Anyhow, in case you were wondering what I've been doing since I last posted, here's my week in a nutshell:
1. Trip to Eberstadt in Germany to stay with friends.
We'd been saying for ages that we'd go over, and finally the stars aligned and Lufthansa had their strike on a not too inconvenient date (!) and we did it. We visited a Transport Museum in Speyer, Frankfurt Zoo, spent a morning in Darmstadt at the artist's colony (founded there at the turn of the 20th century), had a BBQ (in mid-October!), visited a spa bath and spent time scrambling up and down rocks at the Felsenmeer.
|Darmstadt's 'Five Finger' Wedding Tower and |
the Russian Orthodox Chapel
|Families Squidge and zB, BBQing!|
2. Trips to the orthodontist.
Both my kids have got wonky teeth - from their dad, not me! As a result, they both need braces. T's were fitted over half term and J gets hers over the next week. Fortunately T has progressed beyong sucking a breadstick to death and eating chopped up spaghetti, but it's been an interesting few days...
Remember the Christmas balls book? It arrived - and I've already produced my first knitted bauble! More will be on the way...
Whilst in Germany, I found a fab chunky wool that I decided to knit into a cowl for myself. Only problem was that it was a bit too stiff and chunky when knitted up to drape properly. Instead, I spent a day knitting up and taking down and experimenting until I got this...
It looks daft, according to the rest of the Squidges, but I don't care! It's lovely and warm - this is doubled over, so I can just about pull it up over my head - and I put it to the test yesterday evening, at...
4. Loughborough's Children's Illustrated Literature Festival Announcement.
That's a bit of a mouthful...but all during half term, there have been activities to promote reading in the town. (I did another storytelling session in the library on Friday afternoon to around 15 children, who then stayed to make Ladybird bookmarks and face masks. It was so nice to see some of the children I'd met over the summer again.) All the activities were building up to the announcement about the Literary Festival next October, held in part to celebrate the centenary of Ladybird Books which for many years was based in Loughborough.
The announcement was made at 7.30pm in Queen's Park, where we were promised we'd see the Carillon (our local war memorial and iconic landmark) in a whole new light.
You know this thing people do at the moment, where they project a moving image onto a building? (Like when Madness sang 'Our House' on the roof of Buckingham Palace and the palace became a row of terraced houses? ). Well they did THAT - to the Carillon.
It became a huge stack of books. A young girl appeared, climbed the stack and pulled out a book. It fell to the floor, opened, and from between its pages emerged the stories... The little girl climbed a beanstalk which grew the height of the Carillon until the giant appeared, at which point the beanstalk collapsed and the girl picked another book from the pile...
|Photo by Kev Ryan of Charnwood Arts - this is the Hickory Dickory Dock bit...|
Each new book taken from the pile showed a different story; the girl climbed through a wardrobe into Narnia. Flew on a broomstick with Harry Potter and then again with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. She rode on Aslan's back, visited Wonderland like Alice, caught the tail of the Hickory Dickory Dock mouse and was carried up the grandfather clock - she even went to the North Pole with a Golden Compass...
All around me, I could hear children and adults calling out what the stories were, and I was really moved that standing in the dark were so many people who read and enjoyed stories. (Apparently there were about a thousand people watching, though how you could tell in the dark...)
At the end of the presentation, the little girl sat down with a feather quill and wrote. Her letters tumbled out of her book to form the 'Love Loughborough Tales' logo, which became a balloon and flew her away into a shower of fireworks from the green dome at the top of the Carillon.
It was amazing. I'm really looking forward to the Festival next year - and I hope that there'll be opportunities for local authors and folk who used to work at Ladybird to get more involved. At the moment, it feels very much a corporate affair and out of the realm of us little people, but we'll see.
If this was the starting point, I can't wait to see what we're going to get next year...
But right now, it's back to school and routine and writing and editing, so I'll catch you later!