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?”
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!)