I've been up and down and across the country in the last couple of days. Hello to everyone at St Wilfrid's C of E School in Blackburn, where I was yesterday and also everyone at Hugh Sexey Middle School in Somerset, where I was today.
Both visits were a lot of fun. I learned a little bit about cheese.
This time though, I'm not going to tell you about the story ideas we came up with - or even the excellent stories that some of the students wrote during workshops (congratulations again to Gina at St Wilf's, who won a book for her great story).
Instead, I thought I'd tell you a bit about what goes on outside the schools when I'm travelling about:
For example, the best hotel cooked breakfast I've had in AGES at the Tickled Trout in Preston. It was delicious. Great black pud. Bacon that was succulent, and not salty. Kept me going all day - which is quite something. As everyone here knows, I'm usually a massive snacker. (That's the snacks that are massive, not me.)
I've spent about 10 hours on trains in the last two days. Which means I must have listened to almost 10 hours of music on my iPod, and done almost 10 hours of either reading or jotting things down in my notebook. (What things? Mostly plans for Jimmy Coates: 5). Oh, that's all except for the 45 minutes I spent asleep.
As well as the amazing cooked breakfast, I ate a steady succession of station sandwiches, a couple of really good school lunches (one of which was in a pub), a run-of-the-mill hotel continental breakfast (which basically means just toast and apple juice) and, the highlight, two boxes of sushi from the world famous dashi sushi at Britsol Temple Meads station. (But I reckon the branch at Bath is better.)
And yes, a 'station sandwich' is a train platform between two pieces of bread. Usually baguette, for obvious reasons.