Today was a very busy day for the whole family it was the first MGSO4 festival. Emily as a volunteer for the morning at the Ebbisham Centre, Epsom helping people find out where they needed to go for the events they wanted to see. Mark was also at the Ebbisham Centre doing an event at noon, then at Bourne Hall, Ewell at 4.15pm and then another event a little later at 5.30pm. I had an event at the Ebbisham Centre at 3.30pm and then had to whizz over to Bourne Hall for another event at 5.30pm. George was assisting Mark in the afternoon, and Emily was assisting me!! We managed to organise where everyone had to be, and got to our events in good time. We only have one car so it was a bit of a juggling act. I had too much to carry for my event so needed the car in the afternoon, and Mark needed the car in the morning for his. I won’t go into the logistics of what we did, but somehow we made it work. For most of the day we were like ships passing in the night. And finally caught up with each other about 6.45pm!! First of all I was doing a gardening workshops for little ones (and their parents) about how to grow. I took lots of produce from my allotment and garden to show and read “Lottie and Dottie Sow Sunflowers” to them which they all enjoyed. We then planted a sunflower seed and all the children gathered round to join in. I had 9 children who stayed for the entire hour and a couple of little ones that wandered in and out. Their parents sat and watched as well, and they seemed to enjoy me entertaining their children. I asked the children lots of questions and they were all very knowledgeable, especially one little boy of about 3 years old. He knew that the roots sucked up the water to help the plant grow. I was so impressed we all gave him a round of applause. He was very proud with himself.
My workshop lasted an hour and then I was signing my books for them. I chatted to all the children about what they are growing this year and the different colours and shapes of fruits and vegetables there are. All the school gardening workshops I do are just as interactive and all the children get involved, CLICK HERE for more details. The parents asked me questions as well, which I dutifully answered. Peter Snell from Barton’s Bookshops had a pop up bookshop in the Ebbisham Centre and later in Bourne Hall, and was selling our books all day. He’s such a lovely man, with a long, bushy, white beard, he looks just like Father Christmas. Once I’d finished at the Ebbisham Centre, Emily and I rushed over to Bourne Hall because I was part of a panel called “The Path to Publication”. I’ve never been on a panel before, and was with another 3 authors. Each of us had taken a different route to getting published. We had quite a crowd listening to us. Mark was chairing the discussion. But no one knew we were married due to the fact that I use my maiden name on my books. We decided not to bring that up on the panel. The discussion lasted for about an hour and again the audience asked questions which we answered. I then signed some more books, and then once everyone had gone about 6.45pm, we met up as a family again, which was great. We decided to go to the Super Fish restaurant up the road for dinner before we headed back home again. The day was exhausting, but thoroughly enjoyable. We all had an early night.