Sunday, April 26, 2009

Smile While You Run A Nation

I've visited schools all over Britain, and in a fair few other countries as well (I'm putting together a Google map of all my school events, but it's taking me a while). But on Friday, for the first time, I was able to walk to the school I was visiting.

So a huge 'hey', a genial 'wotcha' and a startled 'ooh' to everybody at Hungerford Primary School in Islington.

I was there to be a medium sized cog in their 'Big Read' machine, a scheme which aims to put pressure on the government to prioritise education for the 75 million children in the world who never get the chance to go to school.

The local member of parliament, Emily Thornberry, was there too. She was very friendly and smiled a lot more than I would have expected from one of the people who runs the country. In fact, her website gives a fairly good reflection of how smiley she is. I've given it a lot of thought, and I've decided that her smiling a lot can only be a good thing.

I was particularly pleased that she didn't even seem to mind too much when I made a (slightly) tasteless joke about the 75 million children who aren't in school. In situations where I'm making (slightly) tasteless jokes (that nobody laughs at), I would much prefer it that there's a figure of authority there, smiling. So thank you, Emily, for running this part of the country so well and with such a determined optimism.

The kids at Hungerford Primary were remarkably motivated and creative. It was a real treat to be at a school just round the corner from where I live and to have so much fun.

This week I'm putting Jimmy Coates: Genesis aside to work up a slate of new ideas. I'm also kicking off the cricket season (poor choice of phrase?). I will do my best to blog a lot about the new ideas and not so much about the cricket, though my natural urge will of course be the reverse of that.

And that's the first time I've ever used 'blog' as a verb.

It's all downhill from here.

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