#doodlediary August

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This #doodlediary is part of my role as online author-in-residence for the online library charity Living Paintings. Here, you’ll see my regular blog (including unseen photographs and additional material linked to these diaries). You can also explore all about the fabulous work they do producing tactile books etc, for the blind and visually impaired by clicking on the homepage.

READ-a-THON success!


Despite the weather’s best efforts the rain held off to help make Oxfordshire’s Read-a-thon a great success. Hundreds came throughout the day to take part in the many activities that were laid on. There was storybook-character-spotting, Gruffalo walks (in the woods), Mad hatter’s tea parties, pony rides and so much more (see previous post). The children had a great time hugging Douglas as well as being entertained by the wonderfully engaging poet John Foster and author Alan Gibbons (above left and right of me respectively), I hadn’t met either before so it was a real pleasure to sit in on their events and see just what makes them so popular with the children…and adults for that matter).


The READ-a-THON took place in and around the grounds of Milton Manor House.

But for me, the real star of the day was local primary school teacher and good friend Anne Wattam, the brain-child behind the day. Initially inspired by Boris Johnson’s London Read-a-thon earlier in the summer, Anne built on the idea to develop this incredible day, specifically designed to celebrate the wonderful world of stories and reading. She wasn’t alone, of course, her incredible family as well as an impressive support cast from the local community and schools (not forgetting authors John Foster, Alan Gibbons and fantastic illustrator Charlie Sutcliffe).

Unfortunately, it only occurs to me now, I didn’t seek permission to post some of the fabulous photos documenting the day (all of them were filled with happy smiling families), so all I can do to finish off is end-of-day picture of the Frankenstein outfit whose owner apparently dissolved…


It was truly a fantastic day but I know how he felt, by the time I got home I was shattered. Thanks to everyone who helped make it such a huge success, not forgetting the friends and families who pitched up on the day.



You can read what Alan Gibbons thought of the day here.