Dedication’s what you need… (and a clicker, apparently)

Penny Dreadful is a Record BreakerSo, got up, ate porridge, corralled angry small menace into school uniform (disappointment at having to go to school dressed as schoolgirl, not Katherine Parr, due to Ofsted swooping in and causing cancellation of World Book Day), set new world record for the biggest ever literacy lesson with 288 children at KES Juniors and Combe Down Primary in Bath. Just your average Thursday really.

See how I affect such nonchalance. I practically radiate boredom, having practiced ceaselessly since the age of thirteen as cover-up for my usually overexcited idiotic self. Because fact is, am still utterly overexcited and idiotic about it. Could barely sleep the night before and several days after. I was in national press, I got free school lunch (beef stroganoff, no salt), I met the Mayor and got to touch his totally bling gold necklace.

I mean, I know it wasn’t synchronized tap dancing for twenty-two hours solid around BBC Television Centre, or long distance hurdling, or eating as many Dairylea Triangles as you can in one minute. And Guinness still have to verify that we clicked everyone in and out on those little machine things and didn’t try to sneak children in twice. But still, I’m pretty proud. It’s the closest I will ever get to Usain Bolt after all.

record 2

About Joanna Nadin

A former broadcast journalist and special adviser to the prime minister, since leaving politics I’ve written more than 80 books for children and adults, as well as speeches for politicians, and articles for newspapers and magazines like The Guardian, Red and The Amorist. I also lecture in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and hold a doctorate in young adult literature. I’m a winner of the Fantastic Book Award and the Surrey Book Award, and have been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Booktrust Best Book award and Queen of Teen among others, and twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, for Everybody Hurts, and for Joe All Alone, which is now a BAFTA-winning and Emmy-nominated BBC TV series. I've also worked with Sir Chris Hoy on the Flying Fergus series and ghost-written Angry Birds under another name. I like London, New York, Essex, tea, cake, Marmite, mint imperials, prom dresses, pubs, that bit in the West Wing where Donna tells Josh she wouldn’t stop for a red light if he was in an accident, junk shops, crisps, Cornwall, St Custard’s, Portuguese custard tarts, political geeks, pin-up swimsuits, the Regency, high heels, horses, old songs, my Grandma’s fur coat, vinyl, liner notes, the smell of old books, the feel of a velveteen monkey, Guinness, quiffs, putting my hand in a bin of chicken feed, the 1950s, burlesque, automata, fiddles, flaneuring, gigs in fields on warm summer nights, Bath, the bath.
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4 Responses to Dedication’s what you need… (and a clicker, apparently)

  1. pirottablog says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful day. Says a lot that a school had to cancel World Book Day because of an Ofsted inspection. What’s more important, books or Ofsted? Ofsted, of course! Reminds me a joke I used to hear in staffrooms in the 80s. Dinner ladies think children have lessons to fill in the time while dinner is cooking.

  2. pirottablog says:

    lef ‘of’ out in third line there.

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