Can I say what a huge pleasure it is to be with you all at Bousfield, on the site where the great children’s author Beatrix Potter lived, especially as it’s World Book Day… Who knows – perhaps Peter Rabbit and his gang are wondering what on earth we are doing here!
I’m sure they would probably be delighted to know that we are still reading about them. We all know how important it is to read. We all need to read for at least 10 minutes a day. It is such a magical thing to do and it will help you in every possible way – even with your maths and science!
When I was young, which was about 100 years ago, I was lucky enough to have a father who read to us every night and we were transported into a myriad of exciting new adventures. I read to my children and now my grandchildren, although nowadays they read to me! Books can take you anywhere (a bit like stepping into your very own Tardis). You can play Quidditch with Harry Potter, win the golden ticket to Charlie’s Chocolate Factory, go on a secret mission with Alex Rider, or, if you are like me, become a Gangster Granny and plot to steal the Crown Jewels!
But if I can give you one piece of advice before I leave, it is to put down your phones and pick up a book, especially before you go to bed. After all, books never lost their signal or run out of battery and they will always take you to a thousand different worlds with every turn of a page. So please, please start this evening when you get home. Put down your phones, pick up a book and go on the greatest adventure you have ever had!