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Kath and I love going up to the North East. Apart from the fact that her brother lives up there in Ponteland (on the posh Darras Hall Estate), the schools in the area are all fab and know us and our books extremely well.

Our great friend, Jon Roys, was waiting to greet us at the huge Valley Gardens MS. Jon and I are both from Rotherham and he likes to remind me that I┬átaught him many years ago when I was an aspiring maths teacher! We performed our updated Mokee Joe presentation to a big Year 5 and 6 audience and it went down a storm. This is the school were a certain pupil called Adam came up on stage some years ago and revealed to all the fact that he didn’t have a belly button (as with the hero Hudson in the Mokee Joe series). We still haven’t got over it…and probably never will! If you’re reading this, Adam, hope you’re well and good luck with everything!

Summer and Ruby at Richard Coates MS

Next day we crossed over the A1 to stay with Kath’s brother in Ponteland before visiting our old friends at the Richard Coates MS. We love this school and it’s always a pleasure to present to the more-than-enthusiastic pupils and staff. Mrs Roys (Jon’s wife) looked after us and the Year 5’s and 6’s proved to be another big and receptive audience. We signed more books than you would believe at both schools and my right hand is still suffering from repetitive strain injury. I can hardly type this blog!! The lovely pic of Summer (with THREE book 1’s) and her friend, Ruby, gives some indication of how busy the signings were!

We completed our NE week in a new area to us – Wallsend. The school in question was St Columbs RC Primary and Mr Turner was our great host. The day was brilliant and we so enjoyed meeting everyone. It’s a shame Mr Turner was injured (playing football – he should know better!) and even

Pete's head blocking out the Malmaison sign!

more of a shame one of the lovely pupils was really hurt trapping his fingers in a fire-door…OUCH! But James still turned up to receive his Mokee Joe book given to him to cheer him up by the kind pupils and staff. I even signed his sling and drew a smiley face on it. James…if you’re reading this – well done for being so brave!

Our last night was spent at the Malmaison Hotel on the Newcastle Quayside – a real treat. Unlike 1-direction, we didn’t trash our room before we left! Oh well, just a little breather at home and then off away to Luton to work all week in one of our fave schools – Beech Hill Primary. See you all soon.


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