Well not quite, but I did stay in a fabulous farmhouse on a polder next to one. It all started on a lazy Sunday afternoon in Devon. Tea in Topsham followed by a Flybe flight from Exeter to Schiphol Airport (which is 4 metres below sea level) in the Netherlands. The day ended with a night ride in a tiny solar powered boat gliding between ghostly swans and clucking coots.
Thanks to Michele Velthuizen for such a memorable welcome and for inviting me to run storytelling and writing workshops at the American School of The Hague. Michele is the librarian at the Middle School and I had great fun sharing my Top Ten Tale Telling Tips.
Picked up three Dutch stories along the way, The Lady of Stavoren, The Dragon of Utrecht and a tale about a tapeworm that’s way too rude for this blog but meet me on a bar stool and buy me a glass or two of organic grape juice and I’ll shoot from the lip.
After two days with one Michele I hopped on the train and to Amsterdam to hook up with a second with a double ll Michelle. Michelle Andis is Head of Libraries at the International School of Amsterdam.
Had a great three days telling tales to students and hanging out with Paul Stickland – the Pop Up King and author and illustrator of Dinosaur Roar. Also enjoyed meeting teenage fiction author Cliff McNish who gave me some interesting insight into the publishing world.
Another highlight was actually being able to sing and play one of my childhood faves – A Mouse Lived In A Windmill In Old Amsterdam – in Amsterdam, to the reception classes.
Oh, and by the way I sold loads and loads of PiG’s Tales. Can’t be bad.
Big thanks to Authors Abroad for setting up a fab five days in the Netherlands.