Two hundred and forty two days.

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More of the above later. It’s two weeks since 228 days. I begin in beautiful Cornwall at The Charles Causeley Festival. I love reading poems on stage . It doesn’t matter where I am or if it’s a big event or a small one.
This is the hotel in Truro:  My room is the one with the open window.
Meanwhile in Washington DC the video made by University of Manchester to mark my installation as chancellor  was presented with  a Grand Gold Award at the international Council for Advancement and Support of Education Awards.

I travel three hundred miles and gave a speech in Rochdale  at Hopwood Hall Further Education Awards 2016 to celebrate the brilliant students and graduates.
A woman caught up with me as I left ” Can I get a selfie?” she said.  Then the real reason blurted out “I didn’t leave my house for 8 years. Then I came here and it’s changed me”.   We took a selfie. I was moved by the power of education by the power of students. .
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About a year ago I asked for ten laptops for a Children’s Home in Ethiopia. The final five have arrived in London. They’ve been updated with the latest software.   How many laptops are left unused here in UK.  Call me if you have one or two or ten?  Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 06.45.10
Then I popped on a flight to Dublin  to  The Festival of Writing and Ideas  in Borris County Carlow, Ireland.
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The subject of  first event was  “Solitude and Displacement” with my friend Sulaiman Addonia.  It was a fun, uplifting, flare of an event.
Meanwhile I received a request  from Manchester to encourage students who were spending their weekend writing 20,000 words at #thesisbootcamp.  Screen Shot 2016-06-13 at 12.45.23
A festival is a great place to catch up with great people:  Artists enjoy artists. Writers enjoy writers.
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I flew from Ireland to  to Liverpool for a couple of days. The first day  I visited The Liverpool Christmas Dinner Team for care Leavers.  Liverpool are ahead.  The hashtag to follow on twitter is #LCDinner16.  Send me a message if you want to get involved. IMG_7077
The next day I gave  a keynote address for the Looked After Childrens Education Service at HOPE University in Liverpool.
IMG_7094And the day after  I travelled to  The University of Manchester. IMG_7127
To speak at the Fair Education Alliance Report Card Launch .
While doing these things I’ve been  trying to write the introduction to my next book. Here’s the first paragraph.

“I thought the world smiled. Always. Every room I walked into was full of smiling people.  The streets. Full of smiling people. School. Full of smiling people.   I didn’t realize it was me smiling at the world smiling back at me. I was a popular kid at school and did a good sideline in poems for all occasions. My first commission and public reading was at the assembly hall on the last day where I performed a poem to celebrate our year group and all our  shenanigans.”

I  write a morning tweet each day. This one is in response to the murder of MP  Jo Cox

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. I hope you have a listen on Monday 20th June  to A portrait of…. Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 09.53.52 

6 thoughts on “Two hundred and forty two days.

  1. I heard the radio 4 programme A Portrait Of… whilst driving back home to Wales and it really connected with me. As a child separated from his parents at birth I related to your sense of searching and vulnerability. Thank you for your honesty and for being you.

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