Monday, 19 August 2013


Yes, hello again! 

Now my holiday's over, I’ve checked my diary - and it's mid-August already. It's almost SEPTEMBER 2013, and the start of the new school year. 

Suddenly I feel a shudder of anticipation, a tingle of tension.

Suddenly I feel an odd need to rush out and find a new geometry set, one with all its plastic pieces and a working compass and a pencil with what seems like poor quality lead for drawing with, or so it seems.


Even though I haven’t used a geometry set for decades, and may not have been able to, even then.
The glorious end of August teases with its Bank Holiday weekend, but the days call for urgent positive action. Yes, come on, come on, you!  Hurry up! The lazy days are almost over!
This is a time to take stock, to get organised, to make plans for the year ahead.  The days grow bracing, invigorating and purposeful, and so on. If you let them.

I admit that I enjoy this fortnight almost as much as I enjoy January's New Year. It's a time for pretending that the purchase of new stationery will bring a whole personality change.A time for hoping that the emptying of cupboards and re-ordering of filing cabinets might bring a clear, creative, psychic space. These are days when one can half-believe in the resurrection of dreams and intentions. 

So, in this cheery postive spirit, I dared to glimpse at my long-ignored Penny Dolan Diary once again. Aaaagh! I saw a Silent Blog, an Unattended Page, the Very Ghost of a Social Presence. How had so much time passed?

If this was a real world diary, I could blow away dust and dried-up spider skins and maybe a crushed petal or two. But the blogosphere doesn’t carry such mementos, not yet. Yet the diary’s pages are opened, and here I am, staring at the blank screen again. 

I haven’t been totally idle, people. I’ve been busy with writerly projects and visiting various schools, from Stockton to Sussex. 

I’ve even spent time away in India, storytelling and talking about books at the wonderful Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival in Delhi. 

I’ve been blogging elsewhere, too: posting on the History Girls blog, writing for An Awfully Big Blog Adventure.


I've been looking after the rota for Awfully Big Reviews, ABBA’s partner blog, and reviewing there, of course. Not totally silent, not quite.

But now I’m back here, standing in my uncomfortable new start-of-term shoes, with some hopes of getting the Penny Dolan's Diary rolling again, even if in a rather random way - so watch out for a few thoughts, grumblings and mumblings.

As a few good friends often say: "Onward!"