romeo
Because: It’s even more romantic than snookums, tootsie-wootsy and schnooky lumps.
Most likely to cause: a kerfuffle
Which is: a great deal of fuss.

Dad – The Anonymuncle

Full name: Gerrard Street
Characteristics: Hard-working, sometimes gruff, a book writer who finds himself surrounded by eccentrics.
Most likely to say:We must get the locks changed
Least likely to say:How lovely to see you Aunt Maud
Favourite animal: The beaver
Because: They don’t take up much space and they keep working, no matter what.
Least favourite animal: Humans
Because: They keep appearing on his doorstep expecting to be housed and fed.
Favourite word: Adieu
Because: It means goodbye forever.
Favourite opening remark to new guests: Vamoose!
Because: It means ‘let’s go’ and it sounds like something one of his characters in a book would say.

Grandfather Frederick II

Dad’s father, who lives in India and London N1. A keen defendant of the rights of animals, plants and eggs. Particularly fond of mains drainage and a lifelong sufferer of asthma.

Favourite saying: Codswollop!

Which means: Rubbish! Nonsense! Rot!

Amber Slumbers

Mum’s younger cousin and former beauty pageant judge, who has turned her hand to wigs for cats and yoga for dogs.

Least likely to wear: polyester

Which is: far too shiny and sweaty on her delicate skin.

Angel Slumbers

Amber Slumber’s daughter, who is desperate to win a major beauty pageant. She can say ‘hello’ in several modern languages, her ambition is to work with orphaned animals, and she would desperately like to see world peace.

Would most likely name a kitten: Quaintly Cute

Which is: A ridiculous name for a kitten (especially if it’s a boy).

The Flying Crescendos

Highly competitive, accident prone, elderly twins who have plunged from the trapezes of the world’s leading big tops. A mass of spangles and missing body parts.

Favourite circus stunt: A clangourous lollapalooza

Which is: Nosiy and very impressive.

The Leeches

The jarred travelling companions of Great Aunt Maud, which accompany her wherever she goes. Constantly hungry and hoping for shallow water and a pulse.

Brenda the Rescue Fish

An unusually small murrell fish that Grandfather Frederick II saved from being swallowed alive during a mass healing event in Hyderabad, India.

Mimi La Minque

Treasured pet mink of Angel Slumbers, who is trained to sit at the table, whilst wearing outfits that compliment those of her owner, and gaze mysteriously into the middle distance.

The Meerkats

Mobster pets of the Flying Crescendos, who are not only as competitive as their owners but who display distinct criminal tendencies.


Graah – The Trailblazer

Full name: Great Aunt Amelia
Characteristics: old but adventurous, highly eccentric, unworried by germs, a former spy, an ambitious cook and an eternal traveller.
Most likely to say:Must get packing, my train to Kathmandu leaves first thing.
Least likely to say:I’ll just sit down and have a rest.
Favourite animal: The python
Because: She understands their grumpy ways.
Least favourite animal: The mongoose
Because: She doesn’t understand why they keep picking on pythons.
Favourite word: peregrination
Because: It means travelling about.

Mum – The Mathematician

Full name: Abbey Street
Characteristics: A sun-worshipping, award-winning engineer who solves complex mental maths puzzles for fun, whilst avidly reading her gossip magazine.
Most likely to say:I’m just going to lie in the sun for a minute or two.
Least likely to say:What is two plus two?
Favourite animal: Those living in the wild.
Because: They are responsible for themselves.
Least favourite animal: Those living with her.
Because: They leave mess all over the place and expect her to feed them.
Favourite word: logarithm
Because: It’s a mathematical term that always makes her giggle.
Thinks she is: Forswonk

Which means: Overworked and underpaid.


Uncle Ken – The Boonfellow

Full name: Ken Street-Macadam
Characteristics: A man of few words, who prefers to let his wife and children do the talking. He has many hidden qualities and talents but prefers not to shout about them.
Most likely to say:Cheers mate
Least likely to say:I feel I should share the story of my life with you…
Favourite animal: The giraffe
Because: Although not actually mute, they generally don’t say much beyond a cough, grunt, growl or the occasional sneeze.
Least favourite animal: The Congo African Grey Parrot
Because: They are among the most talkative of the parrot family.
Favourite word: Cheers
Because: It’s brief and to the point.
Most likely to eat: Slumgullion stew

Which is: pretty tasteless but doesn’t cost much.


Pete The Milkman – The Breedbate

Full name: Pete
Characteristics: Sneaky, cunning, furtive and threatening. Spends his time trying to think of ways to lure Carnaby’s animals away.
Most likely to say:Why don’t you tortoises come for a ride on my milk float.
Least likely to say:You are better off staying at home Martin.
Favourite animal: Those belonging to other people.
Because: He can’t find a pet of his own.
Least favourite animal: The Aardvark
Because: Alice keeps catching him trying to steal the other pets.
Favourite word: skullduggery
Because: It means tricky and sneaky.
Least favourite drink: Milk

Alice - The Aardvark

Full name: Alice Orycteropus
Characteristics: Generally loving but highly distrustful of reptiles. Prone to zigzagging to escape predators and known to bury her droppings in a shallow ditch.

Josie - The Python

Full name: Josie Shranks
Characteristics: extremely aged, cantankerous snake that has been Amelia’s travelling companion for decades. Constantly at loggerheads with Alice over the aardvark cucumber.

Martin – The Feline

Full name: Martin
Characteristics: A very greedy marmalade cat who goes off to train as a milkman. Scheming and untrustworthy.

Ten Tiny Tortoises – The Creep

Full name: Ten Tiny Tortoises
Characteristics: a tightly knit creep that tends to stick together. Have been known to consider life with the Milkman.

Great Aunt Maud – The Hypochondriac

Full name: Great Aunt Maud
Characteristics: Crotchety and aged survivalist aunt who is highly fearful of being poisoned and eats canned food only.
Most frequent complaint: the collywobbles
Which are:nervous churnings in the stomach, like you get on a rollercoaster ride.