Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Hanmer and Ellesmere

As well as visiting libraries last week to help promote the new Every Child A Library Member initiative that is being piloted by Flintshire Libraries, along with five other local authorities in Wales, I spent a lovely morning at St Chad's Primary School in Hanmer. 
 It was great meeting everyone at school - and all the other year five and six children that came in to visit. I'd never been to Hanmer before and it was a real treat... a lovely picturesque little village by the side of a Mere. Walking down the path from the school Before heading home I had a little wander round and took a few photographs. 
It was so nice that Vicky and I went back on Saturday for a little drive around... As well as stopping off at Hamner we went a little further and visited Ellesmere. We didn't really have long enough to go and have a good look round so instead we just sat in the sun by the side of the Mere and watched the people and the ducks go by.
We will definitely be going back again soon... 
This week I will be visiting Ysgol Wepre CP School and Ash Green Primary School in Trentham... see you all soon. Time to get on with some writing now. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Flintshire Libraries

Yesterday I had a great time visiting libraries here in Flintshire to help promote the 'Every Child A Member' initiative... and what a great thing it is too. All children in year four are being given library cards and made members of the library. I can't help wondering why this hasn't been done before - everywhere...

Holywell has a lovely library with enough room to have this great display of picture books on a row of shelves.

Year four children came along from three local schools - Ysgol Maesglas, Ysgol Trelogan and Ysgol Y Llan and it was great meeting everyone. As well as sharing my own stories I had the chance to recommend some great books by other authors too. I hope everyone had as much fun as I did and that you all enjoy the books you chose...

As soon as everyone had left, I whizzed off to Flint Library so that I could meet all of the year four children (and staff) from Gwynedd Primary School. Phew... another great session - and I promise to try and speak a little slower in the future :-)
Today I've been busy writing but tomorrow I'm calling in at  Mold Library and then Saltney Library... looking forward to seeing you all there.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Every Child A Member

Today I'm going to be visiting Holywell Library and Flint Library in Flintshire. Here's a big HELLO to everyone at the libraries and to all of the Year 4 classes that are coming along... I'm looking forward to meeting everyone... It's going to be fun!!!

To find out more about the 'Every Child A Member Scheme'... come back soon as I will be writing all about it.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Journey to the Centre of the Earth - Rick Wakeman

For Christmas Vicky bought tickets for us to go and see Rick Wakeman performing his classic 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth' at Venue Cymru on Saturday 10th May. No one likes waiting for their presents but this was one present definitely worth waiting for... I wasn't the only one waiting for it either. Other fans had been waiting for over 35 years to see and hear Wakeman's performance - it had been that long since it had last been performed on stage.  

For those of you that don't know, Rick Wakeman is probably one of the best keyboard players in the world. He has recorded and performed with artists like David Bowie (writing and performing the piano piece for Life on Mars), Cat Stevens and many others. You can watch an old recording of Cat singing Morning Has Broken by clicking below...its a bit blurry but the sound is good - and you can see a young Rick on keyboard...


A lot of people will know Rick Wakeman from his work with the rock band 'YES', but as well as all this, he has also produced some fantastic solo albums. In the early 1970's Rick Wakeman produced a musical version of Jules Verne's 1864 science fiction novel, 'The Journey to the Centre of the Earth' which tells the tale of a group of adventurers that journey down to the centre of the earth and discover a world full or prehistoric creatures - you might have even seen the movie which stars Brendan Fraser. 
Movies are a great form of entertainment... you can just sit and relax and watch as the whole story unfolds before you. I think books are even better as, by reading,  you get more personally involved in the story and you can take it in as quickly or as slowly as you like. It also helps fed you brain and your imagination with words...  

There's something equally special about listening to someone tell you a story - you hear the words and your imagination mingles with that of the author and, again, you can picture what is happening.

Going to a theatre and hearing a story being told in a performance that combines the author's words being read by a narrator (in this case the excellent actor Philip Franks) and atmospheric, exciting music being played by an orchestra, sung by a choir and lead singers, rock guitar, drums and keyboards, is something else... Phew!!! it was fantastic.

The performance we saw at Venue Cymru was the last night of a long tour which made it even more special.