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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Q & A with John Wycliffe Primary School

The children at John Wycliffe Primary School in Leicestershire, where I am delighted to be Patron of Reading, have sent me a list of questions. I am delighted to be able to share the (sometimes weird) questions, along with my answers, on this blog. Enjoy!

How old is Winston?

Winston is my parents' Lhasa Apso dog. He is nine years old, which means that, in dog years, he is a basically a grouchy middle aged man. 

Do you have another dog and if so how old is it?

I have no other dog, and have never had another dog. My dog that I don't have is 7 years old. 

Why did your Mum call Winston Ooooshus Magooshus?

My mum always gives silly nicknames to things. For example, she calls my 'Joshy Poshy'. Winston has many nicknames. It started off as 'Wini', and then gradually transmogrified into 'Ooshus Magooshus', which I think sounds like the name of a monster, not the name of a dog. 

Do you have any pets?

I have a wife, which is similar. 

How can a pancake fly without wings?

I always say that if you ask a silly question, you need to be prepared to get a silly answer. So my answer is this: pomegranates. 

Can penguins fly to your house?


How do you know all your poems off by heart?

Interesting question. I do not quite know ALL of my poems off my heart, but it is true to say that I know quite a lot of them. I think there are two main reasons why this is the case. Firstly, I visit loads and loads of schools, and give masses of performances, and the more you recite a poem the more you get to know the words. Secondly, I find the process of writing and editing a poem involves going over and over that poem, and when I do this the words kind of get lodged in my memory. I find it much, much easier the memorise my own poems than I do to remember other people's poems. In fact, there are only a couple of poems by other poets that I know off by heart. In order to give a good poetry performance, I do not believe that you have to know a poem off by heart.