Wednesday, 25 April 2012

New Hamish McHaggis adventure - Glasgow Book launch

Hamish goes to Glasgow!

The 10th Hamish McHaggis  book is being launched this weekend .

On Saturday 27th April at the wonderful Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow and on Sunday 28th April at the new Glasgow Riverside transport museum.

It's all free!

I will be there reading from the new book and Sally J. Collins, the illustrator, will be drawing with children.  There will be all sorts of activities for families all through the day. You might even catch a glimpse of Hamish himself! 

Why not come along and find out what happens when Hamish and friends try to discover clues for the Great Glasgow Treasure Hunt.
at  Kelvingrove Museum - Saturday 28th events

at Riverside Museum - Sunday 29th events

 Information about the events are on the Glasgow Life website

Saturday, 21 April 2012

# Days 3/4 -at MES Cairo The primary school

On my second and third days at MES (Modern English School) in Cairo I met some of the Foundation Stage children in FS1 and FS2

We talked about colours, animals and feelings such as being happy, or sad, or shy and about what colour love might be.

After that I read from What Colour is Love?

And some of the children came up and helped to tell the story with some toys of the characters.

 I spoke to some of the primary classes about  Hamish McHaggis and some of his friends.   
We also tried out some Scots words like Coorie Doon and Blether ..........and they all became honorary Scots for the day!

With the oldest primary classes we talked about myths and legends and I read the much loved story of Greyfriars Bobby. 

One of their teachers came up at the end of the session and said that he had read one particular book of mine hundreds of times! 

He told us all that  What Colour is Love? had been a family favourite in his house for years.

It was a lovely end to the day!

 I would like to thank the MES for inviting me to Cairo, I had a wonderful time.  And a big thank you to the teachers, all the other staff and the students for giving me such a warm welcome and for making my visit to Cairo so special.

I hope they all enjoyed it as much as I did and are enjoying reading their books.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

# Day 2 - Cairo - Visiting the MES (Modern English School)

On my first day at the MES the school bus came to collect me early in the morning and at that time the roads were fairly quiet, although there were a number of other school buses.

Driving along it was a chance to see the dry and sandy landscape that was such a contrast to the wet, greenery of Scotland. It was thankfully not too hot while I was there but warm enough to be a welcome change from a chilly spring back home.

Little did I know at that point that the weather at home had changed as I left and they were enjoying a week of glorious sunshine!!!


All of my sessions would take place in the school hall and my first day was with the Year 9 students.

I ran a series of writing workshops with three different classes.

I had planned a mixture of short exercises and some readings from Dead Boy Talking and Spider.
The day went well with really interesting ideas coming from the students.
Some came by afterwards to get me to sign the books they had bought and others were able to come back to see me later in the week to ask questions and get their books signed, too.

Friday, 13 April 2012

#1. Cairo and the Pyramids

A couple of weeks ago I left on a school visit that was a bit further away than usual. I had been invited to the MES (Modern English School) in Cairo. 

I'd never been to Egypt before which made it even more exciting.  When I arrived in Cairo airport it was midnight local time but  the school had organised someone to meet me and take me to my hotel. 

The very courteous gentleman who met me at the airport called me 'Miss Linda' and apologised several times because I had to wait in a bit of a queue.  He escorted me through the formalities and then drove me to my hotel.  In fact everyone I met in Cairo was so polite -  I think I could get used to being called Miss Linda!

I had a day to get acclimatised and the school had organised that the school bus would take me to the Pyramids.  It wasn't too hot thankfully.  I was on horseback, although I'd not been on a horse for a good number of years, and escorted by a very knowledgeable young chap (not the little boy holding the horse in the photo!) .

The horse was pretty tame and not prone to taking off on its own, for which I was extremely grateful! 

I did worry at one point if it was a good idea to go horseback riding at the beginning of what would be a busy working week but I had surprisingly few aches and pains!

 We passed some camels but I was happier to be on a horse!

It felt quite strange to be there standing beside the pyramids and the sphinx. 

It was  an amazing sight but there was a bit of a feeling of Deja Vu because of all the pictures I had seen of them in the past.

 On the way back my driver asked if I wanted to stop and take pictures as we crossed the Nile.

 It was a little difficult to understand him as his English was a bit limited, but he was happy to stop whenever I wanted to.

I didn't have a lot of free time while I was in Cairo as I had a very busy schedule at the school but it was great to have had the chance to see a little of it.

The following morning the school bus arrived very early to take me to the school.  It was my first real experience of Cairo traffic and I discovered it was an exciting business.

Most drivers seemed determined to drive across the car in front of them, to come within a hair's breadth of the cars to either side and to drive with one hand on the horn. It was quite amazing that they always seemed to avoid crashing into other cars at the very last minute. 

I love to people-watch wherever I am and the drive to and from the school each day provided lots of opportunity.  Despite the need to be constantly watching the traffic on all sides I saw one chap with what looked like a wall clock on his lap and a cloth in one hand. It appeared that he was trying to clean or polish the face of the clock as he drove along! 

There was a stall in the middle of one road with what looked like huge bunches of garlic cloves complete with long green stems, piled high on a cart and a young boy trying to sell them, another road had two chaps trying to sell leather cowboy hats to drivers whenever the traffic came to a halt.

There were many fascinating sounds and sights to see and hear but it was now time to meet the children and teachers at MES