As Sponsorship Assistant with Team Sponsorship here at the Book Festival, my duties vary widely- one day I'm overseeing elegant Scandinavians quaffing fizz in a Georgian Board Room, the next I'm giving out free milk (courtesy of the lovely Graham's Family Dairy) to eager children.
Which brings me nicely to the topic in hand. Children.
The Book Festival loves children. We have a whole bookshop just for them. Not to mention a free Activity Corner run by some lovely ladies who know a thing or two about colouring in. We also have an amazing kids programme, run by Sara Grady.
The thing is, I am a big kid at heart, and I quite often get jealous of all the great stuff we have on offer for children. I mean, even my book of the year so far is a kid's book. Check out The Great Dog Bottom Swap by Peter Bently - no matter what age you are!
When Team Sponsorship recently played host to Scottish Power's Family Day- a day where the sponsor and guests can have some good food, good fun and see some great events- they hired some brilliant entertainment to keep the kids amused between eating and viewing, and facepainting and a genius balloon modeller were on hand. So you can imagine I was in my element. Face-paint stars? Check! Silly balloon hat? Check!
However, it seems that the children are not always on my side. For, when outside playing with some of the boys, they took it upon themselves to attack me with their balloon swords, telling me to 'Talk to the blade!' Which is all very well and good, but I was completely defenseless. A small girl took pity on me and lent me her balloon-butterfly, but it was hardly a match for those swords.
Children- 1, Me- 0.
The same day none other than The Gruffalo was visiting the Festival. After Julia Donaldson's event, The Gruffalo himself left the theatre, followed by a horde of small children, much like a hairy Pied Piper. Those children didn't get their sticky mitts on the Gruffalo though, he hot-footed it to the sanctuary of the Author's yurt, where Press & Marketing Assistant Julia and I found him. We politely asked Mr. Gruffalo if he would have his picture taken with us, and we got to give him the biggest hug!
Children- 0, Me- 1.