Brief encounters

I’ve just come back from the Aye Write! Festival in Glasgow where I had a great time. It was very well organised, and everyone was incredibly friendly. But then that’s always been my experience of events in Scotland – I’d go there any time!

The kids in my sessions were lively and very funny, as only Glaswegian kids can be. I’d been winding one class up for a while when a boy put up his hand and said he had a great idea for a story. I asked him what it was and he said it would be called The Author Who Irritated a Wee Boy. No mean city, indeed.

I also had another brief encounter that left me reeling. I’ve crossed swords on Twitter with fellow children’s author Philip Ardagh, but this was the first time I’d had a chance to chat with him. We make an interesting contrast – I’m 1 metre 65 tall (5 feet 5 inches in old money) and he’s 2 metres (6 feet 7 inches), and he sports a huge beard (which would be taller than me on its own if it ever declared independence). I might not be the shortest children’s writer in Britain, but he is definitely the tallest. Philip and I engaged each other in some pretty serious banter while a group of librarians looked on, but I have to admit I retired defeated. Mr Ardagh is one funny man. I must get around to reading his books some day…