Dec
13
9:30 AM09:30

St Marylebone School

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The final date for this term was at St Marylebone School where I read (this time solo) and did a talk on the effect of our beliefs and expectations on what we see. In case of interest, for lunch I had a nourishing falafel and sweet potato wrap at the cosy Good Life cafe on Marylebone Lane.

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Dec
11
10:00 AM10:00

St James Girls' School

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This week the ‘Ladies on Tour’ went to St James Girls School in Kensington Olympia. What an inspired, creative and curious lot these were! After I’d finished reading from Oskar and Mary-Lou had done her workshop, the students - 13 year olds - bombarded us with super-interesting questions. I ended up telling them how it was a psychic from the London College of Psychic Studies who helped me to find my passion for writing fiction. They didn’t bat an eye - but then these girls have been learning Sanskrit and meditating since they arrived at St James, so they’re already pretty good at Flexible Thinking.

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In the spirit of documenting everything that we’ve eaten over the course of this tour, for lunch afterwards we went mainstream - and modest. But the worthiness of Gail’s lentil soup was counteracted by some wondrous golden truffles that we were handed out for free by the chocolatier next door. Win win.

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Dec
5
12:30 PM12:30

Watford UTC

Neuroscientist David Eagleman points out how our brain - and our beliefs - affect what we see.

Neuroscientist David Eagleman points out how our brain - and our beliefs - affect what we see.

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This week Mary-Lou and I were at the Watford UTC talking to two groups of 14-year-old students. They loved the visuals - especially the optical illusions which really scrambled their brains. Afterwards Mary-Lou unscrambled their brains, and showed them ways of thinking flexibly.

Such an inspiring and progressive college - with 60% of the students going on to University. Having never set foot in a school since I left mine (circa 1951), the tour so far has been incredibly eye-opening. And I get to show students little films on my portable projector, which adds to the joy.

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Nov
23
10:00 AM10:00

Canterbury College

Canterbury College with Mary-Louise Morris. (aka Ladies from the 1940’s). FYI - bags don’t signify a little light shopping in Canterbury High Street. Instead they’re filled with books and my travelling projector for the short films we show #achybreakyshoulders

Canterbury College with Mary-Louise Morris. (aka Ladies from the 1940’s). FYI - bags don’t signify a little light shopping in Canterbury High Street. Instead they’re filled with books and my travelling projector for the short films we show #achybreakyshoulders

Another week - another date on the School Tour. This time Mary-Louise and I were at Canterbury College where we did three workshops on Flexible Thinking. It was so inspiring to see the students (18 years upwards) really engaging with the sessions - and they seemed to love the sound of Oskar. Best comment after one of the readings:

‘Is Oskar a nihilist?’

Me: ‘Definitely’.

George: ‘Oh good. He sounds like me.’

Lunch in the college cafe was rather lovely too. So satisfying when the colour of your lanyard strap matches the colour of your sweet potato soup!.

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Nov
19
9:00 AM09:00

Compass School, Southwark

8.30 a.m. Assembly at Compass School

8.30 a.m. Assembly at Compass School

The first stop on the School Tour was Compass School in Southwark. And what a brilliant way to kick things off! Assembly with 140 students, where I read short extracts from Oskar, followed by clips of scientists talking about the brain and how all see the world according to our beliefs.


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Then three separate hour-long sessions with groups of 30 students each, dealing with how to face rejection and failure (both of which are just another stepping stone to where you want to get), and the joys of the imagination.

The students were so attentive and engaged, the staff were a delight and the lunch was delicious (veggie cottage pie, in case of interest). All in all, we were very spoilt. Next stop: Canterbury College.


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A Novel Way to Travel
Feb
23
4:30 PM16:30

A Novel Way to Travel

Cinema Lumière has been hitching a ride on the London tube as part of the brilliant Books on the Underground scheme. The idea is simple - and delightful. 20 books are cunningly placed on assorted tube trains, and if you spot one which takes your fancy, you can pick it up, read it, Tweet about it, then pop it back on whichever tube you happen to be when you're done. Genius. 

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