Palmer took us to her beautiful library, resplendent with its own gas fireplace and reading nook. It must be so cosy to be able to read to the children in front of the fire in Winter.We went for a tour of the Junior School and met some of the children and their teachers. They have a co-teacher in every classroom, generally a young graduate. This is an ideal situation and one I wish more schools in Australia could afford to have.
The third grade students came to see me in two groups and I had a lot of fun talking to them about Australia, being a writer and Alice-Miranda. There were great questions and we had some fun acting out the school’s second best tantrum thrower and her encounter with Alice-Miranda – or Alex Michael as we had two boys volunteer for the parts.The students have a half day on Friday which allows for faculty meetings but Palmer had been granted special permission to host a lunch with the Grade 3 students. Numbers swelled to 40 (from the originally anticipated 20). The set up in the library was beautiful with table cloths, flowers, real plates and goblets and the students were perfect guests. I enjoyed being able to talk to them in a more informal setting and the pizza and salad was delicious too.
I signed books for the students who had purchased them . It was great to meet an Australian mother from Mildura and her daughter who already knew the Alice-Miranda series as a friend from Melbourne had sent the over. I was thrilled that she had read and enjoyed them.After lunch Palmer took us on a more extensive tour of the school. We saw their stunning new theatre and rebuilt senior school. It truly is one of the most picture postcard schools I have ever seen. Their staff accommodation is like a village –and a great example of the way that they care for their teachers and faculty members. We then took a drive around the area with Palmer pointing out places of interest. It’s a gorgeous town – but her patch in Old Greenwich is definitely my favourite spot. I had forgotten that it’s so close to the sea – we drove out to one of the parks at the tip of Old Greenwich where there was once a big stone mansion. The old couple who lived there didn’t have any children but they did have a pet bear they used to drive around with them in a convertible. There has to be a story in that!
We visited Diane’s Books in Greenwich and I signed a lovely pile of Alice-Miranda’s – so if you are looking for a signed copy, they have a few J The day flew by and it was after 5pm when we caught the train back to the city. There are so many beautiful schools in the area, I’m looking forward to being back again in 2013. Palmer and her team were so welcoming – we had a great day and it was a fitting final school visit on what has been an amazing tour.24 school visits in 33 days, 7 states, 4800 children and 55 talks – it has been incredible to say the least!