Can you imagine: you're sitting on the loo, doing your business, when a great, warty toad plops into your lap?! Well, it might have happened at Padfield School, because the space that's now full of books was once a grotty old loo, so damp they had resident toads and newts! No, really.
I was at Padfield all day Friday, doing a talk, a storytelling and a workshop, then cutting a yellow ribbon to open their lovely new library. Everyone at the school has apparently been fundraising like crazy for ages to pay for it, and are so proud of what they've achieved. And rightly so - well done guys!
The school itself is in a truly beautiful location, surrounded by hills and meadows, in Derbyshire. The children have a proper allotment and access to a wood. Inner-city it's not! I did this quick sketch from the staff room window, but it doesn't do it justice:
Actually, I nearly didn't make it: I went down with a cold (again) on Wednesday and had been feeling quite rough all Thursday, but I didn't want to let them down, as they had the press coming and everything. As it turned out, I felt better than expected and we had a fun day. The children were SO excited and everyone gave their all. At 2pm, I wielded my ribbon-cutting scissors, and chatted to parents invited especially to view the library. Then I signed books. And signed books. I sold every single one from my loaded suitcase and took it home empty. Thanks so much Padfield.
It took so long that I thought I was going to miss my train home (a serious business out in the wilds of Derbyshire!). But Mrs Winterbottom was not to be defeated: she got me to New Mills station with literally seconds to spare. I made a dash for it (thank goodness for that empty case) and for once luck was in my side - the train was 1 minute late: just enough to make the difference.