Start spreading the news… I’m leaving today… (I’m not. I’m coming back.)

I haven’t seen Doctor Who this week, okay? I haven’t seen it yet. I will, obviously, and as soon as I can, but I haven’t yet. I don’t know whether Maisie Williams is as brilliant as everyone’s said she is; I don’t know whether the whole Viking thing proved as risky as it looked in the trailer; I don’t know whether they’ve finally given up on this sunglasses nonsense and brought back the screwdriver like they ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO- I don’t know anything. So please, don’t tell me.

Anyway- I have other news! Happy news! Well, happy for me, at least. Last week I was at Cheltenham, and everyone was lovely, including and especially Francesca Haig and Anna James, who I was honoured to be on stage with, and I met Michael Morpurgo. Sorry. When I started that sentence I didn’t mean to write that. But I met him! Actually physically met him! And he was fantastic! And when he found out I was sixteen he leaned over to my sister and said, ‘I thought she looked ridiculously young to be an author. Do you hate her as much as I do?’

So Cheltenham was amazing and now that is the end of my speaking engagements (God, do I have to call them that? It sounds preposterously obnoxious) for the foreseeable future, by which I mean until The Reaction comes out in February. To celebrate, I came back and got absolutely no work done, which is why there was no blog post last week. Sorry about that.

I also went- because I am a rebel- to an actual concert, but whatever Adolescence XP I earned for that I promptly lost on account of the fact that a) it was a Weird Al concert and b) I went with my mother. I mean, she really likes his music, and she bought the tickets anyway, and why am I being so defensive about this, and have you any idea how hard it is to find a current Year 12 who’s a Weird Al fan? I do. I have a very good idea. It’s very difficult, it turns out. Very very difficult.

I, on the other hand, am a huge Weird Al fan. His concert-goers generally fall into three categories: the people who have been dragged there by their partners because ‘he’s really good’ and are now considering breaking up with them; people who quite like him, or remember quite liking him in their youths, and can hum along to the Michael Jackson parodies and laugh at the lyrics to the others because they’re at least somewhat unfamiliar; and the weirdos like me who know every single word and will sing along even if it kills them and even unto the crack of doom. Which is what I did, the two blokes unfortunate enough to be sitting next to me growing more and more unnerved by the minute. But I did not care, because, as stated, I am a rebel.

Incidentally, if you ever feel the world is getting too predictable and mundane, please remember this- that on the fourth of October in the Hammersmith Apollo a band dressed as Stormtroopers stood on stage and mimed conducting an orchestra, and in response a crowd of several thousand people sang, as if they were at a football match, to the tune of American Pie:

My, my, this here Anakin guy

Maybe Vader someday later, now he’s just a small fry

He left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye

Saying, soon I’m gonna be a Jedi

Soon I’m gonna be a Jedi

and so on.

So! That’s been my last fortnight or so, and I write to you now from Weird Al’s very homeland, The Land Where They Pronounce ‘Coffee’ With A W (yes, I know he’s Californian and I’m in New York, but still). We’re here mostly to see my mom’s family, because my grandparents are for the most part not mobile enough to travel to London to see us anymore, and because my dad has to be here on business, but also because: New York! We spent two hours trapped in JFK airport because of a systems failure, and I spent the greater part of that attempting to cheer my mom up by humming the first few bars of New York, New York to her before she would tell me that she hated that song, as anyone who had heard it repeatedly over more than twenty years of living in NYC naturally would, and would I please be quiet. Which I was. For a few minutes.

I’ll be back on Saturday, at which point I will binge-watch all the TV I’ve missed- well, I’ll binge-watch Doctor Who, and then be forced to stay downstairs whilst my family watch Strictly Come Dancing and Downton Abbey (‘Who cares about the hospital? Just make a decision and stop talking about it! This plotline is only here to distract us from the fact that Maggie Smith’s character should be dead by now!’) and report back.

Until then- don’t. Tell. Me. Anything. Please.

About helenacoggan

Author and semi-professional teenager. Obsessions include Doctor Who, Harry Potter, feminism and writing down the voices in my head. Oh yeah, and technically I'm supposed to be at school, as well. London.
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