Guess where I've been...
No, not in a tiny toyland of magical, multicoloured onions, but Moscow.
These are some of the faces of Moscow, where I was visiting the Cambridge International School to talk about my books, writing and being creative.
There were a lot of highlights, but my favourite story ideas came from Years 3 and 4, who came up with some book ideas that I'd love to read, including:
3 Fat Kings
The Giant Dino Hotel
and, of course,
Dangerous Horse Holes
Dwayne Johnson has already been in touch to buy the movie rights to all three. He's the only actor with the range to pull off the action, drama and comedy required for all three.
I was a little surprised, but delighted, to discover that Russian schoolchildren are keen on spontaneous group hugs. I didn't have much say in any of these hugs, and only a handful of children were crushed against my ever-growing belly.
Speaking of which: hachapuri. London needs a hachapuri cafe.
And while I tucked into my hachapuri, I had some good books to read...
I took my favourite Dr Seuss book with me to share with some of the younger groups: Yertle the Turtle. I had some admiring looks from confused babushkas while re-reading it on the Moscow metro.
For adult readers I recommend a couple of other books that kept me entertained...
Sinker, by Jason Johnson, zings on every page & brings you the cleverly imagined extreme sport of professional drinking. It's plotted like a fine wine, but hides its art at the bottom of a puddle of cider. But in a good way.
Back to Moscow, by Guillermo Erades, rips and roars through modern Russian life. Reading this while in Russia made me examine the world around me a lot more carefully, which is surely the mark of an excellent book.
Finally, who wants to join my Institute for Trying and Seeing...?