Saturday, 19 June 2010

Berkshire and back

My journey to and from Eagle House school yesterday was a bit of a nightmare. People clearly were trying to get home to watch the football, but so many of them were doing this, that they effectively snarled up the road network. It was better coming back, because most people had set off early, but I almost did not get to the event - and I had allowed myself a couple of hours.

They have had quite a list of authors - a bill that many large festivals would be envious of. Sally Nicholls and Marcus Sedgewick had both been there earlier in the week and my talk was followed by former children's laureate Anne Fine.

I had never met Anne Fine before but she was good fun and a very supportive presence in the marquee where I gave my talk. I chatted about how I came to be a writer and did some reading. It all seemed to go reasonably well and the children asked lots of good questions afterwards. Then I signed some books alongside Anne Fine. Her queue lasted much longer than mine and she was still signing when it was time for her to go and do her talk.

I would have liked to have stayed and listened to Anne but I figured - rightly as it happened - that I ought to get going in case the roads were bad again. The traffic wasn't as bad, but it was still to be a long and tiring journey. I said my goodbyes, bolted down a sandwich and even got a rather lovely paperweight as a memento. Thanks to all the Eagle House festival organisers and staff and - most of all - the children for being such a great audience. Good to meet you all.

Sadly, though - I did not entirely miss the England v Algeria match. I managed to see the last, tedious twenty minutes or so of perhaps the worst football of a pretty dull World Cup, so far.

If only the traffic had been worse.

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