Wednesday, November 23, 2005

My Old School

What a great day. I've been back to University College School, where I spent ten years being educated. Not only did I meet loads of the students, who were all really friendly, but most of the teachers that I knew are still there. They made me feel very welcome.
Several weird thoughts struck me today. First, the atmosphere of the place is exactly the same as it was when I was a student. I suppose I only left in 1998, which isn't that long ago, but it's great to feel that everyone there is still open-minded, bright and welcoming.
Also, how come none of the teachers has aged? That was very weird. If anything, they all looked younger and healthier than when I was there. Maybe it's something to to with not having to teach me and my friends any more.
Anyway, I was there as part of the school's amazing Literary Festival, 'Beyond Words'.

I had a great time with the students. Once I'd finished gossiping about the teachers, we talked about writing, stories, my life, free will, and the world in general. I learned that if a sea bass ever bites off your big toe, you should either bite off your other big toe (for balance and nourishment) or chase after the slippery little tyke and eat its tail. Unless it turns out to be your mother. All very Freudian.
I was very excited when I found out that the mystery guest was Andy McNab (along with his co-writer Robert Rigby, who wrote for, among other things, Byker Grove, which I used to love). Turns out that for an SAS hero of armed combat, Andy McNab is exceptionally charming and friendly.

What's more, the fun hasn't ended. Tomorrow I'm going back to the junior school, which I'm sure must have changed at least a little since I was there. We'll see...


marianne said...

Isn't Andy McNab's identity supposed to be a big secret? Are you SURE you've seen him? Because if you have, maybe they have to kill you. And you of all people know what they're like...

Joe said...

Yes, you're right. His identity is very secret. Nobody was allowed to use a camera, and all mobile phones were confiscated. We were, however, allowed to use our eyes. I think this was a serious lapse in security.