Sunday, October 19, 2008

Children's Book Festival 2008 Part Four

Days 6 and 7 - County Monaghan Libraries.

Got to Dublin Busarus from Heuston which was interesting as I was trying to make the journey with Suitcases and a guitar and so were numerous Ireland Football Fans although they were sans Guitar and Cases, although I have never been on such a packed Luas. My Wife waited at the Busarus with me until I got on the bus… Unfortunately she had to go back to work on Thursday and Friday, so it was an upset and lonely poet who travelled up to Monaghan by himself, feeling Tired and already missing his wife.

I did take my CD Walkman, with numerous AC/DC CD’s for listening in preparation for their new CD that is coming in two days, I always wanted to form an AC/DC tribute band, using Acoustic instruments but keeping the Power and Rhythm of AC/DC, calling it ‘Acoustically Causing Downright Chaos’, but never got around to it. Though I have been thinking about it recently as I have been looking forward to this album’s release and I’ve been playing AC/DC riffs on my guitar in libraries during this festival, whilst waiting for the Children to arrive… When I got my walkman out, I realised I forgot to include ‘Back in Black’ although I do remember getting it ready for packing… I really should get an I-pod so that I can never forget CD’s again…

I got to the Western Arms Hotel, where I was staying, at around 2200 hrs and tiredly made my way up to my Room… I contacted my wife to let her know that I missed her and that I had arrived… and then I thought I would get to sleep, but I was wrong. This room had a television, a remote and many channels so I spent a lot of time flipping before I fell asleep.

The morning started with a lovely Breakfast as is my tradition for this festival… An employee of Monaghan Library, the Library I was reading at, then came to pick me up and we walked around to where the library where I thought I would have three readings.

I sat there for a while drinking Coffee and Playing AC/DC riffs, until the first class came in. It was a mixed group and it went very well… The Limerick section was a success and the songs went down very well. Poems were also well received and again, requests about where to purchase my poetry were made by the teacher and the pupils. My poem ‘Raining in the Library’ has seemed to go down very well with the Children and it did so again in this session.

The next session was again well received, they seemed to be a lot younger than the previous group… The Songs seem to go down really well with the younger crowd and this session was no exception.

After a Coffee Break, We then did something that was totally new for me, We drove to a school, now I have done this before obviously, what with me actually going to a school in my younger years, but I have never given a performance in a school before all my performances being in Libraries. In fact the last time I went into a school was to vote in the Lisbon Treaty where that damned democracy annoyed our elected officials again… But I was really looking forward to this visit. The School was St Patrick’s School in Clara and the Performance took place in their School Library. The decision to hold the performance in the Library was due to the fact that the school was launching MS Readathon and they wanted a literary event to mark this, but they were unable to get one so they made do with me…

The performance itself went down very well again, 51 children, all ages and the teachers were very impressed… unfortunately we were very rushed towards the end and autograph hunters were disappointed… I enquired about MS Readathon and was informed what it entailed. I then questioned if they were to stay awake for 3 days how many books can they read? I was given many numbers from 20 to 3450…

After the reading I went back to the hotel and lied down for a bit flipping the channels… I then went to the town to look for something to eat and most places were closed. I did find something eventually and then went back to my hotel room, tired and decided to Flip Channels again and this is where I stayed for the rest of the night except for going downstairs for something to eat.

The following morning after breakfast, I was driven to Castleblaney library which is where I would spend the next 6 hours performing to 3 schools.

The first group were a group of boys who the most inquisitive group I think I’ve ever had. Before the poem ‘Raining in The Library’, I inform the group that ‘the next poem is about something bad happening in the place we are in,’ all of a sudden many imaginations went into overdrive as to what it could be… The best one was regarding the Pipe’s bursting and all of us getting stranded in the Library, my poem seemed a bit a bit tame by comparison although it was well received. There was a picture of Ardal O’Hanlon on the wall as part of the READiscover adverts, and during one of my poems a young boy interrupted and said, ‘There’s the man from Father Ted.’ Now as a huge Ted fan myself, there is no way I’m competing with that so I agreed and continued my poem after everyone had seen the picture. I got many requests again to go on X-Factor or America’s Got Talent, in fact one boy told me, ‘If I don’t see you on X-Factor next year, I’m going to be upset.’

The next group were a group of girls who seemed slow to get going… The first thing I do is perform ‘The Coat-Hanger song’ and at the end I say ‘Everyone…’ With the hope to get the whole group singing ‘Yes I give my Coat-Hangers names.’ But no one sang along in the beginning until coaxed by me and their teacher. After this it got better and subsequent poems and songs were well received…

After something to eat, my last group, of this library and unfortunately the whole festival, arrived… An exceptionally great group to mark my last performance of the 2008 festival… Jokes were told limericks were written enthusiastically, Football Poems went down well and Tottenham were again mocked… Before my last song, Joe the Wriggly Rock’N’Roll Star, I told them this was my last one and they were not happy, in fact I had a request to make it last an hour…

I was then driven to the Bus-Stop and it was an exceptionally happy but extremely tired poet who boarded the bus back to Dublin. I got back to Dublin earlier then expected and was re-united with my wife at her place of work. I dropped my stuff off and then went to Grafton Street, where I purchased the new AC/DC album, I went to the Decent Cigar emporium to buy a cigar and I also bought a Cafetierre, three things I hope to enjoy this weekend…

So that is it for me again for another year… I have too say this has been my best year… I’ve enjoyed myself, the children, teachers and Librarians have also enjoyed themselves and as I write this I am so happy but sad at the same time… Happy at what has been a success and sad that it has come to an end for me… I love this festival and I look forward to it every year… The Performances I give are enjoyable and they can be chaotic, unpredictable and loud and I wouldn’t have it any other way…

Here’s looking forward to next year’s festival…

1 comment:

blue said...

You should check out Storybox. They are great for Kids aged 3-6 and have a drawing competition on this month!