Yesterday I did a visit to St Catherine’s in Bramley, which has a prep school and a senior school in the same place and is pretty fabulous. I tried out a new thing in my talk involving volunteers making various facial expressions, which went down a storm and made everyone laugh a lot!
In the Q&A at the end, I challenged the girls to ask me questions I’ve never been asked before (authors do get asked the same questions a LOT)… and my goodness, did they rise to the occasion! My two favourite questions (out of many brilliant ones) were:
1. If you had to choose an animal to ride, and that animal was ALREADY riding an elephant and a giraffe, which animal would you choose?
2. If you had three wishes that would benefit the world, what would they be?
For those of you dying to know my answers, I said that I’d choose a camel to ride on, because I reckon camels are good at balancing, what with all that walking on slippy sand, so it would be able to cope with being on the back of two other animals. Plus the camel has a hump (or two) to hang on to, which would be helpful.
The second question was much harder to answer on the spot! I said at the time, I wish I had a few days to think about it! But given that I had to answer then and there, I came up with:
Wish 1: pumping huge investment into health services so that everyone has access to the services they need at the point they need it. Lots of people really need help but don’t get it because there aren’t enough doctors and other care workers in the NHS.
Wish 2: something to do with paying teachers loads more money and removing most of their paperwork, so that teachers and pupils would get more enjoyment out of education.
Wish 3: cake taps. Like water taps, only that produced cake. Then I worried that I was creating a nation of overweight people, so I suggested that the cake taps should be placed quite a long way off, so that you have to run to get to them, thus burning off some calories…
Of course, on the way home, I thought about other massive things that need sorting out, like the environment (I could have banned plastics, couldn’t I?) and poverty (I could have wished for better division of wealth so that no one goes hungry or homeless). But I still think cake taps are a good idea…
Many thanks to the pupils and staff of St Catherine’s for making my visit so much fun! Photos are courtesy of the school’s photographer.