We travelled on the train from Glasgow to Newcastle through stunning countryside, ranging from snow covered mountains to windswept beaches. Newcastle is much prettier than I had imagined with the Tyne River flowing through the centre and a fabulous redeveopment on the riverfront including restaurants, hotels and museums. We stayed at the Malmaisson Hotel with a view straight out onto the very cool Millennium Bridge which changes colour in the evenings. I had a little pang of Sydney homesickness when we first glimpsed the Tyne Bridge which is a miniature version of our very own Harbour Bridge.
An absolute highlight of our visit to Newcastle was meeting the Sayer family; Christine and John and their gorgeous girls Emma and Lily. The girls have been enjoying the Alice-Miranda books with their mum and Christine began following me on Facebook and Twitter. We had chatted several times and when I said we were coming to Newcastle I realised that they didn't live too far away in Sunderland. So I asked her if they'd like to come up to Newcastle and meet us. It was wonderful. The girls were beautiful - so gorgeous and sweet. I loved meeting them and Christine and John. We were only sad that our visit to Newcastle was so short. We visited two schools the following day which I will write separate blog posts about.
I can't wait to go back to Newcastle when we're in the UK again in November and I hope that I'll be able to visit Emma and Lily's school.
A Bookish Adventure
I started this blog to document an extended trip to the US and UK in 2012, introducing children to my Alice-Miranda series. It's hard to believe that it's just on four years since we launched the first Alice-Miranda title - and now there are nine books out in Australia with another five still to come. When I first came up with the idea of this precocious seven and a quarter year old, I had no clue that she would take me on such an amazing journey, not only in Australia but also across the world. I visited 37 schools while we were away in 2012 and gave over 80 talks - it was fantastic. In 2013 I've been on lots of new adventures in the UK - visiting schools from London to Southampton, Lancashire, Scotland, Newcastle and back to London again. After that I headed off to meet readers in Singapore. In Australia I've been to Melbourne, Perth, Albany, Alice Springs and Brisbane. There's a new series too - about a gorgeous little girl called Clementine Rose. She and Alice-Miranda don't know each other yet, but they will soon.