Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Oxygen at Lady Lumleys

My first school visit of 2012 was a curious one: I travelled to Lady Lumleys secondary school in canny Pickering to take part in a special project for gifted and talented youngsters called Oxygen. There were 30 students (Y6 and Y7) from this and other schools, and each one had formulated a testing question with which to pummell me as I sat down for a refreshing Q&A session.

'Have you had any setbacks and how have they affected you?' said one.
'What challenges do you face as an author?'
'Do your future plans reflect your personality?'

That last one was a killer and I needed more time than I had so I mumbled something incoherent and moved on. The kids were alert, thoughtful, prepared, knowledgeable and smart: they gave me quite a grilling. I was massively impressed too when they each went round and summarised what they'd got from the morning. I was never that tuned in when I was 12...

Thanks to Janet Walton, Kate Day, Lorraine Phippen, Barry Hymer and the other organisers.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Meeting Mr Titchmarsh: the video

Here is a video of my appearance on the Alan Titchmarsh Show in 2009 as part of The People's Author competition. The full story of this crazy day can be found here.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Here is a set of photos commissioned by The Daily Mail for the article they wrote about All Teachers Great and Small back in July 2011.

Remember the summer: flowers, shirtsleeves, cheesy grins...

Ah, the joy of posing with a book in the Dales while farmers go past thinking, "Who's that pillock?"

"Can we get a picture of you outside a school, Andy? Yes, any school..."

"Oh, you have a wife? Yes, get her out here then!"

"Actually, Andy - can we go back to the Dales for another shot of you standing against a wall?"