Today was my first day as a volunteer on this year's Summer Reading Challenge at our local library. It felt a bit like my first day at school (more of which later.)
I had done my homework, you will be pleased to hear. I had been onto the Summer Reading website and joined the challenge. I had to tick the box which said "over 13" because there didn't seem to be anything nearer my age. Whenever
I sign in, a cheery message comes up: "Hello Officer Blossom Eragon!" I promise you I am not making this up.
My biggest challenge was that I found myself sitting at a table next to
a large papier-mache dragon. How daunting is that? I spent quite a lot of my time either reassuring littl'uns that he (she? it?) was perfectly friendly or stopping them from pulling him (her? it?) apart. I did try inviting them to name the
dragon - George, Ben Ten, and Dora were popular suggestions, if not entirely original. Oh and I forgot to mention that the dragon was clutching an Olympic Torch, made of brown paper with yellow and orange tissue for flames.
A topical touch, I thought, and surely a helpful point of conversation. Some of the children had been to see the torch relay the day before, others had not, some were too busy trying to wrest the torch away from George / Ben Ten / Dora to engage
in idle chit-chat with the likes of me.
As I said, it felt a bit like my first day at school. This I still remember with a sense of injustice. My lovely Mum had given me a tiny chocolate
bar for elevenses - an amazing treat in those days when sweets were still rationed. Alas, one of the first things my new teacher (Miss Chisnall - I still remember!) did was to collect up everyone's treats. She came round with a waste paper basket
into which, with enormous reluctance, I had to deposit my chocolate bar. I presume the other children were sensible enough to reclaim their goodies at break time but it honestly never occurred to me. As you can tell, I still bear the scars.
The experience, fortunately, didn't stop me finding school great fun. As is the Summer Reading Challenge, dragon and all.