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Kath and I are actually ‘reeling’ from the success of our fabulous Isle of Man tour. As if the first week wasn’t brilliant enough, our second week was just as fab!

Amazing IOM scenery at White Beach, Niarbyl

A ‘mind-blowing’ second visit to David Jenkin’s Bunscoill Rhumsaa, followed by thoroughly enjoyable visits to St John’s Primary, Marown Primary and our last visit of the tour to Cronk-y-Berry School. In between our visits, our good friends, Karen and Rob Riley, took us out to explore some of the amazing places on the island, including White Beach, at Niarbyl, and a ‘wallaby-spotting’ excursion to a nearby nature reserve. Previous attempts to find wallabies had failed and we wondered if we were ‘victims’ of some bizarre Manx joke! But no! On this occasion, Karen found us TWO wallabies and I even managed to capture a pic of one on my phone – though it seems only I can see it!

One or two spooky events took place during our second-week visits:

  1. I randomly chose a boy and a girl to play the Palmer twins in the POPPY WARRIOR story. It turned out they were brother and

        Fab audience at Bunscoill Rhumsaa


  2. At Marown School, a big bird suddenly appeared at a window high up in the hall where I was presenting. The bird pecked on the glass seemingly to attract our attention to it.
  3. One school reported hearing mysterious footsteps in the corridors and a smell of pipe tobacco – just as in the story I was relating. Which school? It’s a secret between me and the headteacher! We don’t want to scare the pupils!

Maximus and Lily – REAL twins at Cronk-y-Berry School

Every one of our EIGHT school visits was an absolute joy! Staff were so welcoming and the pupils were friendly and polite (and more than enthusiastic!) without exception. It really does inspire hope in this world of ours, which constantly gives the impression that everything is ‘doom and gloom’. All that Kath and I can say is that if these masses of KS2 pupils are our hope and inspiration for tomorrow, then they surely must be REAL hope for everyone. (Sorry to get carried away, but it needs saying!)

It makes me really proud to thinks that so many pupils on the Isle of Man are currently engaged in reading my book, and even prouder is the fact that they are reading it is a real tribute to all of those brave WW1 soldiers who gave their today for our tomorrow…as the words on the wall of Cronk-y-Berry school proclaimed.

Hope you had a great ‘HOP TU NAA‘ on the island and see you all again…but not such a long wait this time.


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