OK - it's a new dawn, it's a new day etc etc. Where do we go from here? Today - in between doing some work, some Christmas shopping and sorting out my tax return - I will try one more time to see if I can't get some more positive feedback from Cumbria Council in terms of numbers of children and ideas about the best way for the books to reach them.
Failing that I will try and contact schools direct. Secondary school heads know their feeder school counterparts and hopefully they will be able to give me some idea of how we might crack this problem of where the books might go. I think we may have to concentrate our efforts on particular schools if the Council cannot come up with anything better.
I have had very generous offers of books from Scholastic and Random House, which though it strays a little from the idea as I originally saw it, it will increase the number of books we can offer. Though I have managed to gather a lot of authors and illustrators together, I would be happier if we had four times as many at this stage.
I would ask anyone who has hesitated thus far, to please join in. If you think it won't work, your contribution might well make the difference. If you feel you are already committed to other charitable giving, I am not asking for money - only half an hour of your time.
Over the weekend I also had word from Kate Johnson at Heffers here in Cambridge offering all kinds of practical help, support and enthusiasm. It makes me all the more determined to make this thing work.
As well as Kate, I want to thank Nikki Gamble of Write Away, Philippa Dickinson of Random House, Susannah Nuckey of Bloomsbury, Anne Clark of Piccadilly Press and Lisa Edwards of Scholastic for their offers of help and advice and for spreading the word. Thank you all so much.