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Day Two of this tour of the Western Isles of Scotland took us to our most northerly points – the villages of Back and Tolsta, where Team Scottish Book Trust/Sedgwick descended on their respective primary schools.

These were smaller events than yesterday in terms of the number of children at each school (though not as small as some of the ones to come later in the week). I spoke to around 70 children at Back and just 20 in Tolsta, but if the numbers were small, the friendly welcome was just as strong as the one we received in Stornoway yesterday. The children were from P3, P4 and P5 – I really love speaking with these age groups, the events can often veer off in directions you weren’t expecting as someone comes up with a totally original angle on a subject; for example, could you trap a ghost in the non-existent boxes that mime artists get stuck in? Ten minutes of discussion later, we got back on track, but I welcome such diversions – it shows that the imaginations of the young people are not to be underestimated.

Here’s a picture of the work that the P3 class at Tolsta had done on Fright Forest – some great pictures and even lovelier smiles:

Fright Forest

Between the two sessions today we had time to visit the ‘bridge to nowhere’, built by Lord Leverhulme when he owned the Isle of Lewis briefly between 1918 and 1923. His grand plans for the island ran aground and the road he intended to build beyond the bridge was never finished; this is the result:

Bridge to Nowhere

While horsing around on the nearby beach Lady Sedgwick deemed that my hair was behaving badly enough to recreate the poster for one of my favourite films:

What’s the film?

What's the film?

While I leave you with that puzzle, I’ll finish by saying that speaking with young people is endlessly enjoyable and also keeps you young yourself. And you can come across deep nuggets of insight too. Today, while signing a book for a young man who I’ll call Callum, I asked him how old he was. ‘Eight,’ he said. He paused, looking thoughtful. Then he added, ‘but I used to be seven.’

I’d drive a long way, anyday, for wisdom of that sort.

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