I had a pet hamster, but he didn’t talk so much


I recently went to England for 4 months, but it wasn’t really a holiday.  I spent a lot of time with my mum and dad and brothers (I grew up in England).  My dad has been sick and — as I’m sure you know – Australia can feel a long way away from home when someone in your family is sick.  But it was really nice to spend time with my family and friends, especially at Christmas.  I ate far too much of my mum’s cooking, though:  it wasn’t only our suitcases that came back heavier.

My daughters are 8 and 5 years old, and it was the first time they had ever seen snow.  They ran outside to play in it, and then ran back inside a few minutes later to put on warmer clothes.  “Snow is really cold, Dad,” my younger daughter said, very surprised.


Some students might know that, as well as being a Director of Studies with a really bad hairstyle, I’m also a writer.  When I was in England, my publisher took me around the country to publicise my first children’s book, ‘My Hamster Is A Genius’ (there’s a copy in Langports library). It’s published in Germany and Brazil, too, and will soon be out in French.


It’s a series of books about a boy who has a grumpy, very intelligent talking hamster, and the funny adventures that they have.  (The second book is out in March — ‘My Hamster Is An Astronaut’.)   I went to a lot of schools and book festivals to talk to kids, and it was a lot of fun.  Most of the kids that I talked to were aged between 7 and 10.  After I did my talks, I always asked the kids if they had any questions for me.  Here are some of the funny questions they had:


Kid:                        “Did you have a talking hamster when you were a kid?”

Me:                        “No.  I had a pet hamster, but he didn’t talk so much.”

Kid 1:                     “How did you come from Australia?”

Me:                        “By aeroplane.”

Kid 2:                     “Are there any TV’s on aeroplanes?”

Me:                        “Yes.”

Kid 3:                     “How many seats are there on an aeroplane?”

Me:                        “On a big aeroplane there are lots of seats.  On a small aeroplane there are not so many seats.”

Teacher:              “Does anyone have any questions that aren’t about aeroplanes?”

Kid 4:                     “How did you come here today?”

Me:                        “By car.”


I enjoyed my time in England, but it made me realise that Australia is home for me.  I know it has been very wet this week, but I really love the weather here and, believe it or not, I missed the people from Langports — the great teachers that I work with and the amazing students we have.  It’s good to be back.

(If you want to get a copy of Dave Lowe’s amazing books – go to any good bookstore or you can find them online!)