Geoffrey Preach, a former hippy nearing middle age, meets an old lady he had known when he was a child, Mrs Ticehurst, always called Auntie Hook. He is surprised as she seems not a day older than when he had known her, over thirty years before. He is even more surprised when a hot-air balloon lands in her front garden, in suburban Surrey. It is piloted by a friend of hers, Boisterous Dan, a man dressed strangely in decidedly Nineteenth Century style. Auntie Hook gets into the balloon and lifts off with Dan, and Geoffrey, hoping somehow to protect her from danger, climbs in after her. But the balloon passes through mists over Sunbury and to Geoffrey`s shock emerges – in another world.