In Another World

There is an alternate timeline out there somewhere that isn’t being ravaged by, among other things, Covid-19 and the perennially venal politicians mismanaged the while thing in their rush to sell off the family silver.

In that sunny other universe, I would be in Oxford today, celebrating my daughter’s graduation alongside the ex-Lady M, with Lady M and the Charleesi’s uncle and aunt watching across a remote link from a nearby tent.

However, we won’t know the actual result until the end of next week – and there’s still no firm date for when a rescheduled event may take place next year so for now all we can do is keep our fingers crossed and prepare for a lot of excited yelling next week.

The Charleesi is projected to achieve a first, and is currently job hunting.


In all the excitement about being another year older, I also had the inaugural session of the Chatterbooks group that we’ve set up in the Children’s Library in Sunbury. It went rather well.

Chatterbooks, for those who haven’t encountered it before, is a scheme set up by the Reading Agency in the UK to promote the love of books and reading in youngsters.  The Reading Agency is an independent charity whose most high profile patron is Jacqueline Wilson. They work mostly with schools, libraries and similar groups to set up reading and discussion groups with the aim of encouraging children’s confidence in reading and talking about what they’ve read with both adults and other children.

The particular group that I’ve set up is aimed for children between the ages of seven and ten – though that said I’ve allowed a couple of very bright six year olds in as a trial as well and won’t be kicking anyone out on their eleventh birthday. There had been a group previously at the library, so this hasn’t just sprung out of nowhere, but its been a year or two since it was active.

I have to say, I was nervous as anything in the days and hours leading up to it, but as usual once it started I was just on a roll. We had nine children rock up with their parents in tow, and by the time I’d got them reading the first pages of books and trying to work out what might happen next, and got them to match the pages to pictures of the books covers the time was just flying by.

So far, so good. We’re negotiating around school holiday times for when the next one will run, but the kids and parents were both very happy with it, and so was the boss – which was a nice bonus.

Thought I should document it somewhere…