Thursday, 15 September 2016

Where did the summer go?

Actually, that's a misleading title.

If we're talking weather, then the summer is well and truly here this week, with very warm days and the threat of thunder. By 'summer', I'm talking about the holidays. Long, leisurely lazy mornings and nothing much planned. Instead, we're back at school (Leicestershire goes back immediately after the August Bank Holiday) and hit the ground running with new timetables, changes to after-school clubs, scouting,'s a bit of a shock to the system.

Add to that a wedding (more of that later), the Festival of Writing and a NIBS meeting, and I've not really felt much like blogging til now.

So let's start with the wedding. It was held in the Roman Baths in Bath, and was a beautiful occasion, full of love and very emotional. I'm only going to share one photo with you though. This one, taken outside the door of Bath Abbey by an obliging passer-by:

An ageing hippy/intellectual type with an armful of paperwork offered to take the pic for us. As the four of us (sis, Mum, Dad and me) posed, we started to giggle because our well-meaning photographer had the camera at a weird angle. It seems to be the trendy thing to do, to slant your photos, but we just laughed and let him get on with it. Look to the right of the photo too - he managed to get his pile of paperwork in, even if he did chop mum and sis off... 

The Festival of Writing...always a fab experience, and no less special this year than in previous years. The best bit, as always, is meeting friends old and new, and catching up on how everyone's doing in their quest to be published. I will blog about some of the sessions I attended and what I learned about myself and my writing this time, so more of that later...

And NIBS. Our little writing group met last night to get in touch with our inner child (inspired by a couple of York sessions). One of the exercises we tried was to produce something in the style of a well known children's author. When the Squidgelings were small, one of their favourite bedtime books was Peepo, by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, so that's what I used as a starting point. Thought I'd share it with you...

Here's a little schoolboy
One, two, three.
On his way to school
What does he see?
He sees his neighbour sitting
in a chair all alone
But he carries on by 
Cos he's kicking a stone
He sees a little lady
With a big black dog
And then he pretends 
To be a green frog.

Here's a little schoolboy
One, two, three.
Gets to the playground
What does he see?
His friends Ben and Jerry 
are running round and round.
Chasing little Katy
With a leaf they've found.
He sees the dinner trolley
With packed lunches piled high
And the mums and dads all talking
as a plane flies by.

Here's a little schoolboy
One, two, three.
sits in the classroom
What does he see?
He sees the teacher smiling
as she ticks off names
and a table in the corner
where there's lots of games
He sees the coloured pencils
in the pencil pot
And the numberline and playdough
and a book he's got.

Here's a little schoolboy
One, two, three.
Eating his dinner now
What does he see?
He sees the dinner ladies
in their aprons blue
and chips and bananas
and fishfingers too.
He sees his squished up sarnies
with the marmite in
and the juicebox of orange
with a tiger's grin.

Here's a little schoolboy
One, two, three.
outside for P.E
What does he see?
He sees a bag of footballs
and some bright red cones
A running track of nice green grass 
and no sharp stones.
He sees the teacher's stopwatch
hears the whistle too
And remembers - should've gone before!
He needs the loo.

Here's a little schoolboy
One, two, three.
The schoolday's over
What does he see?
He sees his mummy waiting
With a smile on her face
And there's his little sister
in the usual place.
He sees the clock hands moving 
Til they point to three
The door opens - out he runs
It's nearly time for tea!

So if you had to write in the style of a children's author you love, who would it be? 

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