So what have I been up to on the last few Thursday mornings?
Well, let's see.
I've been a little girl with a crush on a handsome German prisoner of war, who made her a tiny bracelet woven from strands of coloured wire - which she was still to treasure nearly seventy years later, even though her father told her she must have nothing to do with the enemy.
I've flown over the ocean on a giant seagull, and come home safely.
I've travelled through time when my mother looked out a dress that I could wear to a sixties party - a dress of cobalt blue, shot through with electric rainbows: a dress that changed the world as I slipped it over my head.
I've been a small girl - a different one - taking refuge in an Anderson shelter as the bombs rained down over Birmingham. Terrified, I've felt my way along slippery garden paths in total darkness, following my grandmother in her best coat with the fox fur collar and the velour hat with its two ostrich feathers, wondering if my grandfather, who refused to give into the Luftwaffe by getting out of his bed, would survive the night.
I've done all these things and more by proxy, as I've sat and listened to the stories the students in my writing class had to tell. Only one of them has even a vague interest in publication; they write for the love of it and find that they have more to say than they ever imagined, and we are all the richer for this wealth of generously shared experience.
tribute to him when I was looking for a picture.) Jo is going to use some of our writing in the exhibition, which will run from 21st April - 3rd June.
That's a bonus. But the real joy is in the creation and the sharing - and it's lovely and humbling to be reminded of that.