First school visit

Up early and feeling nervous. I got into good clothes and once my minder Dawn had called around zoomed off to Downs Junior school not too far away with boxes of books. Dawn who left the school last summer, being hugged and kissed by all the teachers. Then I sat in a hall full of children rowdily filing into their classrooms from the playground. There was an interlude of calm in which I collected myself. Then Dawn came back and we sat on the edge of the stage together and a couple of hundred or so children filed into the hall.

I was introduced and then talked about the fact I had been to Downs before and earlier children had given me feedback, and that Downs had a special influence on the writing of it. Then read, pretty well I thought, the first chapter of the book. Children very well behaved and very attentive. Then I plunged into four classrooms for long sessions with the kids talking about things like unfairness and prejudice, and skeleton videos and what kind of pseudonyms they would call themselves and what kinds of books might they write. Children uniformly amazing.

I was very pleased with how I did. But the actual selling of books was chaotic and badly organised. I signed a few books at break time, and a few at lunch, and left a box of books so I can sign them on Friday afternoon should children bring in more orders. Slightly cheesed off by this as the school had some excellent stuff from me today.

Fond farewells with Dawn, and then I jumped into a cab and came home again, feeling like I had done a full day's work. It was only 1.00pm.  I am pleased to say the rest of the day passed fairly sedately, but I have a nagging sense that we are living through the calm before the storm, as I was disinfecting my hands and watching children sneeze into the crooks of their arms.