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Hope my fans are staying well and coping with all the strange happenings going on around us. As someone once said, ‘It could only happen in a book!’

During lockdown I’ve been working on my new book, exercising more than at any other time in my life, and generally trying to keep busy. I’m not very good at sitting around doing nothing and I’m sure there are many other people like me who are only happy when they are living life to the full.

   Lizzie’s MJ t-shirt from rear

Since the 4th July easing on lockdown restrictions, Kath and I have managed to get down south to link up with our son and his family. Most of you will already know that Simon is the author and creator of the famous Icky Doo Dah character (www.ickydoodah.com) and father of our lovely grandchildren, William and Lizzie. Both are fans of my spooky books, but 6yr old William is much happier discussing the books than actually daring to read them!  Lizzie, however, is in Year 5 and is much braver. She recently read my latest book, Poppy Warrior, in two days and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Whilst we were staying with them, we ventured out and climbed the nearby Beacon Hill and Lizzie wore a Mokee Joe t-shirt. She looked great in it and I enclose here a pic showing Mokee Joe’s best side on the rear of her shirt.

Whilst we were on the top of Beacon Hill we managed to skirt round the ancient fort to find the Earl of Carnarvon’s grave. He was the one who worked with Howard Carter to find the treasures of Tutankhamun’s tomb in Egypt, stored at the also nearby Highclere Castle (better known as the fictitious Downton Abbey).  Blimey…I’m a right mine of info today!

                      Creepy Grave!

I’m now back in my native Yorkshire and working on finishing my new book – nobody knows anything about it, not even Kath, my wife! All I will say is that it has a Christmas theme and the main character is a girl for once, and an amazing girl she is too! And that’s all I’m prepared to say on the subject for now! Watch this space, as they say!

Over the last few months I’ve received some lovely e-mails to my website from really keen fans of all ages. I had another e-mail from a fan in New York (Cesar), who informs me now has ALL of my books and even enclosed a pic of them all to prove it! I’ve also had a number of e-mails from ‘twenty-something’s’ telling me how they still remember the impact I had on them during my school visits when they were younger, even inspiring one fan to become a writer himself

Just to finish off this blog, I’m putting in a pic of me  returning from a 6.5K run in the pouring rain.  The rain had just about stopped when I set off, but restarted five minutes later and became a downpour for the rest of the run. When I got back I looked like a drowned rat. You can laugh if you want to because I can’t hear you!  You will note that even the owl gave me a very strange look!

              PJM ‘Drowned Rat’

I hope you’ll be pleased to know that many schools are getting in touch requesting visits or rescheduling of visits blocked by the virus restrictions. Of course we can hardly wait to get back into your schools, but at present nobody seems to know when visitors will be admitted. If not from September, from the Autumn half-term maybe??  Who knows?? As soon as the schools have definite guidelines, I’m sure we’ll be the first to find out.

Until then, stay safe and well and whatever you do…KEEP ON READING AND WRITING AND USING THAT AMAZING IMAGINATION OF YOURS!  Hope to see you soon.


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