Sunday, 23 June 2013

Super Stevenage and Terrific Tring!

Although Mike and I were staying in Stevenage this week, we didn't have to travel far to get into the countryside around the town, and that's were most of our schools were. Our drives to Oaklands School on Monday and St Michael's Woolmer Green School on Tuesday took us down the narrowest of country lanes - even in our small car, we struggled to fit down them. As we came out of the appropriately named Slip Lane, a dustbin lorry was indicating to turn into it; thank goodness we didn't meet this giant vehicle coming along Slip Lane - we'd have been crushed!

Our location out in the country meant we were able to enjoy lovely lunches at the local garden centres. At Vanstone Park garden centre we saw a heron catching a fish, and met the adorable goslings you can see in the photo.

Oaklands and St Michael's provided lovely, small audiences - and both proved that size doesn't matter, as the children were so enthusiastic and welcoming. We were invited to Oaklands by our good friend Julie Petitt, who we last met at her old school, Whitehill Junior, earlier this year. Both Oaklands and St Michael's were brilliant schools to perform in, and put us in a great mood for the rest of the week!

On Wednesday we were treated to a larger audience at Camps Hill Primary in Stevenage. The atmosphere in the packed hall was great, as was the children's acting. Year 6 are currently rehearsing for a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and if their acting is anything like it was in my KS2 and KS1 presentations, it will be a fantastic show!

I have performed in a huge range of locations, but Friday was a first - I performed my spooky presentation
Francis House School
in a school chapel! I was invited to Francis House School in Tring by our friend Connie Murtagh (who I last met when she was teaching at Sacred Heart School). It was a busy day for the school, with finals of music competitions and French Speaking competitions taking place in the hall, and my presentation in the chapel. It was certainly a fascinating place to bring to life my ghostly books, with the children joining in enthusiastically from the pews! A group of year 5s and 6s had to leave half way through to take part in the French Speaking competition, but apparently they were desperately trying to speed up their readings so that they could get back to my presentation! Although I'm in danger of repeating myself, it has to be said that Francis House was another brilliant school. The children's acting certainly added a lot of extra character (and humour) to the visit.

Thank you to our friends, old and new, for organising our visits to the schools this week: Julie Petitt at Oaklands, Mrs Allen and Mr Mallon at St Michael's, Keri Doling at Camps Hill and Connie Murtagh at Francis House. You all proved lovely hosts, and we can't wait to tell you all about my next book, The Ghost Lord Returns, when it is released next year!

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