Saturday 26 April 2008

An Excuse to Travel

There has been something really great about this schools’ tour that I have been making recently: getting to see so many different parts of the country. Yesterday I was in Somerset. This time, I did manage to find a nice pub for a good lunch. I had just a Ploughman’s but it was a very filling one and I didn’t eat anything else for the rest of the day. More often, I pass lots of enticing pubs on the way. But because I’m usually on my way home or one my way up to Salford, I go back a different way and don’t see them again. Or it’s too early, and by the time it is the right time, I’m on the motorway.

Of course the journeys are mainly motorway. The last few miles are the interesting ones. Then you get to see the variety of countryside and the variety of architecture. Actually, one of the most beautiful parts of this country I’ve seen is the Peak District, and in particular High Peak. That was just forty minutes away from my flat in Salford. Thirty-five minutes was through Manchester traffic and just five in the most fantastic countryside. It was a wet, misty sort of day and it gave the Peaks an air of mystery.

The schools vary, too. Mainly the children are fine and the vast majority of them are interested. I’m amazed that the younger children find Old Fuzzy Locks hilarious, though the older ones just take him in their stride. The teachers do vary from place to place, though. I think it may be stress. Some don’t seem to engage. They are elsewhere. Others are totally with you, totally in the world of the story and as enthusiastic as the children about the writing process and the world of the imagination.

Travel is good, too. I always get ideas as I travel. In fact, the places and people, the atmospheres are fodder for my prose poetry. I wonder how long it will take me to get that collection together. It does need some work and I’m not finding it all that easy.

No comments: