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South East….North East…what does it matter! We are lucky in that the schools we visit seem to be equally fabulous wherever we go!

Pete at Burnside

We arrived in the wild fells and moors outside Hexham on a very windy late afternoon. Our accommodation turned out to be a gem of a place – loved by walkers and ramblers no doubt. It’s called Burnside, located close to the village with the cutest of names – Edmundbyers. Our host, Jenna, settled us in and looked after us during our three day stay. It proved the ideal retreat after busy days working in school.

…And speaking of schools…our hosts over the next few days was non other than Hexham Middle School. We did two presentations; the first to Years 5 and 6 and their choice of books was the Mokee Joe series. The audience were more than appreciative and a pleasure to perform in front of.  The next day the KS3 pupils – Years 7 and 8 – proved just as appreciative during our Bonebreaker presentation. It made a real change to see Year 8’s keen to come up on stage and use their acting skills in bringing the narrative to life.

All in all our Hexham experience was extremely enjoyable. It was our second visit in a relatively short time, and I have a feeling there will be many more visits to come. A big thank you to Mrs Johnson, our hostess who did so much above and beyond the call of duty in ensuring everything passed smoothly. Hope to see you all again soon. In the meantime….keep on reading!

From big book-signings at Hexham it was over to the other side of the A1 to Whitley Bay to visit our good friend,

St Mary's lighthouse, near to our caravan.

Janet Rutter, at Whytrig Middle School in Seaton Delaval. We hadn’t been back to this school for some time and it turned out that only the Year 8’s recalled us from our last visit. We launched into a presentation of Scabbajack and Kruschmeister and the entire audience sat spellbound. I can’t wait to get back there for a book-signing after our Whitley Bay weekend.

We’re staying in a luxury caravan and really enjoying it. I couldn’t resist visiting the nearby St Mary’s lighthouse today (Sun) and climbing the 137 steps to the top. The spiral stairway is bolted to the wall and is open and rickety. By the time I’d been up and down it I was shaking and my hand was imprinted with a tight grip of the rusted metal stair rail! Kath wouldn’t go anywhere near it and I really don’t blame her.

Apart from our Whytrig book-signing next week, we are also looking forward to visiting Valley Gardens and our old friend, Jon Roys. He is going to love the Rotherham-based Kruschmeister setting, as like me, he is from Rotherham.

Our final NE visit next Tuesday will be in Wallsend with St Columbia’s RC Primary. Again, friends of ours, and keen on hearing about our latest book – Kruschmeister. I know they will be thrilled with it. And I do believe that one of the teachers, Mr Turner, is taking us out for dinner…maybe to downtown Wallsend!

Watch this space!


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