A PLEASANT SATURDAY AFTERNOON
On Saturday, we decided as a family to go to see author Michael Morpurgo who was in town to meet people and sign copies of his books. He happens to be my daughter Kaye's favourite author.
Ou effort got off to a bad start. We went to the shop which had we read the notice correctly, we would have known not to be where Mr Morpurgo was coming. Having realised our error, we started hurrying up Bideford's steep street to the place where we had parked our car. For me the consequence was painful as I experienced the sort of chest tightness which from time to time afflicts me.
y the time we arrived at the Burton Art Gallery where Mr Morpurgo was speaking we were rather late. However, it was really good hearing the informative way in which Mr Morpurgo answered questions which mainly came from the children.
Afterwards, we bought a book for each of our children. James had a book about a man who was shot during the 1st World War for supposed cowardice whilst Kaye had one which apparently involves meeting the ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh. It goes without saying that Andrea and myself are waiting like vultures to read these books as soon as possible.
Michael Morpurgo's books seem to deal with thoughtful themes - one I nearly bought was based around the foot and mouth epidemic which brought much suffering to parts of the country including Devon. What I like about Michael Morpurgo is that he does not patronise children in his writing but encourages them to use their minds to think about situations.
I left to go home thinking to myself that there is no more precious gift that we can give our children than a real encounter with the world of literature. And I too need that encounter for over the past 5 years, my training has meant that I have read much theology but precious little of the history and literature that once so greatly enriched me.