Which Writers Impressed You At School?

When I grew up my reading was heavily influenced by my teachers. Luckily some of my primary teachers rather liked Roald Dahl and the rest also made brilliant literary choices. I wonder if this is typical of English schools and what writers stand out in the memories of those of you who grew up abroad?

When my infant teacher initially read the BFG, with incredible accents for each giant, I was totally sucked in. The following year another wonderful teacher read us George’s Marvellous Medicine and then The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. C S Lewis then became a firm favourite of mine and I started consuming the other Narnia stories, such as The Silver Chair.

Being Read To Matters

I do wonder if my love for reading would have been less evident if I hadn’t had teachers who really read with passion. The reading bug needs to start somewhere and Roald and Lewis definitely triggered the obsession for me.

My mum also read to me daily and as time moved on I started to read to her. I would read Enid Blyton books and those involving Professor Brainstorm. I’d also try poems and fact books. Mum bought me a whole set of illustrated Charles Dickens books (children’s editions).

As I got older, teachers introduced me to Michael Morpurgo (Why the Whales Came) and Shakespeare (starting with Macbeth). One thing was certain, the more books I sampled, the stronger my passion for reading became.

Inspiring Tales

So yes, my brilliant teachers brought amazing narratives into my life and I am forever grateful. I will never lose my love of Roald Dahl books, no matter how many times I come across them. Similarly, I have a place in my heart for Narnia and Hogwarts. Admittedly Harry Potter was first read by me as an adult but I bet J K Rowling’s books have a massive impact on today’s young people and encourage many to read more often.

For another article about Roald Dahl have a read of this. If you enjoyed this post perhaps consider following my blog.

Christmas Gone Crazy – Extract Three

“Buckle your seat belts. We are about to land in Zurich,” came the announcement as the plane suddenly started its downward descent into a very sparkly city, nestled between some beautiful hills.

Fiona winked at me as we both noticed the old man dribbling and snoring beside us. Before long we were on the ground, out in the bracing air, on our way into a terminal again, listening to endless Christmas songs, played over tannoys. The airport was cute, dressed in tinsel, replica Christmas trees, baubles aplenty and glowing colourful lights which added a sort of warmth to the incredibly cold arrivals lounge.

 

We eventually emerged from security and managed to book an Uber to a cheap nearby hotel that our boss had reserved for us. Switzerland is one of the most expensive places on Earth and yet we somehow managed to find ourselves in the tackiest hotel I had ever come across. Sitting in my room, swigging a whisky and reflecting on the journey, I peaked out of the curtain and wondered what tomorrow would bring. Fiona had been good company but I still found myself with a sense of loneliness. A cheesy European film sent me to sleep slowly as I tried to stop myself dwelling on the past.

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When I went to the toilet in the morning, the door handle came off in my hand. I swore and tried my hardest to fix it back on again before meeting Fiona in the breakfast bar, for some eggs and bacon to start the day. She said she had slept well despite the lack of pillows. We compared notes on our rooms and were both equally unimpressed.

“Thanks again Lauren, for finding the cheapest place to stay,” she said with disgust.

“Well at least we can decide where to stay, when we arrive in the mountains. She just said find somewhere appropriate and use the company card.”

Fiona nodded. “Let’s max it out.”

“Haha, somehow I bet it has a built in limit. Or if not, then I bet any extra will be deducted from our wages,” I sniggered, pouring myself a second coffee.

 

Even the breakfast room had a tint of Christmas. There were clumps of mistletoe arranged oddly around the room and tinsel hung randomly between light fixtures. Of course, the ambience wouldn’t have been complete without some festive tunes being piped in. But in this instance, they were all in German. German songs with bells and choirs. The melodies gave away the spirit of Christmas but none of them sounded anything like Jingle bells or Little Donkey.

The fact that she seemed more like my sister every time I set eyes on her made Fiona become quite an odd character in my eyes. It felt as though I had known her all my life, yet so much about her was still mysterious. I only really knew the headlines. Today, I was going to have to travel with her again and work closely to produce a film about some psychotic guy who had claimed a mountain village as his own. I was going to need all my wits about me to get through this without problems. I really hoped she turned out to be useful and not a hindrance like my last two camera operators.

AD – If you enjoyed this, keep looking out for the next instalment or check out my book below. This book of short stories is about first impressions being often misleading.