9am, Wednesday morning. I’m at Waldegrave High School for Girls in Twickenham and there’s two hundred thirteen and fourteen year olds looking at me expectantly. I’m on stage in the main hall. Time to raise the floorboards and take them on a journey that I hope they shalln’t forget. The gig is on. Yesterday Michael Rosen suggested I simply tell my story. So after reading some poems and drawing them to the well I stop and tell my story.
The expressions in the sea of faces of those intelligent young girls is a wonder as a whole new world opened to them, a new story, a tidal wave rushed through them, where everything was not perfect but where everything, everything, can somehow be overcome. It was a special reading – a good gig – and it reminded me that the visiting author in the school can make a difference.
A couple of hours later I am at Bethnal green from where I dive beneath earth onto the central line back to Notting Hill Gate, to a meeting at islandlife. Island life emerged from the ashes of Island records. As I enter the office there’s a giant picture of Bob Marley who emerged through Island alongside the woman whom I was going to meet. . The world gets smaller. Coincidentally the husband of one of the teachers at Waldegrave Girls High School was the press officer at Island records and knows the woman I was about to meet. And what a meeting it was!