Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sam and Tom


yesterday was (as Lauren Child would say) my favourite and my best day. We had the second of our Big Green Wednesdays, and also our first evening event.
Despite the stinky weather, both were fantastic.
First up was the bundle of energy and fun, Sam Enthoven, author of two very popular books, The Black Tattoo, and Tim, Defender of the Earth. This weeks school were Noel Park (who have recently brightened up a boarded up shop in Wood Green by doing this brilliant mural.

The kids had brought along questions for Sam, and he managed to answer all of them in an interesting/interested, exciting/excited, inspiring/inspired way.
Some things that we now know about Sam
he likes stories with monsters in them
Jacqueline Wilson once bought him a pint
he has a tattoo of his favourite coffee mug on his arm
he wanted to be a rock'n'roll guitarist
he likes stories with monsters in them
the only thing about London he doesn't like (apart from the weather) is the smell of the West End first thing in the morning
he had a dinner party to celebrate his 100th rejection letter
he will not (if he can help it) write sequals to his books
he likes stories with monsters in them (and flying kung-fu)

Sam also told us that he writes 1000 words a day, that he got some great advice from Lee Child (or Philip Pullman I shall check my notes later), which said that writers block is as daft a concept as a carpenter getting carpenters block, and that writing was a job, which, as a writer, you had to do.
He was very passionate about living your dream, and encouraged the audience to follow their passions, be it in art, science or whatever.
I shall be adding more to this post a bit later when I get to work, but Sam went down a real treat, and happily signed books and talked to them until Mr Pearce, their teacher told them it was time to leave

I smiled a lot for a while after that.

The evening event was Tom Hodgkinson, a real inspiration of mine and Katie's. His books 'How to Be Free' and 'How to be Idle', sit proudly on our shelves, and we have his Freedom Manifesto on our fridge.
This was our first author event in the shop, and as the rain poured down and the climate cooled another 3 degrees, I wondered whether the evening was going to look something like this..
well I needn't have worried, because we had 30 very hardy souls make their way to the shop for the evening's entertainment. Tom was as wonderful as I remembered him and played and sang 'I'm Only Sleeping', and 'watching the wheels' by John Lennon, and spent an hour talking about the Idle philosophy in general and 'The Book of Idle Pleasures'in particular.
There was a question and answer session at the end, and then Tom signed copies of the Idler, and his other titles. He was really pleased with what we're doing at the Big Green, and offered his support to any future stuff we have planned.
Now like a doofus, I didn't take photos of the event. As I said, I'm a bit of a Tom fan, and got a bit too into listening and enjoying him talk, and it was only after he'd gone that the penny dropped. Can I request that if anyone there has photos of the event they contact me, so I can share them on this here blog.
In the meantime here are some Idle Pleasures for you to contemplate, and a picture of Eric Idle

Having A bath
Walking on the Beach Barefoot
Skimming Stones
Morning Sex
Walking In the City
Taking a Nap
Looking at the Stars
Catching Falling Leaves

go on, try one or two of them today.


Laura Goodman said...

I was at the event last night, and enjoyed it so much. I'll be looking forward to more events at the shop (I'll be coming to the Guardian bloggers one).

And, despite being a photographer, and having a small dslr in my bag, I didn't take any photos. Next time, mention to me about photos beforehand, and I'll try to remember to take my camera out of my bag. And maybe even bring a flash or something ;)

Oh.. and nice wine!

Alis said...

Excuse me! Those are not idle pleasures, they are the essentials of my life! Wish you weren't 2+ hours away, then I'd have come and listened to him... sigh...

MarkFarley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MarkFarley said...

I notice that you got chairs for your events a lot quicker than we were able to...