Friday, February 16, 2007

Jersey Journey Journal

Phew. What an amazing week.

My tour of Jersey has spun me round, chewed me up, spat me out, injected me with a bit of Jersey sunshine (and covered me in lots of Jersey rain), ruffled my hair, opened my eyes, twisted my ear, tapped me on the shoulder, cleared my head and left me ready for more.

In 4 days I visited 8 secondary schools, performed 15 events, plus a Q&A session at Jersey Library and a live interview for BBC Radio Jersey. I met about 2,500 students, signed lots and lots of books (I'll try to work out the exact number eventually) and scribbled countless autographs on Jimmy Coates posters, bits of paper, homework diaries and one shoe.

I want to send out a massive thank you for the wonderful Jersey welcome to everybody on the island.

Thanks to all the students at Les Quennevais, St Michael's, Grainville, De La Salle, Le Rocquier, Haute Vallee, Victoria College and Hautlieu - your ideas and enthusiasm were an inspiration.

Thanks to the staff at all of those schools who put in a huge amount of effort for all the events to run so smoothly. It's not just all the flipcharts, refreshments, cups of hot water, advice, teaching support before and after my visits, crowd control... it's everything else that goes on behind the scenes so that my visits are not only feasible in the first place, but have as much impact as possible.

Thanks to all the staff at Jersey Library for the amazing support in running the events, publicising my visit and handling the stock of Jimmy Coates books that by now you must be sick of seeing (and carrying around).

Thanks to Radio Jersey for having me on.

Thanks to the staff at Jersey Waterstones - I didn't even get to meet you, but you must have been able to build a small fort out of all the boxes of Jimmy Coates books you had to handle.

Thanks to everyone who's not in Jersey, but who has been waiting for me to reply to an email or phone message for an extra week. I'm back now. I'll get back to you very soon, I promise.

Most particularly, thank you to Jaci Graham, who organised the whole week with such calm efficiency that if Jersey ever hosts the Olympics, it's obvious who should be in charge.

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