A Love Letter to School

On Saturday I went back to the school where I taught English for the longest, and happiest, time. Perhaps you've done this too, as staff or pupil. Did you dread it? I almost didn't go, but then I was also excited. What surprised me was the number of pupils who said I had made a big difference to their lives. Really? Thank goodness you don't know what power you wield as a teacher or you would be tongue-tied. The photo shows one of these pupils, Jon Mackley, who I last saw as a 14 year old. He's now an author and I'm holding one of his books. It was fascinating to hear all their stories and catch up with the headlines of the past 30 years (I know - I was a child teacher). So much loss and ill

New series: Author/Bookseller

I was about to interview the owners of independent bookshops to try and help support them. Towns stay alive as long as they are going strong, along with libraries and post offices. Then I recently met several authors who also run bookshops. It seemed to me to be a brilliant thing to write books and earn a living from selling them: or is it? So I kick off the series with a man who I've yet to meet in person but greatly admire for managing to write well-loved books, as well as reading widely and inclusively providing what it says on the shopfront above: Books. Coffee. Space. Who are you and what do you do? I'm Bob Stone, proprietor of Write Blend, an independent bookshop and coffee shop in Wat

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