Sunday, October 11, 2009

My CBF 2009, Part Five

3 Days worth of blogging to be done, I’ve been returning from the CBF too tired to Blog, so all sympathy will be appreciated.

So on Wednesday 7th October 2009, I was in Castletymon Library, Tallaght, South Dublin, and I had a hard time finding it.

The night before, I had tried to find the best way to get to Castletymon Library and I worked out it was to get the Luas from Connolly to Kingswood and walk… This was not the best way, I was to find out later, especially when one is to take a wrong turn and is travelling in the wrong direction as the writer of this Blog did… I phoned the Library to inform them of my dilemma, and they provided me with assistance and a lift, from Helen the Librarian… I eventually arrived at the destination 5 minutes late to find a group of Children waiting to hear poems and songs… I apologised for being late and started…

The show went exceptionally well and I discovered I must be in love with Leona Lewis… and this is the mental process that went into this discovery: Whilst reading a poem from my book, one sharp eyed child noticed that I had my picture on the back, concluding that I was wearing the same shirt (I was, it was my Charlie Brown T-Shirt) on the photo as I had on that moment… Keen minds of the Children present suggested that this must be the reason I was late as I was getting my photo taken to put on the back of the book… Then later in the reading, I took out the Pound-a-poem Book, which contains a poem of mine. I was just in the process of explaining what the book was, and read the poem of mine from it, when one of the Children noticed that the picture on the back of the Book was not me and enquired as to why. I told them it was Leona Lewis’s photo and was about to explain why it was her and not me, when a group of Children jumped to the assumption that I must be in Love with her, even though I tried to explain that I purchased the book, I did not design or print it, but it fell on deaf ears. This session went exceptionally well and the group had wonderful imaginations, this was borne out by their Limericks as well as their assumptions on why photographs are on the back of books.

The second, and final group, of the day, was late and small in number, there were only 7 of them, but a wonderful time was had again. The music was appreciated in fact so much so, that an area was cleared for dancing which was done with wild abandonment as dancing should be.

I then went home and had a power nap as I was so tired…

Thursday 8th October 2009, was National Poetry day in the UK, and I was in Ballyroan Library in plenty of time, and sat having coffee with the Librarians. Two successful readings were again had. The first was a group of 57 Children who seemed to enjoy my songs and poems and who wrote wonderful Limericks. My Song, New Shoes Blues, received an accusation that I had stolen from Zoey 101, my response was a truthful, ‘I’ve never watched an episode Zoey 101 in my life’.

The second group, and final performance in South Dublin for the CBF 2009, was made up of two schools, and again a wonderful time was had by all. My autograph was requested by all children present, but I had to refuse a young boy who wanted his arm autographed, and he kept insisting despite constant refusals. This year was my first trip to South Dublin Libraries, and a most enjoyable time was had by me there…

Again it was a tired but happy poet who returned to Howth.

On Friday 9th October 2009, I was back in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Libraries. My first two performances brought me back to Sallynoggin, which was the venue of my first performance during the Children’s Book Festival way back in 2005.

The first group, I thought, was supposed to come in for 0900 hrs, until I got to the Library to find out that it was in fact 0915 hrs they were coming and they didn’t actually turn up until 0940… Unfortunately this meant that they only got a twenty minute session, as the other class was due at 1000 hrs. Although it was a short session, it was a most enjoyable one. The class was an all girl group, who seemed to enjoy my poems and songs, the teachers told me that they did.

The second group was from the same school as the first group and therefore all female. They were able to get the full hour and these Girls were the most inquisitive class that I have ever read to. Questions were asked all throughout the performance, ranging from ‘What inspired you to be a writer?’ to ‘Why don’t you like buying shoes?’

After this session, I was driven to my final library of the week and of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Libraries for CBF 2009, Cabinteely Library.

I got there early, and was given Coffee and biscuits, which is always good. I was looked after very well by the Librarians, Patricia and Brenda, who told me that they’d been reading my poems and they thought they were very funny… So I was pleased.

An all male group came in and seemed a bit shy in the beginning, hesitant to sing that they give their coat-hangers names, but they soon warmed up and a wonderful session to round off the week was had. One of the boys remarked that I used a lot of complicated words that he might not know, so I apologised, but he responded saying, ‘No that’s good for me.’ So that pleased me too.

So I got back to Dun Laoghaire dart station and had a fruity based wonder drink from the Zumo, juice bar, situated there. I was going to take advantage of being in Dun Laoghaire and take a trip to Hughes and Hughes, but a combination of the rain, feeling tired and having to much stuff to carry with me, meant that I decided to grab the first Dart back to Howth. Which I did.

Before I sign off this Blog, I would like to say a bit about, Flanimals. That’s correct, I said Flanimals. You see, I’m a huge fan of the series created and written by Ricky Gervais and illustrated by Rob Steen and one day, I decided, (Probably due to being bored) to take the stickers that came free with, ‘Flanimals of the Deep’, and place them all over my Guitar. This may have been an error as a few Children I read to want to talk Flanimals with me rather than my poems. I get comments like, ‘I love Flanimals, which is your favourite?’ or, ‘What are they on your Guitar?’ Which then means I have to explain what Flanimals are. And although I’m happy to talk Flanimals, there is a time and a place. But it’s my own fault, I really should have found another home for them.

So next week, I’m in Fingal and then I leave Dublin to go to Kildare and Mayo. My Anticipation levels are high…

Again I would like to extend my thanks to all Teachers, Librarians, Parent/Helpers and (Most Especially) To all the Children who I read to during the week.

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