I was invited to do a couple of days for the Shrewsbury Bookfest again, but when Woodside School in Oswestry got in touch - luckily just round the corner - I added them on to the front of the trip.
The children at Woodside were lovely and it was a colourful, creative school, with art everywhere. The Head got involved too, which doesn't always happen, and looked in throughout the day to watch what I was up to. At the end, the children bought loads of books: always a very positive indicator about the school.
I was looked after brilliantly by Mrs Jones. She and her husband gave me a bed for the night and even took me out for a lovely meal when I arrived, all frazzled from my long train journey - thank you!
I met up with Julia Jarman on Wednesday evening, when I moved on to Shrewsbury, and the Bookfest team took us for a very nice dinner (where I ate far too much - definitely a pudding too far!).
Festival organiser Sophie Peach booked us into the beautiful Meole Brace Hall: a lovely period house in its own grounds, tucked away in an almost Secret Garden kind of way - locals I spoke to had no idea it was there!
I made friends with resident Dolly, a little black terrier, who nosed her way into my room and kept me company, letting me stroke her ears.
This was my bed (nice eh?):
On Thursday morning it was all go - two days of events, first in the tiny Clive Primary School and then Market Drayton Infants: a mix of various workshops and storytellings, with everyone from Reception (age 4) to Y6 (age 10), which kept it nicely varied.
I caught my train home on Friday afternoon by the skin of my teeth - running and puffing up the stairs with all my stuff, and jumping in moments before it left! I got back that evening and just flopped.
A big 'thank you' to publisher Hachette for footing the bill for the festival expenses - they are always really brilliant about that stuff. Much appreciated guys.
And a special thank you to my 'minder', Lucy, for taking me necklace-shopping on Thursday after school, to buy myself a birthday present from my mum (thanks Mum!):