Tuesday, March 03, 2015

World Book Day Week - if you see what I mean - day 1, Monday 2nd March: Chingford 

It's been a while since my last author visit to a school and I'm doing three stints at this primary school. I've been up since 5.00. When I turned the radio on in the morning and it was a programme before Farming Today, that's when I knew it was properly early. Taxi and train journeys were fine - though blimey Abellio Greater Anglia, you don't half pass off some shabby old carriages on the early birds don't you? - and I got here in plenty of time. Colin the tech guy sorted the laptop and video projector for me after that minor panic caused by a lead not having been attached, and the Powerpoint on my USB drive is working fine. I think I'm doing okay as I blather on about comics in general and Good Dog, Bad Dog in particular but my first audience - Year 4 - are inscrutably quiet so it's hard to tell if they're rapt at my wit and wisdom or bored into a silent stupour.

I get to the Q&A section and lots of hands go up, which is a good sign at least, and we pass a happy 15 minutes with not too many of the 'oh no not again' questions cropping up, and a couple that I've never had before. By the end I'm reasonably sure I've gone okay, but ... any better than that? I'm still not sure. Not sure if I really connected.

They're standing and heading out to play in the sunshine now. One boy in the front row catches my eye, smiles, says in an excited voice: 'Sir! Sir!'

I go over expecting - as occasionally happens - that I'm about to be thanked, or told that I've inspired some great creative urge, or just entertained reasonably adeqately in comparison to doing maths.

'Sir! Sir!' He points down. 'You've got something on your shoe.'

I look down. I am wearing my good shoes (because I have made an effort) and one of them has a whitish smear of something dry that probably wasn't always dry.

'I think it's poo,' says the boy.

I think so too.

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