As you know, The Rain didn’t win at the Oxfordshire Book Awards (it came 3rd!), but I went along to the ceremony anyway. Had to: I come from Abingdon – and I was so very pleased and delighted that Ruby’s story got shortlisted.

I’m glad I went along! Fantastic welcome from the students at Oxford High School, great to see Mark from Mostly Books in Abingdon again and . . . I got to meet so many of the young people who’d been involved in the awards. I signed books . . . and programmes, slips of paper, two mobile phones, a ‘Books Are My Bag’ carrier bag and a stars-and-galaxies printed rucksack. You had to be there.

Top day . . . except . . . there was no cake left! (Book cakes pic: Sue Heap and Teresa Heapy (Best Picture Book), Robin Stevens (Best Primary) and Jo Cotterill (Highly Commended Secondary))

OBA cakes


So I went for a cup of tea with my guest for the day, Michele Paule. I’ve known her since I was five. We’re both Abingdon gals, and we had a great chat about where we’re at (it had been 30+ years since we last saw each other!), how we got there, and what we think about . . . reading, schools, communities, single mothers, social housing, discrimination, education, representation, equality and . . .

TRANSPORTATION?! Gnyah!  I tried to get home and got stuck in a traffic jam.

Peachtree Roundabout . . . some things don’t change . . .