• Sesame's world

    Sesame lives in Cambridge, UK, for parent-related reasons. Her mum is the Head of Christ's College - where lots of students live, and produce many noises and smells in the process - and her dad is the Chaplain. They are, therefore, not particularly funny people. Thankfully, Sesame's around to make sure they never get bored. Here's a little tour of her world and the main people in it.


    Cambridge is where all of Sesame's adventures take place. It's a tiny city with a university in it, and probably the most boringly peaceful place in the UK. But somehow, there always seems to be something happening in it - well, just enough so that Sesame can justify skating around the place and escaping from her bedroom at night. More often than not, it has to do with adults being a bit inconsiderate to each other and doing things like stealing things, poisoning people, destroying stuff and nose-lenghteningly lying in the manner of Pinocchio.

    Christ's College

    Sesame lives in the Master's Lodge, just opposite the cool round lawn which she uses as a roller derby track (of what other use could it be?). Her best friends in college are the Porters, especially Don and Tod, who sit in the Porters' Lodge and guard the entrance to the castle. Only students, college members and tourists are allowed to come in, as opposed to chainsaw-wielding serial killers.

    Sesame has explored the college more times than most people have explored their own nostrils. She's discovered at least three secret staircases and an equal number of underground passages - and counting. Her favourite place is the Kitchen, where she isn't technically allowed, but why worry about technicalities when there's trifle leftover from student dinners?

    Toby and Gemma

    Toby Appleyard and Gemma Sarland are Sesame's best friends. She selected them on the basis of their abilities. Gemma's got pearl earrings and a way of talking to adults that make them immediately like her. This is very convenient for Sesame who, on the contrary, seems to make all adults a little bit suspicious. Gemma can't skate, but she has a cool scooter.

    Toby is the son of the school caretaker and the school cook. As a result, he lives at school and his stomach is immune to the terrible food his father cooks. He knows everything about animals and his standard way of going around town is on a bike.

    Mum and Dad

    Sesame's parents were born so long ago that they don't celebrate their birthdays anymore, since blowing out all the candles kept setting off the fire alarm. They seem to have a lot of patience for books, students, and gardening; not so much for child-rearing. Sesame is constantly trying to make them laugh, but they don't always understand the jokes. Sesame thinks they like her, especially when she's asleep.

    Her dad has a secret cupboard full of chocolates and sweets. To help him with his weight problem, Sesame regularly empties it. Her mum is a scientist: she makes medicine. This could explain why she's very rarely ill, and therefore always on top form to ask Sesame if she's done her homework and would she please stop skating around the living-room!

    Peter Mortimer

    Peter Mortimer happens to be the most unlikeable cat on this side of the Equator. However, he and Sesame are inseparable. Sesame's mum and dad, perhaps understandably, aren't the keenest fans of Peter Mortimer; it's true that he tends to forget he has claws when he gently pats them on the head. No one knows exactly where he comes from. It is entirely possible that they might have inherited him from an extremely cantankerous, now-long-dead professor of War Studies.

    Mr Halitosis

    He was once called Mr Barnes, but now Sesame, Toby and Gemma's teacher is universally known as Mr Halitosis, a medical term meaning 'absolutely clinically terribly awful breath'. He can kill flies and small birds just by blowing on them. He's got a bit of a beer belly, isn't the most child-friendly teacher in existence, and doesn't find it particularly easy to deal with Sesame and her little gang, but Goodall School wouldn't be quite the same without his grumpy face and old suits.